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Physical Theatre has recently received a renaissance. While Cirque du Soleil employs thousands of performers world-wide, many other organizations are enjoying unprecedented success.  There are dozens of theatres that now specialize in Physical Theatre Performance. This renaissance has created a need for training programs for the Physical Theatre performer. In 2004 Dell'Arte began the only accredited Masters of Fine Arts in Ensemble Based Physical Theatre Program in the world. The success of that program has illuminated a need for an undergraduate program.  Internationally there are a number of undergraduate training programs for the physical theatre artist but this is the only BFA in Physical Theatre in the United States. 

The B.F.A in Theatre Arts with a concentration in Physical Theatre will instruct students in a large variety of applied physical performance methods, including instruction in classic clowning, circus skills, acrobatics, mime, dance, character development, professionalism, and the creation of original material. The program will attract students from a national base interested in further exploring the intersection of clowning, theatre, activism and experimentation in performance. The structured, intensive, studio-based training will prepare them to function in the professional entertainment world.

The first three years of the program will take place on the campus of Coastal Carolina University. The final year of the program will be in residence at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy.

Accademia dell'Arte is conceived as a vibrant community of performing artists, musicians, scholars and students working within an environment dedicated to training, researching and experimenting to realize individual goals and collaborative projects.

The location of the school in Arezzo with its beautiful facilities at Villa Godiola and the proximity of a host of vibrant performing venues, from the Teatro Petrarca–a classical opera house–to the historic piazzas and churches of Tuscany, will enable students to come into close contact with professional actors, directors, musicians, technicians and numerous artists that make up the world of European theatre and performance.  The school has recently developed a 200 square metre facility in the historic centre of Arezzo, complementing the Villa Godiola, the main campus, that is a short distance from the city walls.  

Students will experience a rigorous education that takes place in an atmosphere that encourages individual expression and experimentation. This provides students with the skills and techniques that form the fundamental basis from which excellence and creativity can emerge.

The program brings together some of the most innovative approaches currently available in Europe. Rooted in the spirit of the Commedia dell'arte, the ethos of the actor-creator, the curriculum provides a high level of technical training for actors, while fully preparing them to devise and create their own performance style. It is contextualized by the ongoing study of history, aesthetics and social theory.  

The ultimate goal of the program is to launch students into the world as confident, creative and autonomous artists with a strongly developed aesthetic sensibility that unites the wonder of performance with a genuine search for human meaning. 

PLEASE NOTE: Admission is based on current University standards and an audition and interview process.  The purpose of this review/interview is to allow the faculty an opportunity to evaluate previous training, assess current skills and aptitude, gauge desire for (and ability to enter into) rigorous training and determine the department's ability to educate the student with respect to a career in the theatre.


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