“The art of commedia dell’arte” at the Latvian Academy of Culture


On February 19-24, 2024, a Finnish actor, director, and pedagogue Tiia-Mari Mäkinen will run the intensive workshop “The Art of Commedia dell’Arte” for the 3rd year Acting and Directing students of the Latvian Academy of Culture. Tiia-Mari Mäkinen about the workshop: “The workshop is a physical and playful introduction into the world of Commedia dell’Arte. We will put the body and the performer in the centre of the action, and explore different qualities of movement, rhythm, precision, and character work. By being introduced to the half masks of Commedia, the participants will explore how the mask extends itself to the actors’ body, voice, and mind. At the masterclass we will explore the history, physicality, voice, motivations, and social hierarchy of the central characters known from the Commedia dell’Arte.
The students will improvise Commedia canovaccios (basic texts) and create their own scenarios.

Tiia-Mari Mäkinen is a Finnish theatre professional with a wide experience of movement & mask theatre. She has got a degree in pedagogy at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki, Finland, and has been trained in Commedia dell’Arte at Scuola Internazional dell’Attore Comico diretta di Antonio Fava, Reggio Emilia, Italy, and in Lecoq pedagogy at École Internationale de Théâtre Lassaâd, Brussels, Belgium. During the past decade Tiia has been working as a director, actress and teacher at various places around the world, such as Tampere University (FIN), Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company (UK), Shanghai Theatre Academy (CHINA), Naropa University (CO, USA) and Chickenshed Theatre (UK).

Tiia's vision in creating theatre arises from the belief in ensemble work where the creation becomes a polyphonic symphony of different views surrounding the world. Her artistic view comes from understanding the world through gestures and movement, through body talk, without boundaries of language, culture, or time.

The workshop is possible thanks to the support of the Erasmus+ and the Latvian Academy of Culture.