PadovArts Academy

International School of Performing Arts


What is it?

PadovArts Academy is a performance-based international training center where play and exploration are combined with a rigorous physical program. The body and gesture are placed at the centre of this creative process.

Read more

PadovArts Academy is a collaboration between The School for Theatre Creators and Barabao Teatro, a professional touring company based in Padova. Paola Coletto, pedagogical director of the Academy, is one of only forty students in the world to have completed the pedagogical program as a teaching specialist under the Master teacher Jacques Lecoq in Paris.

The Academy is a privately-run, independent school that accepts 15-20 students per term. 

Is it for me?

At PadovArts Academy, we welcome students from diverse artistic and professional backgrounds with an interest in collaboration, creation and a desire to take risks in the pursuit of fulfilling their artistic potential.

Read more

Because of the rigorous schedule, intense physical program and unique curriculum, the experience at the Academy requires commitment and a disciplined focus.

Classes follow a precise progression while taking students through a fundamental journey of change and evolution.


“After 30 years of teaching, I am confident in saying that theatre education forces us to take a deeper look at the way we
think and feel about ourselves, our values, and ultimately, our own lives. For us at PadovArts Academy, encouraging the holistic growth of the individual as an artist is our priority. We ask our students to bravely explore the wide range
of human possibilities and to embrace the full potential of the human experience. It is to this end that
we use performance tools, which naturally attract actors and performers to our work,
but, at the same time, I want to underline that the Academy is not explicitly
only for actors, and welcomes artists of any trade.”
















TERM A - Bouffons and Grotesque

Like the “King’s fool, who, far from being a true madman, was licensed to express truth in all its forms” (J. Lecoq), the Bouffons’ job is to reveal the truth about humanity, to expose what is hidden, always exploring the big collective themes that make up the very essence of society itself: power, science, religion, economy, morality, war etc.

The body of the bouffon is not that of the human being, but a “different” body, discovered and created by the students. The creation of this bouffonesque body allows the performer complete freedom to comment on the human condition.

Out of the study of bouffons, comes the creation of the Grotesque, larger than life caricatures of figures in high society.

 While still in the world of satire, but closer to home, grottesque characters, rooted in the world of the bouffons, allow for nuanced and grounded performances in this grand theatrical style.


Term B - Masks and Characters

The history of masks and their use in ritual and performance is almost as old as humanity itself, and today they remain a powerful tool in the training of actors and performers. When the facial expressions of the performer are hidden, the focus is brought back to the body as an expressive and poetic tool.

Mask work creates a complete training for all theatre artists, laying the foundation for work on characters for all performance genres. When the mask is later removed, participants are left with an enhanced physical awareness and an array of performance tools necessary to navigate the world of theatre-play and dramatic transposition. 

This term encompasses the study of specific types of theatre masks including: Neutral Masks, Larval Masks, Primary Mask, the modern day masks of Human Comedy, half masks of Commedia dell’Arte.

Along with the study of masks, students will spend time in the workshop creating and researching forms and materials for the sculpting of one's own mask.  Participants will explore the following technical mask-making phases: modeling of the mask (clay), creation of the mould (plaster), realization of the mask in hardened, papier-mâché).

Term C - Clown and Comedy

The Red Nose is the smallest mask in the world; poetic, comical and very personal, the clown is not a character, but a "state of being”.  Letting go of all intentions, the students connect with the power of presence while exploring their individuality and unique folly.

Regardless of each participant's personal artistic journey, the study of the Red Nose Mask is fundamental. Participants experience an unforgettably profound state of freedom and authenticity in front of an audience while discovering and developing their own sense of play. 

This process leads to the discovery of an “origin clown”; the clown which resides closest to us. This crucial first encounter becomes the jumping off point for the further creation of countless clowns and comic characters.



 The Academy’s pedagogical structure rests on three foundational elements:

Professional training
while rooted in the work of Jacques Lecoq, the program incorporates other physical disciplines and artistic approaches.  

Intercultural exchange
The Academy welcomes artists from every field and cultural background. 

Real world experience
Led by Barabao Teatro, students will  work in collaboration to conceive, plan and produce original works  for public performance
(in compliance with Covid-19 safety guidelines).



Administration: Via Decorati al Valor Civile 109/D 35142 – Padova,  IT
P.I. 05090310284

Cookie Policy & Privacy Policy 

Photos by Ned Brauer – Giulia Magliulo – Regina Clarkinia – Padova in Foto –
Henry Be and on Unsplash