2008 Conference

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAVIth International Conference “Theatre and Drama Education at Center Stage”
Atene 27, 28, 29, 30 Marzo 2008

Organized by Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network

Demonic masks between sacred and profane
from Pantomime to Clown to Commedia dell’Arte

This is a workshop on the different languages interacting on our stage – from pantomime to clown to Commedia dell’Arte – and constituting part of our European folk tradition repertoire concerning the propitiatory rites connected to the year’s and season’s beginnings.
So, within both such a historical-traditional and new context, the actors’ (the participants’ in the workshop) training work becomes global: they are mime, clowns, dancers.
It is the same work process that Commedia dell’Arte actors are used to develop on stage as a daily theatrical and cultural training. A work which takes account of life’s uninterrupted movement, of the mysterious relationships between body and mind, person and character.
Space is a fundamental element in our case: it’s being constantly moved and transformed by the actors’ own movements and variations on the theme. So, starting from within a guided (controlled) improvisation activity, which may be on a specific theme, the group will proceed from a “stage writing” through the editing of a script, up to the elaboration of a dramaturgy.
The mask regains here its original meaning (animality, demonic feature – good, ironic, burlesque – expressive quickness and intensity) with all its own communicative and pedagogical effectiveness, due to the whole participation of body and mind: the mask is not only an “object” on the actor’s face, but it’s also, and mostly, his/her cultural, technical, personal and artistic experience.

Hellenic Theatre/Drama & Education Network   www.theatroedu.gr

Italian PublicationEnglish PublicationWorkshop description in English