Back in November 2023, my new play “CURSED: The House of Atreus” was produced at Contra Costa College under my direction. Yes, that is the institution I worked at. The play was entered to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Region …

00050: THE KENNEDY CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS Read more »

I must start by saying I do not like jukebox musicals very much. I have many reasons why I don’t like them, but mainly because they seem to be created with little originality, following a simple, uncomplicated, and very predictable …

00049: MJ MUSICAL Read more »

I recently attended the Broadway Bound production of THE WIZ, and let me tell you it was a spiritual experience to say the least. The Wiz was originally produced on Broadway back in 1975, and like today’s revival, it had a pre-Broadway run …

00048: THE WIZ REVIVAL 2024 Read more »

For several months now, actually more than a year, many of my fellow theatre artists, theatre colleagues and I have been discussing the, now very popular issue of the unwanted audience participation incidents.  I’m sure you know what I’m talking …

00047: UNWANTED AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION Read more »

While my show Alicia from the Real in Wonderland was being produced at Contra Costa College, the place where I worked as a full-time theatre faculty and Chair of the Drama Department, the president of the college approached me and …

00046: WINTERLAND Read more »

I did it! I finally was able to write a play based on Greek mythology: CURSED: The House of Atreus. It took me two years to write this play. One year to simmer the idea and write a first draft and one …

00045: CURSED, THE HOUSE OF ATREUS Read more »

A while ago, during a work meeting, the dean mentioned that perhaps we needed to produce a play that would cater to young people. “Sure!” Everyone said with enthusiasm as they looked at me for a more concrete answer. “I …

00044: ALICIA FROM THE REAL IN WONDERLAND Read more »

And so it came to past, after a pandemic, several setbacks, challenges, injuries, and personal matters that Moderna Suspiros finally made it to the stage.  The show only had two showings but there were beautiful, fun, exciting, and filled with …

00043: INTRODUCING MODERNA SUSPIROS Read more »

That’s right! After a six-month absence, the director and I are reuniting to make sure the production of INTRODUCING MODERNA SUSPIROS: A Fable Based on True Event… We Think takes place. Yes, it has been a long way coming and lots of …

00042: WE’RE BAAAAACK! Read more »

Wear heels they said! You will look good in heels they said! It’s easy they said! And yes, it is fun to wear heels, but if you are a person who isn’t used to wearing heels and suddenly you have …

00041: INJURIES!!! Read more »

We had a costume fitting just a couple of weeks ago. The the fitting also included shoes, of course. It has taken me a while to post about this matter because the fitting, although exciting, was also a little bit …

00040: SHOES! COSTUMES! AND MAKEUP! OH MY! Read more »

Normally, rehearsals for a play take between four to six weeks, sometimes longer depending on the complexity of the production and the company’s budget. A one-person show usually rehearses for a minimum of four weeks. However, due to the busy schedules …

00039: FIRST WEEK OF REHEARSALS Read more »

Before spending my sabbatical days in Italy learning about Commedia dell’arte, I was already working on a one-person show, also as part of my sabbatical. I spent six months writing a script and having dramaturgical meetings with a theatre director. …

00038: REVISITING THE ONE-PERSON SHOW! Read more »

One of the main objectives of my sabbatical research, is the creation of a new theatre course on Commedia dell’arte. Using the many resources I was able to find, the information I was able to collect, and the different theatre …

00037: A COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE COURSE Read more »

The following transcript is based on conversations with a closed friend who is an alumni from Dell’Arte International. Our conversations centered around her training and the benefits of it. The conversation has been edited for clarity and brevity.  –What made …

00036: DELL’ARTE ALUMNI CONVERSATION Read more »

The following conversation with Tony Fuemmeler (interim head of training programs) took place over zoom. The content has been edited for clarity and space. –What can you tell me about Physical Theatre training for the actor? In general, physical theatre …

00035: DEL’ARTE INTERVIEW Read more »

Humboldt County is located in Northern California. Within Humboldt County, a very small town (population 1200 as of 2020 census) named Blue Lake is found. This town is located on the Mad River, 6 miles northeast of Eureka, at an …

00034: DELL’ ARTE INTERNATIONAL Read more »

Welp, my trip to Italy has ended. I had the best of times; I have the worse of times. And regardless of the experiences, I am in fact, very thankful for the opportunity to spend so much time in a …

00033: ARRIVEDERCI ITALIA! Read more »

The last commedia dell’arte character on my list is commonly known as IL DOTTORE, “The Doctor.” His real name is “Il Dottore Balanzone” and he’s from Bologna. He’s part of the older generation of characters, “I Vecchi,” (The Old Ones) …

00032: IL DOTTORE DI BOLOGNA Read more »

If I ever doubted that Bergamo doesn’t recognize Arlecchino, I only need to go to Villa d’Almè. Villa d’Almè is about 30 minutes from Bergamo and is the entry point from the north (coming from Switzerland) to the first major Italian …

00031: VALLE BREMBANA; TERRA D’ARLECCHINO, PART II Read more »

As part of the Arts and Culture 2023 Festival going on between the cities of Bergamo and Brescia, one event, involving a commedia dell’arte character, is the “Arlecchino’s Cloak Project,” better known as “Il Mantello di Arlecchino,” which concentrates on …

00030: IL MANTELLO DI ARLECCHINO 2023 Read more »

I’m starting this post with a disclaimer. There is place in the Bergamo region that claims to be “Arlecchino’s House” and also “Arlecchino’s Museum.” This place is known as “Casa Museo di Arlecchino.”  The “house/museum” is located in the village …

00029: VALLE BREMBANA; TERRA DI ARLECCHINO, PART I Read more »

While Napoli embraces Pulcinella as part of its arts and culture, the entire region of Campagna also embraces the character as part of its popular pop culture. Bergamo, on the other hand, and the entire region have not made Arlecchino …

00028: ARLECCHINO AROUND TOWN Read more »

By the time I arrived in Bergamo I knew two things: 1) Arlecchino and Brighella are the two commedia dell’arte characters with roots in the city, and 2) somewhere in the city of Bergamo a statue to Arlecchino exist. What I …

00027: IL MUSEO DEL BURATTINO Read more »

While the City of Bergamo doesn’t show the same “enthusiasm” for Arlecchino as Napoli shows for Pulcinella, Bergamo still recognizes Arlecchino as part of their culture and their art. Within half a block from Bergamo Centrale train station, a statute …

00026: ARLECCHINO A BERGAMO Read more »

The city of Bergamo, in the region of Lombardy Italy, is located about 25 miles north of Milano and about 18 miles south of Switzerland. I mention its location because no other city is further north in Italy than Bergamo. …

00025: BERGAMO, LA CITTÀ DIVISO IN DUE Read more »

One of the most entertaining commedia dell’arte characters who is also less known to most people is Il Capitano (The Captain.) Like Pulcinella, Il Capitano was born in Naples, although Napoletani don’t pay homage to him the way they do …

00024: IL CAPITANO MATAMOROS Read more »

Pulcinella has always been associated with Naples. And as I mentioned in my previous post, this commedia dell’arte character is a symbol of the city and it’s embedded in the cultural fabric of the Napoletani. It is logical then, that …

00023: IL MUSEO DI PULCINELLA Read more »

I knew I was going to see a sign of Pulcinella before arriving to Naples. After all, I was aware that somewhere in the city there is a statue dedicated to this commedia dell’arte character. What I didn’t know was that …

00022: PULCINELLA A CAMPANIA Read more »

Florence is considered the city of love so it makes sense that the two commedia dell’arte characters that belong to Florence are “the innamorati” (the lovers.) And because the lovers are young, infatuated with love, and desperately wanting to be …

00021: FLORENCE & COMMEDIA Read more »

Every semester I teach one or two “Introduction to Theatre” classes. Within the class, at some point I get to talk about Italian Theatre during the Renaissance period. One aspect we discuss in class is Italian architecture, literature, and inventions …

00020: IL TEATRO OLIMPICO Read more »

One of the last plays I saw during the Carnevale was “Il carro dei comici.” This production was presented by Compagnia Pantakin da Venezia, which is the same company that presented VENEZIA MILLENARIA. This company is also responsible for the …

00019: IL CARRO DEI COMICI Read more »

Within the region of Veneto, in the province of Padova (Pauda) in Italy, there is a small town named Abano Terme. Most people know the town for its hot springs and mud baths, which is an important economic resource. I, …

00018: MUSEO MASCHERA SARTORI Read more »

The commedia dell’arte festival during the Carnevale, was an international event that also included two different countries: France and Rumania. Because I arrived during the second week of the festival, I missed the theatre presentation from Rumania, which only participated …

00017: IL TRIONFO DI ARLECCHINO Read more »

If you are a person who is tuned into Commedia dell’arte, like me, as you walk throughout the city of Venice, you will soon noticed the many signs of this 17th-18th century acting style. It is all over the place. …

00016: THE SIGNS OF COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE IN VENICE Read more »

COMMEDIA INCOMPIUTA translates to “Unfinished Comedy.” The title is a reference to the philosophy that a play isn’t complete until an audience sees it. And I, being a playwright myself, identify with such philosophy; I had written many plays that …

00015: COMMEDIA INCOMPIUTA Read more »

Carlo Goldoni was an Italian playwright born in Venice in 1707. When he was a young man, his father, a doctor, moved to Perugia and then to Remini. It was there that Carlo Goldoni studied philosophy and law, fields that …

00014: LA CASA DI CARLO GOLDONI Read more »

During my second day at the Carnevale, I attended two events: the play “Arlecchino e Il Capitano Mangabambini” (Harlequin and the Eating-children Captain) and the lecture “Il Mascheraio” (The Mask Maker.) Both events were excellent choices to witness. “Arlecchino e Il …

00013: ARLECCHINO E IL CAPITANO MANGABAMBINI & IL MASCHERAIO Read more »

The first day I saw two shows: “Il Mercante de Venezia” and “Venezia Millenaria.” In English: “The Merchant of Venice” and “Millennial Venice.” The first play is by Shakespeare but the production was adapted to the Commedia dell’arte style, including …

00012: IL MERCANTE DI VENEZIA & VENEZIA MILLENARIA Read more »

One of the main programs at the Carnevale di Venezia 2023 is the VENEZIA OVVERO L’ARTE DELLA COMMEDIA (Venice o el Arte de la Commedia.) In this program, there are ten different Commedia dell’arte plays being presented in rotation in two …

00011: L’ARTE DELLA COMMEDIA Read more »

 By the time some of you read this entry I will be at the airport. Or maybe I will be on cloud nine, or perhaps I will already be in Venice, trying to recall my rusty Italian language, one I …

00010: UP, UP AND AWAY!!! Read more »

When I first started my career in theatre, and I mean, going to school for it, I had no idea what “commedia dell’arte” was. When I first encountered it, I didn’t quite grasp its true meaning and didn’t think much …

0009: THAT’S WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT! Read more »

Besides going to Italia to investigate Commedia dell’arte matters, I also have to do two more things during my sabbatical. Both are in relation to Commedia, of course. I must create a Commedia dell’arte class to become part of our …

0008: COMMEDIA DELL’ARTE CALIFORNIA Read more »

I don’t know if you ever saw the TV show “What Not To Wear.” It was a reality series where to fashionistas ambush a person nominated by a family member. This person had its own unique fashion but in the …

0007: WHAT NOT TO WEAR Read more »

You would think that for someone who doesn’t like the cold, going to Venice at the top of February should be a big ‘no-no.’ The reality is that when I started thinking of Venice as part of my sabbatical, I …

0006: WHETHER THE WEATHER Read more »

My sabbatical trip to Italy comes with many different stops and visits to different cities and towns. To help me organize my thoughts and visualize the trip, I bought a planner. The last time I used one of these was …

0005: PREPARING THE SABBATICAL TRIP Read more »

Because this was a staged reading, no set was needed. The director, however, decided that the image of the show should be present as a visual. He also added two music stands and a box that served as a “table” …

0004: THE STAGED READING Read more »

I’ve arrived in Wooster, OH as planned. In the next two days, I will be giving a workshop on “solo performance” and preparing for the staged reading.  The artistic director of Teatro Travieso is also a full-time faculty at The …

0003: THE PLAY DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Read more »

Fall 22 has become the semester to fully work on both, my sabbatical play and the planning of my sabbatical trip. So far the one-person show has had three different re-writes, it has been read by three different theatre professionals: a …

0002: THE NEW NORMAL Read more »

I am creating this blog series as a means to document my sabbatical work, which is divided into two parts:  1: A trip to Italy in relation to Commedia dell’arte and its characters and  2: the writing of a new …

0001: THE SABBATICAL EXPERIENCE Read more »