Tertiary School Workshops

Learn the secrets of the stage with Dr Corinna Di Niro...

Tertiary school theatre workshops with Corinna Di Niro, Stage Secrets

Take your Commedia dell'Arte and Physical Theatre training to a whole new level! Designed especially for TAFE / University students, these intensives are just that - INTENSE!

You'll dive deep into the world of Commedia dell'Arte, be physically active for the majority of the session and leave having created your own Commedia dell'Arte character and scene!

If you're looking to hone your skills in this ancient yet modern craft then look no further!

  • Commedia dell'Arte
  • Mask
  • Slapstick
  • Comic duo
  • Stage combat
  • Character development
  • Improvisation and devising
  • ...plus more

All materials provided!

3 hour Workshop $500 AUD
Full Day Workshop (up to 6 hours) $800 AUD

Secrets of Clown

Bouffon is an ancient performance tradition that has been used across cultures for centuries – a style of ‘grotesque satire’ in which outcasts mock their oppressors. The mockery is designed to charm the audience while ruthlessly targeting and exposing the hypocrisy and injustices in the culture at large. Students will explore the basic principles of playfulness and Le Jeu (the game), complicity and ensemble work, body masks and the power of disguise, creating connection with the audience, the techniques of parody and devising Bouffon for contemporary theatre.

Secrets of Mask

Masks can be tricky creatures with a mind of their own! Sometimes disruptive, sometimes unruly and unpredictable, nearly always endearing, magical and adorable; masks require a delicate level of understanding and careful handling in order to get the best out of them and maximise their potential.

Designed for those who seek to expand and deepen their creativity through full-mask performance techniques. This workshop is based on the Jacques Lecoq pedagogy where students will receive training in physical based acting and mask work. Students will discover complicity through play and investigation of the almost caricatured form of the masks. Using dynamism of the masks there will be opportunities for creating characters and stories through movement and mime to bring the masks to life. Class is capped at 20 participants.

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 dive deep into the world of Commedia dell’Arte, be physically active for the majority of the session and leave having a thorough knowledge of the fixed points, theatrical elements and techniques of this powerful genre. Drawing of Corinna’s long history of training, performance and knowledge, this workshop will dispel myths and showcase Commedia dell’Arte as it is meant to be – performed with relevance to diverse and contemporary contexts.

Secrets of Physical Theatre

Working off the ideas of Meyerhold and incorporating Laban techniques, this workshop is all about body and space awareness. This workshop is aim to broaden students’ dramatic vocabulary for the stage. 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 develop and refine their expressive capacity of voice and movement to communicate ideas, communicate meaning in innovative and non-traditional ways, and create work using hybrid dramatic forms.

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.

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.

Secrets of the Bloodbath – Opera Regia

Led by resident Commedia dell’Arte expert, Dr Corinna Di Niro, this workshop unpacks one of the lesser-known styles – the Opera Regia; a comic-tragedy where Kings and Queens plot revenge and the palace ends in a bloodbath. Game of Throws has distinct origins here. Students will learn new characters and explore the more psychological aspects of them. Students will then be taking through a range of slapstick and stage-fighting techniques and learn how to apply these skills with the Opera Regia bloodbath, and will create their own bloodbath for their peers to enjoy. Please note: this workshop involves the use of fruit, vegetables, meet, dairy and other food product, and is a very messy workshop. Where possible, the workshop should take place outside on grass or in a venue where drop sheets can be laid for easy cleaning. Due to the physical nature of this workshop, student numbers are capped at 20 per class. An extra $5 per student will be charged to cover costs of food for training purposes, or students will need to bring in their own. Please discuss this with Corinna when booking.

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.

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