by Claudia Contin Arlecchino (Italy)
Actress, director, stage designer, figurative artist, theatre teacher, writer

From Friday 18th to Tuesday 22nd May 2018
Schaulust Bremen (DE)
Work time: from 10h to 17h (1h break for lunch)
5 days (6h per day) Total: 30h


Claudia Contin Arlecchino

All contemporary theatre is based on the archetypes of the Commedia dell‘Arte, that artistic practice which, since the end of the 16th century, has been identified for 200 years with the theatre itself.

Even today the movement, the gesture, the metric, the rhythm, the expression, every action taken by actors and performers in the scene, define their meaning by drawing on the patrimony of signs and human characters that the Comedia has managed to bring to us.

That’s why the study of the Commedia dell’Arte represents a fundamental path in the training of any contemporary performer, regardless of the language and the expressive form used, be it theatrical, choreutic, musical, lyrical… How much Commedia dell’Arte can we find in the Melodrama? Or what is the contribution that the Comedia continues to give to contemporary research and the revolution of physical theatre? Is a musician on stage just a body lent to the performer, an incidental presence, or is it a theatrical body too?

What Drives one towards a meeting with and a study of an „old“ form of theatre, or more precisely, an „ancient“ form, is perhaps really the desire for a form of theatre that is „new“, or more precisely „other“, in regard to what exists. This may be the case, due not so much to the anxiety of self-expression of the actor/artist within the aspiration of uniqueness, but rather to the necessity of achieving a language, a system of signs, that may objectively end up being more precise in regard to the so-called „spirit of the age“, more capable of giving it both a voice and a hearing. (Ferruccio Merisi).



Claudia Contin Arlecchino is one of the most recognized performers of the Harlequin mask (the first woman Harlequin in the world). In the thirty-year research that led her to perform in theaters across Europe and to publish texts translated into many languages (including Chinese and Russian), she deepened above all the physical language of the Comedia, through the study of human archetypes that underlie its expressiveness. From the historical and iconographic sources to the anthropological resonances of the Italian language and Italian Masks, trainees will be able to hold the very original instrumens for the actor’s behavior re-invention and for the best audience involvement. Claudia transfers the traditional artform into a contemporary physical theater through the use of masks and music. During the course she will be assisted by the musician Luca Fantinutti.



The program of the workshop, calibrated on the monograph course, includes:

1) Pre-heating of the grotesque physical deformations of the Commedia dell’Arte

2) The Neutral Body and the Character slices of the human body

3) Physical behavior of some of the main archetypes of the Commedia dell’Arte

4) Actor training in the Commedia dell’Arte, rhythms and choreographies

5) Personalization of the relationship between body, face and mask

6) Tips and experiments for grotesque use in contemporary theater

7) Singing and music in the Commedia dell’Arte

8) Parades and street performances with masks and musical instruments



Claudia Contin Arlecchino is an Italian actress, director, stage designer, figurative artist and theatre teacher, writer of essays and author of theatrical texts published in several languages. She is note in the world as being the first woman to reinterpret the male character of Harlequin, one of the most intriguing characters in the Commedia dell’Arte. With continuity since 1987, she is also the only one in Europe to build all her Masks and those for her Company, as it is still only in the East. Claudia Contin Arlecchino is the creator and curator of the new technique for the Contemporary Theater called Tragedia dell’Arte (Tragedy of Art), inspired by contemporary art by Egon Schiele. Founder in the 1990s of the Scuola Sperimentale dell’Attore, together with the director Ferruccio Merisi, she is still the Director of Educational Programs. The career of Claudia Contin Arlecchino has developed in particular through numerous study travels around the world, coupled with her professional tours. During her travels to India, Indonesia, China, Africa, South America, Russia, Europe, she met many of the great masters of theatre, dance and martial arts. Thanks to her many years of preparation and experience, she has a well-established international reputation, from Europe to Russia, from Mediterranean to Africa, from the Far East to South America, especially for the anthropological rigor of her behavioral research in situations of “Performance” (in theater, dance, voice and singing) that makes her a “Master”, required in Italy and abroad, both for the training of professionals and for the cultural training of the audience.


Workshop leaders: Actress Claudia Contin Arlecchino and musician Luca Fantinutti

Contact: oder (+49) 0421.706582