Commedia dell'Arte for the 21st Century (short course)

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Why study this course?

Chiara D'Anna, Italian actress, director, writer and academic will teach this exciting course – an introduction to Commedia dell’Arte and its legacy in contemporary performance. Chiara is one of the top practitioners and scholars in the UK: a tutor with both deep, theoretical knowledge and professional experience as an actress, director and teacher. Techniques studied will comprise body awareness, improvisation, stagecraft, slapstick, stock characterisation and half-mask technique.

More about this course

This course is an excellent opportunity for drama students, teachers, professional actors and theatre makers to develop skills that are fundamental in any performance setting – not only physical comedy. The Masks of Commedia dell’Arte are an excellent tool to expand performers’ physical vocabulary, stamina, space awareness and understanding of tempo-rhythm and comic timing.

This workshop is a great opportunity to learn how to create successful ensemble work, interact effectively with an audience and improvise with confidence. Chiara's approach to commedia looks specifically at the application of Commedia dell’Arte principles and masks techniques in contemporary performance. The course will culminate in a performance to a small invited audience of family and friends.

In this course you will learn Commedia dell’Arte’s principles and techniques and how to apply these skills in other theatrical contexts. 

On completion of this course you will be able to:

  • develop your physical and vocal vocabulary in the creation of grotesque and comic characters
  • devise and perform scenes utilising the traditional Masks of Commedia dell’Arte, props, music and costumes
  • improvise with confidence
  • interact with your audience with confidence
  • adapt key commedia techniques for performance today in your future projects
  • demonstrate an understanding of the historical and cultural context from which Commedia dell’Arte originated and its legacy in contemporary theatre

Fees and key information

Course type
Short Course
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Who's this course for?

This course is an excellent opportunity for drama students, drama teachers, professional actors and directors to develop skills that are fundamental in any performance setting. It is particularly useful for actors, students and theatre practitioners interested in improvisation, comedy, devising and physical approach to characterisation.

Course structure

Module details to be agreed

Course dates

Course dates

To be confirmed


One day a week for three weeks

Day and time

Saturday, 9.30am to 3pm

Maximum class size 10
Contact hours 15


A 20% discount is available for:

  • those who are registered as unemployed and in receipt of Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) or Universal Credit
  • those whose sole or main income is a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state retirement pension
  • those who are registered as disabled and in receipt of Disability Living Allowance (DLA) or Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • full-time and part-time UK students on credit-bearing courses
  • London Metropolitan University students on year-long day courses
  • London Metropolitan University alumni members
  • London Metropolitan University staff

If you're eligible for the 20% discount, please contact us before booking.

What's included in the price?

Materials are included in the course fees.

Terms and conditions

Please read our terms and conditions before booking.

How to apply

Booking for this course isn't open at this time as the dates of the next intake are not yet confirmed. Please get in touch for further information or register your interest to receive notification as soon as booking opens.

When to apply

Please note, the deadline to book a place on one of our short courses is one week before the start date. If you have missed the deadline, please get in touch and we will do our best to accommodate you.