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 be fighting.

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.



 




 Affiliated with: Renaissance Artists & Writers Association

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