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
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.
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.
- 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.