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Commedia Dell'arte is a blend of improv, mask work, and historical theatre and Chimera Theatre is bringing in an instructor from Vancouver to teach Kamloops performers this exciting acting style!

Taught by Susan Bertoia, a Vancouver-based theatre artist who has studied Commedia Dell'arte in Italy and California, this six-hour workshop will introduce you to the world of masks and stock characters. Commedia has influenced our modern clowns from Charlie Chaplin to the Three Stooges to Sitcoms and Stand-up comedians. In this workshop we engage fully our body and voice finding connections to mask, scenario and physical lazzi. Performers will have a chance to learn with masks, create characters, and the workshop will conclude with a short performance. Be prepared to move in this exciting, demanding and invigorating workshop for anyone who relies on their creative intuition to play!


This is a hands-on workshop is suitable for beginners, no previous experience is required. The workshop is open to those aged 15 and up and costs $80 per participant.


We have a special deal this season for members of the Chimera Theatre Society! Purchasing a membership with a donation totally $25 or more will earn you a Snake Membership which will entitle you to a 10% discount off ALL the Chimera Theatre workshops and classes for the season! Check out our Membership Page for more information.


To register and find out about our payment options, email our Education Coordinator Melissa Thomas at Space is limited, we recommend registering as soon as possible to secure your spot in the workshop.


More on Commedia Dell'arte


Commedia was a theatre genre that emerged in Italy at the end of the Renaissance. It flourished as the popular entertainment of its time with its stylized personages becoming famous across Europe. The Stock Commedia characters, mainly masked can be categorized into:  Masters, Servants, Capitano and the Lovers.


Workshop Schedule


Morning: Masks and More

We will begin with several physical exercises and warm-ups working towards the fundamentals of mask technique, and PRISM. We then focus on the history and background of Commedia and physicalize the stock characters and their mask. I will have handouts, on the characters and other info on commedia, for those that wish them.


Afternoon: Character and Lazzi

Quick review of the characters - through rhythm of walks, posture and wants “gimme’s” ect.   We will look at entrances/exits and stage positions. We will improvise solo, duo and group lazzi based on tried and true guides. (Lazzi- physical stage business; slapstick kinda stuff!) My hope is that we can either string together a few lazzi or prepare a short scenario to perform at the end of the class. Lunch and breaks will be inserted when needed!!





About Susan Bertoia


Susan Bertoia is a Vancouver based professional theatre artist/devisor, actor, director and teacher. Her work explores poetic and pedestrian moments while her artistic leadership has been described as engaging, encouraging and disarming.

Skills/Training: BFA Theatre UBC; Advanced Commedia Studies (Il Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Italy and Dell’Arte School of Physical Theatre, California); Leather Mask Making (D.Sartori -Italy); Circus Skills -CIRQUE POULE; Movement/Theatre Creation (Martha Ross – The Big Idea; Neutral Mask: Jeremy James;  One Yellow  Rabbit- Summer Lab, Calgary); Puppetry.

Artistic Director: BellaLuna Productions (

Teaching: Adjunct Theatre Professor@UBC; Workshop Leader Lower Mainland; ABCDE Workshop Leader; Theatre-Artist-in-Residence (Schools). Speech Arts Adjudicator (throughout BC).

Acting: Arts Club Theatre; Western Canada Theatre; Richmond Gateway Theatre; Pi Theatre and Boca Del Lupo. Accolades: Jessie Richardson Award (Best Performance); Gordon Armstrong Theatre Artist Award.

Member: CAEA ; ArtStarts (AIC)



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