‘Teaching Commedia dell’ Arte’ is a teaching manual that will enable teachers to effectively communicate the mystery of Commedia dell ‘Arte. ‘Teaching Commedia dell’ Arte’ contains resource directions, planned workshops, and comments from the author’s personal experience.
Tony Kishawi has a performance career spanning 35 years, coupled with extensive experience teaching Commedia. Tony himself struggled at school with learning difficulties and feels that this gave him insight and empathy for all students. An experienced workshop provider, Tony has contributed to thousands of actors, performers and community group members. He has developed strategies that ensure students of the subject really ‘get’ what it is all about.
‘Teaching Commedia dell’ Arte’ is a necessary handbook for teachers committed to providing their students with the best possible results in their class. The handbook contains concise planned lessons which can be extended or shortened depending on the need of the classroom, contributions from Tony relating to personal experience, a character introduction and preparation timelines.
As a teacher, you will be able to better plan and implement your lessons and the whole time you will have Tony’s experience at your side. In ‘Teaching Commedia dell’Arte’. You will find the perfect companion to enable you to get the most out of your class in terms of participation, skills, and enthusiasm.
Having trained in Commedia dell’ Arte at the International School of Comic Acting in Italy, studying under Antonio Fava an artist of international acclaim, Tony has developed into an expert in Commedia dell ‘Arte in Australia.
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This book was launched during the Australasian Commedia dell’Arte Festival 2010 May 28th, 29th & 30th 2010.
About the Book
This book is about Commedia dell’Arte. Not so much its history, although that is touched upon, the primary focus is how to teach it. Commedia has so much to offer students of acting, but it has to be unlocked, and it’s not always easy to do that. Modern performances, historical accounts, books about the subject, show us the end results but tend to lack a process to actually get you there.
Over many years of traveling, performing and teaching Commedia to people of all ages and backgrounds, Tony has developed an extensive array of exercises to help students discover and create great Commedia.
More than a series of exercises, it’s the approach contained within the exercises that really matters. So this book is an attempt to convey Tony’s approach. As Keith Johnstone writes in Impro, “If you want to apply the methods I’m describing in this book, you may have to teach the way that I teach… My feeling is that a good teacher can get results using any method and that a bad teacher can wreck any method.”1981, Methuen Drama, p.29.
I know from personal experience what a good teacher Tony is. Working with him as an actor for the last five years or more, touring Commedia and clown shows to primary and secondary schools all over Australia, has been incredibly rewarding, and without a doubt the most fun I have ever had onstage! Helping him write this book has opened my eyes further to both Commedia’s potential and Tony’s unique qualities as a theatre pedagogue. So hopefully this book has succeeded in capturing something of his approach.
Teaching Commedia dell Arte’ — speaks to the drama teacher or ensemble leader.
By Ben Cornfoot (Editor)