Introducing THE COMMEDIA SCHOOL in
Copenhagen, Denmark, (www.commediaschool.com)
where intercultural dialogue has been going on since 1978.
The Commedia School is an international theatre school where students
from many countries come each year to develop themselves into
professional theatre artists during a two-year course of study. Being a
private school, it would fit into the classification of an "Informal
Education Space." The primary purpose of students coming here is to
become professional performers. However, because they come from many
countries within the EU and from outside, they are immersed in
intercultural dialogue while going through an intense period of learning
with and from each other. The Commedia School itself promotes and
encourages ICD through teaching as well as in the daily routine of the
school. The teaching staff are also from different countries.
Diversity and dialogue are important political and social concepts but
also a vibrant source of European theatre and its development. After the
two years of hands on experience in intercultural dialogue, the students
are well trained in this area. The intercultural skills and competence
developed at The Commedia School continue to serve them as they have
contacts in many countries and continue to cooperate on multi-cultural
projects. From a theatrical point of view, this diversity enhances their
creative potential and performances. They also are capable of performing
for audiences of various cultural backgrounds and in many languages.
Although the main working language is English, we support and encourage
the principle of multilingualism, including of course body language.
Performance material is developed in each of the languages.
The Students leave the school with profound experience in intercultural
dialogue and create larger, sustainable, cross-cultural networks. They
can move with ease on the European stages with contacts and close
friendships in many countries. These networks are not only within the
EU. Graduates of The Commedia School are often engaged in social and
cultural projects in Africa, Asia, and South America. They are often
found doing "comic relief" in places hit by natural disasters or social
conflicts. The power of laughter is uniting, and a founding principle of
The Commedia School is that: If people are laughing together, they can't
Many graduates go on to become teachers themselves and expand the
network of intercultural dialogue. Future educators are trained here.
The Commedia School also produces courses for teachers in using theatre
in education (TIE). These courses are given in schools, institutions,
and teacher training programs in many countries. The heart of the
theatre process, this playing together, gives the participants a broader
and deeper understanding of each other. The players, children or adults,
while playing theatre, are doing something together and in this process
they come to understand each other and themselves on other levels than
just intellectual. By interacting physically and responding to one
another intuitively they come to understand and appreciate others'
unique way of playing. They profoundly realize diversity as an asset.