PadovArts Academy

International School of Performing Arts


What is it?

The beating heart of PadovArts Center,  PadovArts Academy is a performance-based international training center born from the collaboration between The School for Theatre Creators by Paola Coletto based in Los Angeles and Barabao Teatro, a professional touring company based in Padova.

Read more

At the Academy, play and exploration are combined with a rigorous physical program with the body and gesture placed at the centre of the creative process.

In addition, thanks to the collaboration with Barabao Teatro, students will benefit from the practical experience of creating, producing and performing while led by the expertise that the company brings through their mentorship.

Paola Coletto, pedagogical director of the Academy, is one of only forty students in the world who 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. The creative side of each personality is carefully hatched throughout the journey.

Read more

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

We train student’s bodies to be flexible, strong and precise, not simply as a physical preparation, but more importantly, for the development of their bodies as a poetic and creative tools.

At the Academy we see students as multi-disciplinary athletes on the field of creation, each with an equal need for consistent training of their tools –body and mind– in order to become high level individual players who are also integral members of the ensemble. 

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


“After 25 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.”…Paola Coletto




February 15th – May 8th 2023

Term A - Clown and Comedy

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, Grotesque characters, rooted in the world of the Bouffons, allow for nuanced and grounded performances in this grand theatrical style.




May 17th – August 7th 2023

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 and the 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 mold (plaster), completion of the mask in papier-mâché.


August 16th – Nov. 6th 2023

Term C - Buffoons and Grotesque

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