Secondary School Workshops

Secrets of Commedia dell’Arte

This fast-paced workshop, led by Australia’s foremost practitioner in Commedia dell’Arte, will have your students devising hilarious shows in no time. Covering archetypes, postures, gestures, mask, movement and lazzi – it’s an action packed workshop from beginning to end.

Students will:

  • Improvise with the elements of drama and narrative structure to develop ideas, and explore subtext to shape devised drama [ACADRM047],
  • Practise and refine the expressive capacity of voice and movement to communicate ideas and dramatic action [ACADRM049]
  • Perform devised drama to their peers, having made deliberate artistic choices suitable for an audience [ACADRM051]

Best of all, students will have a ball learning how and why this ancient theatre genre is still making audiences laugh today.

Secrets of Physical Theatre

Learn the secrets of the stage with Corinna...

Secondary school theatre workshops with Corinna Di Niro, Stage Secrets

Here you will find a range of workshops currently on offer. All workshops are adjusted to ensure they link in with the National Arts Curriculum for your year level – examples of this are provided below. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Want to mix and match? Then please email Corinna to discuss.

All materials are provided. Workshops can be booked at anytime but are on a first come, first serve basis. You are welcome to email or call Corinna to discuss availability prior to booking. Max 22 students per workshop, unless otherwise specified.

Investment: (from 1/7/22)

90 minute Workshop

$225 AUD

2 hour Workshop

$270 AUD

3 hour Workshop

$375 AUD

Full Day Workshop

$650 AUD

Working off the ideas of Meyerhold and incorporating Laban techniques, this workshop is all about body and space awareness. Students work with emotional and physical stimuli, and gain an understanding of considered movement, the importance of stillness and effective ensemble building. Depending on length of workshop, there is the option for the workshop to culminate with a physical performance involving improved co-ordination, awareness of self within the group and dynamic voices to tell stories in interesting ways.

Students will:

  • Practise and refine the expressive capacity of voice and movement to communicate ideas and dramatic action involving adapting expressive voice and movement skills for performance to enhance actor–audience relationships [ACADRM049]
  • Communicate meaning through non-realistic performance styles by manipulating the elements of drama [ACADRM047],
  • Explore non-realistic, innovative and hybrid dramatic forms and performance styles [ACADRM050]

This workshop is aim to broaden students’ dramatic vocabulary for the stage.

Secrets of Slapstick and Stage Fighting

Found in a range of theatre and styles such as Commedia dell’Arte, Shakespeare, Pantomime, Music Hall, Opera and Ballet, as well as used in numerous contemporary theatre, TV and Film forms, these elements of drama are essential to every actor’s performance repertoire. Conducted in safe, slow-paced and with clearly explained parameters, this workshop develops focus and builds trust within the group, and yes, students have loads of fun learning how to throw “stage punches”, perform slapstick comedy routines and choreography both realistic and comic stage fighting scenes. Due to the physical nature of this workshop, student numbers are capped at 20 per class.

Secrets of Shakespeare

The perfect way for your students to get to know both the man and his works: this workshop provides an actor’s perspective on the writer and the writing. Using a range of drama elements and techniques, students work collaboratively on a range of activities designed to take them through the landmarks of Shakespeare’s life, exploring the contexts in which he wrote and analysing the genres in which he specialised in. Students will have fun bringing to life some of his famous (and infamous) characters along the way. This workshop is designed to assist students in character study, narrative, language and conventions, and to learn some of the hidden stage directions in his work. Led by Dr Pablo Muslera, a creative writing scholar with a PhD in Shakespeare. Minimum 2-hour workshop required.

Secrets of Poetry Performance

Poetry with performance impact! Let students transform their text into live art in this text to stage practical workshop. Learn to employ the world around you to enrich your spoken word poetry performance, as well as techniques and tricks such as enunciation, pronunciation, speed, volume, intention, breathing, posture and more to produce the most exciting and engaging performance possible. Students will gain confidence in public speaking and performance skills, as they learn to mix, mash, combine and manipulate a range of drama elements. Students can work with their own poems or choose from our range of supplied poems on the day. Led by Dr Amelia Walker, a poetry-slam professional, author of a range of poetry, and who holds a PhD in Poetry. Minimum 2-hour workshop required.

Secrets of Connecting Italian Language to Gestures

This workshop is open to Drama and Italian Language students. Using gestures from the Commedia dell’Arte and the Italian culture, students will learn basic words and phrases through connecting the language to the gesture. Whether your students are budding young actors or developing skills in speaking a second language, they will have fun using modelled and rehearsed language in both familiar and unfamiliar contexts and interact with their fellow zanni to share stories of food, life, work and feelings. A fun way to help student memorise language by connecting it to gesture.

Please note:
Cost varies depending on length of workshop, as discussed when booking / enquiring.   
Costs are for standard workshops in Adelaide metro schools. Regional schools will need to cover travel and accommodation costs if required.

Secondary school theatre workshops with Corinna Di Niro, Stage Secrets
Secondary school theatre workshops with Corinna Di Niro, Stage Secrets
Corinna Di Niro, actor, wearing Commedia dell’Arte mask

"Someone said that wisdom = knowledge + practice. This is exactly what you get when you let yourself experience one of Corinna’s workshops.”

Daniela, Lecturer of Music, SA
Corinna Di Niro, actor, wearing Commedia dell’Arte mask

“Corinna’s approach to Commedia is very refreshing. Clearly she is well-researched.” 

Ann, Teacher, Sweden
Corinna Di Niro, Adelaide, South Australia, PHD researcher, trainer, actor, director

"The series of workshops were great in developing the characters of Commedia. The students gained real insight into the history, purpose and distinctive style of the performance form and their characters. Corinna's style was relaxed but focused.

She was easily accepted by the girls who gained so much. The physical skills in character, combat, lazzi and ensemble were taught in a really accessible way. Thank you again.”

Sue Curtis, Co-ordinator - Teaching Staff, Walford Girls
Corinna Di Niro, Adelaide, South Australia, PHD researcher, trainer, actor, director

"The masterclass was tailored to our specific needs and picked up on where we were in our teaching program. Corinna quickly formed a rapport with our students, made them feel comfortable taking creative risks and building confidence in performing Commedia.

Corinna’s expert knowledge and passion for what she does is palpable and the students really fed off of that!”

Aldo Longobardi, Wilderness School
Corinna Di Niro, Adelaide, South Australia, PHD researcher, trainer, actor, director

"I attended Corinna Di Niro’s Commedia Dell ‘Arte two day Professional Development workshop for teachers early in 2019.

I found it very interesting and enjoyed learning all about the history of Commedia and the hierarchy and traits of the stock characters. I thought it would be a great drama unit to do with my year 6/7 students.

I arranged for Corinna to come to my school and do a workshop with them to get us started. My students loved it! Corinna’s expertise and passion for Commedia was evident and it certainly rubbed off on my students.

They are loving exploring the characters and creating their own lazzi - and are so keen, they are busily practising in their own time to perform for the whole school! Thanks Corinna!

Alison McGill, Performing Arts Teacher - Keithcot Farm Primary School