Unpack the basics of 'commedia dell'arte' (Italian Mask Theatre) and get your students excited about the zany physical comedy and characters that have inspired our modern sitcoms of today. Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for this Italian traditional form and style of theatre and is eager to share with you! Have a blast moving around, engaging and learning through doing in this dynamic workshop.
Susan Bertoia is a professional theatre artist, performer, director, devisor, writer and passionate drama teacher AND mom to three amazing humans. Susan’s invigorating artistic style with specialization in physical theatre and mask performance make her a well sought-out teaching artist and performer throughout Canada. Her work explores poetic and pedestrian moments while her artistic leadership has been described as [“…engaging, encouraging and disarming”]. She is Adjunct Professor at UBC teaching acting and performance as well conducts numerous creative initiatives with schools through ArtStarts, a government funded agency. Susan facilitates many professional development workshops with the Association of BC Drama Educators and has presented papers at the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Conferences. Recently Susan was awarded the ‘Excellence in Drama Education’ through ABCDE which recognized her years of dedication and innovative work with youth. She is also the recipient of the Vancouver Jessie Richardson’s Professional Theatre Award for Outstanding Performance and The Gordon Armstrong Theatre Artist Award which recognized her creative initiatives. Susan has performed at many venues including: PuSh International Performance Festival, Arts Club Theatre, Western Canada Theatre, Firehall Theatre and Richmond Gateway Theatre. Susan also directs multi platformed shows ranging from youth engaged theatre to professional ensemble productions. Upcoming she will be creative director/writer for an original outreach film project with the Vancouver International Children’s Festival and the community of Smithers in northern BC. Most recently she wrote and directed “Juggle Me Not” a commedia outdoor show for AXIS theatre as part of BC Arts Council Pivot Grant and in 2020 was commissioned to devise an adaptation of the Ugly Duckling story for a site-specific work at Place des Arts, Coquitlam. She holds a Bachelor in Fine Arts in Theatre Acting from UBC as well has trained abroad at schools that specialize in Italian mask theatre (Ill Piccolo Teatro di Milan and Donato Sartori International Mask Workshop). She has trained in physical devised theatre with One Yellow Rabbit; Jeremy James and UK’s Frantic Assembly. More on Susan and her work at: www.susanbertoia.ca