In Bocca al Lupo! A theatre course

Actors from Pennsylvania, California, and Australia, all students at Lingua Si, are a part of In Bocca al Lupo, a theatre course in which they use their Italian language skills in a unique and fun way. This Friday and Saturday, the students present two performances of a play they have themselves created, in Italian, and using the techniques, characters, and traditional forms of commedia dell’arte, the popular, semi-improvised form of theatre that first gained its name in Florence during the early Renaissance..

The students arrived on July 6 for a thirty hour, intensive week of classes in the Italian language at Lingua Si. During that first week, each six hour day of language course was immediately followed by two more hours of instruction with Angelo Crotti. Crotti, a teacher and performer who specializes in commedia dell’’arte, is based in Montpellier, France, and conducts classes and delights audiences worldwide with his interpretations of Arlecchino.

During the second week, the students began classes at Teatro Boni in Acquapendente where they continued to study commedia with Andrea Brugnera (who also teaches and performs throughout the world) and with Jeff Wills and Heather Stuart of Zuppa del Giorno, a troupe of actors who create contemporary, American-style commedia dell’arte for Electric Theatre Company in Scranton, Pennsylvaia.

The name of the course, In Bocca al Lupo, is taken from the phrase Italian actors use to wish one another good luck. Course director David Zarko describes it as an exercise in theatrical courage. “When actors say ‘in bocca al lupo’ to one another, they are saying ‘go ahead, put your ego in danger, that’’s the only way that theatre can be really exciting’. Facing that danger with joy is what we’re asking our students to do; the experience makes them stronger artists and more resiliant human beings.”

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