Creative Island Malta

Workshops - Commedia dell’Arte workshop

In this workshop, participants worked as a creative ensemble under the artistic direction of Commedia dell’Arte expert Paola Cavallin, learning the main characters: Zanni, Pantalone, Arlecchino, Colombina, Doctor, Captain. Paola Cavallin from Venice, works as performer, artistic director and lecturer at universities and drama schools in Europe and the UK.

Students learnt the stance, walks and physical reactions of the characters, explored each mask through guided improvisations and worked on Canovacci (Commedia scenarios). During the last day students created a new modern Canovaccio with all the masks together on stage for a final presentation working in groups of 5 or 6.


“I enjoyed the Commedia dell’Arte workshop very much. Paola’s instructions were accurate. She conducted the workshops in a pleasant and professional way. I now understand that its so different working with a CDA mask. The different ways of posture and movement are not the same as in a traditional text based play. The eyes and voice are so important too.”

“I absolutely loved the Commedia workshop! It was extremely hard technical work, but at the same time a liberating and fun form of acting. The improvisation challenged both creativity, responsiveness and bodily awareness. At the same time mask work frees the performer from vanity as well as exposes any hesitation in the body… That fine line between technique and immediacy is very interesting and a powerful field of exploration for me as a performer. Presence was crucial and a lot was required from both actors and spectators in this workshop. Paola was an incredibly skilled teacher and a very mean little Pantalone 🙂 I look forward to more workshops from Creative Island.”

“The workshop was an experience which I will carry with me through out my acting career. Paola was inspiring and mesmerising.” 

Supported by the Malta Arts Fund