Commedia dell'Arte Residential 2015: Blog 2

9th July 2015

If it wasn’t hot enough, at the start of our second week here in Reggio Emilia, Antonio informs us that by the end of the week the temperature could reach up to 40 degrees! This doesn’t stop us, however, and we are straight back into learning new Commedia characters.

Monday was spent in a hungry daze as we learnt and improvised Il Dottore, who’s true love is food, while Tuesday afternoon included beating each other up – safely I might add! Aspects of Commedia dell’Arte, such as the slapstick and safe fighting, have been brought into our classes along with the characters they are most associated with. This has meant that Antonio has been able to explain to us when and how the character uses these skills while teaching us how the character behaves ensuring that we, as actors, know how to effectively and safely include them in our performances.

Our relationship with props has changed dramatically over just two weeks working with Antonio. We spent Wednesday learning how to use objects and props respectfully and to treat them as another member for the company – not just an object! By treating the objects as such, we as actors need to find new ways of using and removing props on the stage which allows us to be more creative and imaginative. The rest of the week involved revisiting characters that we had met during our first week and expanding our knowledge on them and their roles in Commedia.

While last weekend was spent exploring our new surroundings, many of us took advantage of this weekend, and the gorgeous weather, for more adventurous trips outside of Reggio Emilia. With groups of monkeys in Venice, Bologna and in Reggio Emilia an amazing few days of culture, beauty and excitement were had by all!