faculty and staff
Academy Director

Paola Coletto

Originally from Padua, Paola has the distinction of being one of 40 students in the 67-year history of the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq who have been certified as a pedagogical specialist under the direction of the school’s founder Jacques Lecoq.

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She holds degrees in Classical Studies and Architecture, design and textile work. She was also certified as a personal trainer and bodywork professional in massage and nutrition balance. She studied the holistic practice of art therapy in theater, painting, and sculpture and recently completed her certification as Mental Coach with a specialization in Art, Sport and Business.

Early in her professional journey, she was a successful small business owner in the sports and wellness sector, then her seasoned and diverse career has brought her from the world of sports, as a successful medal-winning athletic trainer, to coaching and consulting chief executives of American and Italian businesses.

In the arts, she has held positions in the fields of acting, producing, directing, teaching – having worked in Italy, France, England, Scotland, Spain, Poland, Israel, New Zealand and the United States, in addition to managing and founding organizations from small theatre companies to arts organizations that have supported professional training centres for artists, including her own production company that has implemented a variety of multimedia projects. In Italy she co-founded with Giovanni Fusetti and Sean Kaplan, the international theatre company and school “Kìklos Teatro”. The school was awarded the Gemini d’Oro for Best Show at the ROMA TEATRO Festival’ for Italian Theatre Schools.

In 2004, Paola relocated to Chicago, and since then, she has created a wide net of collaboration in teaching and directing, as well, partnering with many universities and various theater companies. In 2012, ready to restart a new school, she founded The School for Theatre Creators, where she led a faculty of teachers with a wide diversity of experience in acting, directing and writing. During this period, she was able to create an international training ground for artists and individuals who strive to live life to the fullest and her work is highly regarded and sought after in theater circles, with her unique programming providing opportunities for participants in both USA and Italy.

In 2018 Paola moved the school back to Padua -Italy, where it all began again…..once upon a time…!

Core Faculty

The teachers at the Academy and our collaborators divide their time between the classes they give and their commitments as working artists. 
(Faculty are listed in alphabetical order by their last name)

Ned Brauer

Ned Brauer is a performing artist and teacher. He studied theatre and film at Humboldt State, completed the yearlong Overseas Course at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art and graduated from Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris.
Ned earned a bachelors degree with high distinction in fine art from California College of the Arts in San Francisco, with a specialization in installation art. He completed the advanced year in clown at the Clown Conservatory at San Francisco Circus Center and the pedagogical year at The School for Theatre Creators. Ned has been teaching at The School since 2013. He has led workshops in various physical theatre styles at Theatricum Botanticum in Los Angeles and the School for the Art Institute in Chicago among other venues. As a performer, Ned has joined the ensembles of the Alley Theatre in Texas, Theatre Grottesco in Santa Fe, The Actors Gang in Los Angeles, Hoipolloi in England, Touchstone Theatre in Pennsylvania and others. He has worked on devised pieces, both in groups and as a solo performer, earning a Backstage West Garland award for adaptation for his one man show, Wilde Childe, based on a fairy tale by Oscar Wilde. He is a founding member of Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, where he taught playwriting to court appointed youth and is a member of the Actors Equity Association.


Davide Canever

Davide Canever, Feldenkrais practictionner, AIIMF member, operates in Venice and Padova, Italy. Born in 1970, degree in Philosophy at Cà Foscari University (Venice) with a thesis in Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, written by the consultation of Archives Husserl at Ecole Normale Supérieure of Paris. From these studies he approach Feldenkrais Method after a decennial experience in Yoga. His training has been in Milano-Venezia in 2001, with Mara Fusero and Myriam Pfeffer, one of seven first assistants of Moshe Feldenkrais in Tel Aviv. In these twenty years, in addition to the work in Awareness through Movement lessons with adults classes, he curate a project in primary school with autistic childrens and various disadvantaged youth, (see an article in AIIMF Bullettin 23/2004). He attended many post-trainings for a Feldenkrais approach for chidren and disability, with Paul Doron, Eilat Almagor, Claudia Pozzi and Marina Cacciotto. He has worked with Jerome Pisani and Josipa Stipetich in a Feldenkrais Center created for children near Venice.

Ivan Di Noia
He is founder and legal representative of BARABAO Teatro. Ivan started working as a performer at the age of 15, with the company San Girolamo, directed by Domenico Valente. He also developed his talent as an author of plays in “pugliese” (a dialect belonging to the Puglia region) He continued his career as actor and dancer with the Agency Gepratour, taking part in multiple musicals. Di Noia completed his education between 2000 and 2002 at the International school of Integrated Theatre in Rome. Within the frame of his education he also attends courses following the K. Stanislavskij method. Ivan also holds a Master in Devising Theatre and Performance from – London International School of Performing Arts. He collaborates with several schools as expert advisor for the direction of workshops. As director he curates and/or supervises theatre productions with several theatre companies. He prepares and performs lectures for young and adult audiences with city Councils and public libraries in the Veneto region.

Maestro Bao Lan

Descending from the family of the last Vietnamese emperor Bao Dai, Master Bao Lan was born in Vietnam and as a young man, he practiced martial arts in various disciplines, including Judo and Tae Kwon Do but he found his true passion in the study of Viet Vo Dao, Viet Tai Chi and Vo Co Truyen. When he relocated to Italy to attend the university of Padua, he began teaching and spreading the Viet Vo Dao discipline, almost unknown in the country. Since then, he has spread these disciplines widely throughout Italy. Faithful to his “Vo Danh” (art name), which is Kim Long (Golden Dragon), a synonym for nobility, strength and elevation, Master Bao Lan returns home every year to continue the study of Traditional Martial Arts,combat and traditional medicine. Friend of all practitioners of Martial Arts, Bao Lan often holds seminars and open workshops in all styles. His traditional approach is linked to a modern mentality that allows him to combine the Oriental spirit with scientific methods of working: this has allowed him to bring his students to high levels of preparation. He currently operates his own gym in Padua, Palestra Bao Lan, and he is also the 7th Dang International Expert; Member of the International Federation and Council of Masters of Viet Vo Dao; Technical Director of the Veneto and Lombardy regions; President of the Viet-Boxing Federation of Italy and President and Technical Director of the Federation Viet Tai Chi Italy.

Cristina Ranzato 
She is an actress and resident member of BARABAO Teatro
She started performing at the age of 8, directed by her father Mario Antonio Ranzato. Her studies included the two-years professional program at Kiklos, International School of Theatrical Creation in Padua, directed by Giovanni Fusetti and Paola Coletto. Other instructors included Renato Gatto, Bruno di Loreto Wurms, Sean Kaplan, Malachi Bagdanov, Norman Taylor, Boris Rouge, and Cyrille Bertrand. She also studied opera as coloratura soprano with Massimo Dal Checco Modoni and she is the winner of the “Gemini d’oro” award as best voice at Roma Teatro Festival 2004. Cristina holds a Master in Devising Theatre and Performance from – London International  School of Performing Arts. Cristina collaborates with several schools as expert advisor for the direction of children workshops in primary schools. She began working as a director in 2006, curating or supervising the production of theatre productions by different companies in Veneto. She prepares and performs readings from classic novels and folk tales for children, teenagers and adults in collaboration with city councils and public libraries.

Romina Ranzato
Founder and artistic director of BARABAO Teatro. Romina started performing at 9 years old with the company “La Ribalta” directed by her father Mario Antonio Ranzato. She started her education by taking part in performance workshops and theatre techniques based on Commedia dell’Arte at TAG in Venice. Her professional education was completed between 2000 and 2002 at the International school of Integrated Theatre. At the same time she studied theatre therapy at ATE (Association of European Theatre Therapists), in collaboration with La Sapienza University in Rome, graduating in 2003 as a theatre therapist. She also trained in puppetry and holds a Master in Devising Theatre and Performance from – London International School of Performing Arts.


Andrew Tardiff

Andrew J. Tardif is an actor, writer and  all around creator of silly, beautiful things. He began studying acting and theatre at a young age at The Hartford Arts Academy, then continuing to pursue his passion at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA where he received his BFA in Theatre Arts. He trained in improvisation at the Annoyance Theater in Chicago, and soon after enrolled in the two year program of The School for Theatre Creators. With a new found passion for clown and circus he then went on to train at The Actors Gymnasium in their Professional Circus Training Program, where he specialized in tumbling and partner acrobatics. While in Philadelphia, Andrew was a resident writer and performer for Off Color Theatre Company, which brought original work to Chicago, Washington DC, and Italy. He was also a cofounder of Cult(ure) of Clowns, a  clown/grotesque  company dedicated   to   original work  he cowrote and performe in: Donnie and Dana’s Underground Bunkertime Blast, Politicos and The Cult. Andrew has been an instructor for The Second City, as well as Theater Unspeakable focusing mainly on clown, acrobatics, devised work, and mask. Andrew is especially curious about the evolution of clown and mask and focuses his creative energies on his podcast, Marty’s Minute Menitations as well as his video series, Moments with Marty. 

guest faculty

           Guest faculty at the Academy, teach a wide range of coursework, providing a comprehensive training experience.
          (Faculty are listed in alfabetical order by their last name)

Roberta Bianchini

After graduating in product design at the IUAV University in Venice in 2006, and various other experiences related to university education, Roberta discovered an interest in theater making. The first important encounter was in 2009 when she began training with Barabao Teatro. She later began a study of Commedia dell’Arte with Eleonora Fuser. At the same time, she met the master mask maker, Renzo Sindoca, with whom she began a two year apprenticeship in his laboratory, learning various techniques for making leather masks. She continued her training, both as an actress and mask maker, with various teachers such as Fabrizio Paladin, Matteo Destro, Massimo Macchiavelli of Fraternal Compagnia, Marco Caldiron, Giorgio de Marchi, Ilaria Olivari, Eudald Ferrè Serra. In 2012 she also discovered clown, first with Mirco Trevisan, then with Robert Mc Near and Paul McDonald of the Teatro La Luna nel Pozzo in Ostuni; Andrè Casaca of Teatro C’Art and Ted Keijser. She is currently part of the Guida Galattica Clown project, lead by Mirco Trevisan and Mattia Sacggiante. In 2015 she also started improvising, with the Cambiscena Association. Some of the artists and companies she has collaborated with are: Barabao Teatro, Stivalaccio Teatro, Carichi Sospesi, FEBO Teatro, Pantakin, La Luna nel Pozzo, Paola Coletto, Vladimir Olsansky, Teatro C’Art, Giovanni Fusetti, Gigio Giraldo, The Munchies, Stabile Veneto Theater, Armathan Teatro, Artattiva, UILT Veneto.


Monica Burnelli

Due to her preceding professional skills in administrative and commercial areas, Monica runs the administrative office at The Academy.. She also shares the physical preparation classes with Maestro Bao Lan. She began training in martial arts eleven years ago and she is certified as an instructor 3° Dang at the Federation Viet Tai Chi Italy, under the direction of the Grand Master Bao Lan, President and Technical Director of the Federation. During her long training, Monica also had the opportunity to meet and train under the direction of GM Charles Phan Hoang, one of the leading representatives of Vietnamese Martial Arts who founded Viet Tai Chi in 1990 and who forged a new approach to introducing Martial Arts in the West. During her 2011 journey in Vietnam she had the chance to train with Master Dong Vu, one of the most highly regarded Vietnamese experts in Chi Kung, the ancient thousand years old technique of circular respiration, or “breath discipline”. Monica is a certified trainer of Viet Tai Chi by the “Italian Federation Wushu Kung Fu” an umbrella organization for all Vietnamese martial arts disciplines, recognized by Coni – Italian National Olympic Committee.

Norman Taylor

Of English origin, but of Belgian nationality, Norman began his career as a secondary school teacher in London. There he follows his first mime workshops, inspired by the work of Marcel Marceau. He later becomes a pupil of Desmond Jones. He then attends the Ecole Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in Paris in 1976. After the school in Paris, he is part of a troupe, Les Hurlus, an original theatrical and musical creation company. A few years later he returned to Jacques Lecoq’s school to attend the pedagogical year together with his fellow student Emmanuel Gallot-Lavallée. At the end of the pedagogical year, in 1982, Jacques Lecoq asked him to work as a teacher at the school, where he remained until the year 2000. After Lecoq’s death, he left the school, he held seminars of various kinds in many countries and assisted directors from the point of view of movement. In fact, his specialty is the analysis of movement, which is the basis of his method. “To know how each of us works and does things, the only way is to explore how everyone does it. A kind of: Do like everyone else and if you are different we will see”. 



During each term, students work in collaboration with professionals chosen specifically for the theatrical style of the term in question, to conceive, create and produce a final performance. Collaborators vary from term to term.

Barabao Teatro - A Movement Theatre Company

A family of actors since 1980, Barabao Teatro is an award-winning movement based theatre company, inspired by the pedagogy of Jacques Lecoq. Working in concert, with each member both actor and author,

Barabao Teatro creates original works for audiences of all ages. Not bound by a single style, Barabao explores and experiments, using improvisation and the play of the actor to drive the creative process.




David Bassuk

Currently Professor of Acting in the Conservatory of Theater Arts at Purchase College, SUNY, School of the Arts. His teaching explores the integration of transmedia storytelling, gameplay and immersive design into teaching stage directing, scriptwriting and experimental performance. Interested in a game dynamic that propels the player into the real world and yet allows them to engage in an enhanced or alternate reality. He holds an M.F.A. from Southern Methodist University. Previously, has taught at Temple University, Penn State and Arcadia University before coming to Purchase College in 2003 to serve as the Dean of Theater Arts & Film before returning to teaching full-time in 2007. He served as Artistic Director of Novel Stages Theater Company and the Arcadia Shakespeare Festival in Philadelphia as well as co-Artistic Director of Ark Theater Company in Los Angeles. Previous artistic administrative positions include positions at the National Endowment for the Arts, Lincoln Center Theater, American Place Theater, and the Pew Foundation

           More collaborations to come… 


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