Commedia Troupe

Commedia Troupe

commedia troupe performing outdoors
high school commedia dell'arte actor on stage in colonial williamsburg
commedia actors by the river
high school drama camp for commedia dell'arte
acting camp for physical theater
il capitano - high school actor in commedia dell'arte mask - traveling players - physical theater camp
perform in a slapstick comedy at this drama camp
high school actors in mask
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Go back to the roots of wandering performers with this five week summer acting camp like no other! Combining outrageous physical comedy, improvisation, group playwriting, and an intense performance tour where every show is different, all in the majesty of the great outdoors, the Commedia Troupe is a truly unique summer theatre experience. 

By audition only. For current 8th – 12th graders

  • Camp Session: July 22 – August 23
  • On Tour: August 15 – 23

Commedia Troupe is all about Commedia dell’Arte! Originating in the Italian Renaissance, Commedia 

Commedia dell’Arte is the style of improvised theatre that pioneered many theatrical conventions that we now take for granted: slapstick comedy, professional actors, and (startlingly enough) women playing the female roles! 

Originating during the Italian Renaissance, Commedia dominated the European theatre scene for more than two centuries and inspired everyone from Shakespeare to the Simpsons. Masked and unmasked actors play stock characters with improvised dialogue in a wild and hilarious slapstick comedy!

Create an original play in four weeks, using the masks, characters, and techniques of Commedia dell’Arte! Combining outrageous physical comedy, improvisation, group playwriting, and an intense performance tour where every show is different, the Commedia Troupe is a truly unique summer theatre experience. 

This summer, the Commedia Troupe will perform an original adaptation of Rumpelstiltskinbased on the classic fairytale.

Take the show on tour!

After four weeks of rehearsing and creating, you’ll pack up your purple bus and hit the road for a nine-day tour through Virginia, performing at the Lime Kiln Amphitheater and other beautiful outdoor sites. Along the way, you’ll go camping, swimming, and exploring. All this plus returning for a final performance festival for family and friends!

Director Toby Mulford draws on over ten years of study and practice to introduce young performers to the ancient form of Commedia dell’Arte, and to turn them into a supportive ensemble that can take on any challenge.

Traveling Players summer camps and classes always offer expert training in acting, character creation, physical comedy, stage combat, improvisation, and text analysis. A typical day at camp isn’t just about rehearsal! Our talented faculty teach daily classes in subjects that help round out the campers as actors and as students.  

We also value the spirit of the ensemble. Our ensemble- and team-building adventures create a strong, supportive cast and friendships that will last a lifetime. We teach leave no trace camping, go on ropes courses, and camp out every Thursday night.

Traveling Players Ensemble has become such a fundamental institution in my life.  The camp…touched my life beyond the limits of simply performance to benefit me in my academic [and my] literary abilities.

Scholarship Camper, 2006 – 2009

Associate Artistic Director Toby Mulford talks about Commedia Troupe