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The aim of my course is to develop acting skills and stage presence as well as to improve self-awareness and participation in group work.
Objectives of my course include:
Action-Reaction, Awareness, Being part of a group, Body expression, Coordination, Improvisation, Interaction, Mask, Observation, On stage-Off stage body, Rhythm.

 

 

Action Theatre, Improvisation, Mask, Body Language.

Theatre is learned, not taught, therefore I prefer to claim myself as
“an experience sharer, rather than a drama teacher”
Marco Lully

My Commedia dell’Arte

INTRODUCTION NOTES

The aim of my course is to develop acting skills and stage presence as well as to improve self-awareness and participation in group work.

Objectives of my course include:

Action-Reaction, Awareness, Being part of a group, Body expression, Coordination, Improvisation, Interaction, Mask, Observation, On stage-Off stage body, Rhythm.

My experience of almost 40 years of activity in the world of Commedia dell’Arte has led me to develop my own method with exercises focused on the various issues we have to face when working with students/actors coming from diverse cultural backgrounds.

In fact, simple words such as energy, rhythm, crescendo, tension, don’t necessarily have the same meaning for people coming from different countries, cultures and experiences. Similarly, different people tend to have different concepts of an actors’ presence on stage, self-confidence, interaction with the audience, use of voice and body, capacity to show emotions, and so on.

In such cases, a teacher must be flexible, ready to teach as well as to understand and learn. I do believe that theatre is learned, not taught, therefore I prefer to claim myself as “an experience sharer”, rather than a drama teacher.

A few notes about Commedia dell’ Arte and its world.

  • I keep repeating that this is the world of Fantasy, the world of Creativity, where the actors are at the very centre of the stage, and it means that we must feel free to unleash our fantasy and creativity, make up our own characters, or make the old ones ours, by playing this form of theatre not only with our body and voice but with our brain as well. It means that we have to put in our characters our skills, our creativity, our sensibility, our soul.
  • Commedia dell’Arte is not a religion, it’s an art form and, as arts evolve, change, we can say that there are many Commedia dell’Arte. This theatre evolved over five centuries in five continents and for this nobody can claim that “this is correct and this is wrong” or that “my Commedia dell’Arte is the right one and yours is the wrong one”. I do believe in this.

Course introduction

The world of Commedia dell’Arte is a world where the masks play a crucial role. But, as an actor, as a drama teacher, before we start we need to ask ourselves some questions: why do we use masks? what for? how can we master and make good use of these “magic” objects”? This is my answer:

Masks teach the actor awareness and control of movements and gestures. The masks compel the actor to recognize the essential gestures and avoid the superfluous ones. They propel the performer to an enhanced level of expression. They demand clarity of intent and precision in the use of gestures and voice.

Our journey

  • I have taken my workshops around the world for more than 30 years and have taught my Commedia dell’Arte to a very large number of actors, students and drama teachers too. Many have learned and then used, with my great pleasure, my exercises. It’s ok with me as long as everybody adapts and tailors the exercises for his own goal. Therefore, in the course of my lessons, you might find some already known stuff. We actors are all thieves, so we can’t feel uncomfortable when we find our material used by others.
  • And if you have a question in your mind, where do your exercises come from? I can tell you that I have learned some from my teachers, some others from actors and directors coming from different backgrounds and theatres I have worked with, some others are mine. But all of them have been tailored to my goals and for my theatre.

Marco Luly

Course Curriculum

On Stage Body Off Stage Body Parts 1, 2, 3 00:30:00
Exercises for: On stage body – Off stage body. My demonstration is centred on how to shape the body for the stage, for the mask, for the character. The actor's life is based on a modification of the equilibrium. Offstage and onstage: offstage body movements are usually characterized by the least effort principle (maximum result with least energy expenditure), onstage movements are based on the use of more energy than necessary.
Action-Reaction 00:23:00
My demonstration with another person (impro conversation) about how to establish contacts and interactions with another person and within a group.
Stage Presence 00:12:00
Stage Presence For an actor, to give of himself is everything. But first, he must take full possession of himself. The three levels of communication: Verbal, Para-Verbal, Non-Verbal. “Body language” means that our body talks”.
Exercises for the mask characters 00:40:00
Exercises for the mask characters Masks – Characters. - Put a mask on a man and he will show his true face. - You do not wear a mask: the mask owns you. - We expect the mask to transform us into a different being, and, the moment we don one, it does, enabling us to cross into the supernatural world, and be at one with the gods themselves.
Improvisation and Lazzi 00:20:00
Theatre Improvisation is an important tool which helps in the process of building up actor’s expressivity, communication, creativity and teamwork. Furthermore, it helps the actors in many other issues such as decision making, listening (ourselves and the others), finding quick responses and solutions, adapting to the unexpected.
Mask Characters 00:40:00
Introduction of the main Commedia dell’Arte characters, their stances and movements.
Warmup Parts 1, 2 00:19:00
The warm-up is an important aspect of my workshop on Commedia dell’Arte. It’s not simply a way to begin the session, but it's also the moment when the participants start to be aware of the group they are being part of, of the space, and of themselves among the others. It’s something close to a necessary ritual which helps in the process of creating both a group and a positive work atmosphere. Every exercise starts with a moment of “concentration, breath, focus”. Every exercise ends with a “stop” and then a “relax”.

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