Claudia Contin Arlecchino

Director and Actress


Known and loved in the whole world as Arlecchino, she is actually the first woman who has exclusively played, since 1987, the male role of one of the most famous masks of the italian commedia dell’arte. After attending Alessandra Galante Garrone’s school in Bologna and the Teatro a l’Avogaria workshop, she founded, together with Ferruccio Merisi, the Scuola Sperimentale dell’Attore in 1990 in Pordenone, where she has the fundamental role of Director of Didactical Programmes. She received the Prize ‘Adelaide Ristori 2005’ as ‘Best Contemporary Actress’; in fact she also engages in contemporary and experimental drama, besides commedia dell’arte. She wrote theatre plays and theoretical essays, translated in four languages. Together with Ferruccio Merisi she gained a sense for the didactic codification and transmission of theatrical “know how”. This has made her a loved and renowned “maestro”. As a support to the actor’s craft, she parctices the figuratives arts, as a painter, a graphic-performer and a stage designer. She trained at the Istituto d’Arte in Udine and she graduated in Architecture in Venice, where she has held personal exhibitions since 1974. This activity has strongly influenced her way of re-designing the actor’s stage language. In this respect, her most prominent experiment is the study on postures and movements extracted by Egon Schiele’s works, which has lead her to many collaborations with musicians, figurative artists and intellectuals. For the Scuola Sperimentale dell’Attore, she directs the Progetto Sciamano, devoted to Theatre of Differences and to Social Theatre. As a writer, collaborator and actress in many performances of her Company, her repertoire is rich with her solo plays, some of which are already 20 years old.