Florence Faculty: Commedia Dell'Arte

Commedia dell'Arte

Jim Calder
Jim Calder is the head of Movement at Tisch in the Graduate Acting department. Winner of the David Payne Carter Excellence in Teaching Award - Tisch School of the Arts and Artistic Director of La Pietra Summer Theatre Festival – Florence, Italy, Jim has directed works in New York City at Lincoln Center Institute, Pearl Theatre, and Classic Stage Company, with workshop presentations at The Public, New York Theater Workshop and HERE. Jim has been a movement consultant on Pericles at Berkeley Rep, (Director: Mark Wing-Davey), Passion Play by Sarah Ruhl (Director: Mark Wing-Davey) and Therese Raquin, starring Keira Knightley, (Director: Evan Cabnet) on Broadway. Jim has performed at The Old Globe, P.S. 122, and throughout Europe with Teatro De La Grappe. He was the lead actor and creative consultant in PBS’s Noddy and Friends TV. Jim trained at Ecole Jacques and performed under the direction of Jacques LeCoq in numerous TV specials in France.

Jacob Oleson
Dual Danish/Swedish national Jacob Olesen has been acting in Italy and abroad for more than 30 years with the Donati & Olesen Company, in which he is actor, author, musician, and often director.

His lengthy, distinguished artistic career began at The Commedia School in Sweden and continued in Paris at the L’École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq. Later, in Rome, he also acquired a teacher’s diploma in the Feldenkrais Method.

In 1981, he founded the Donati & Olesen Company, for which he produced 20 different shows with artists Giorgio Donati, Ted Keijser, Giovanni Calò and Iaon Gunn. The most successful productions, including Buona notte brivido and Three Men in a Boat, have been performed over 2,500 times in Italy and abroad.

In 2007, he began creating his own productions in parallel with the company work. The first was My Name is Bohumil, followed by Oibò sono morto, for which he was awarded the Teatro del Sacro prize in 2009. In 2014, produced by Enrico Carretta, he created with Giovanni Calò the monologue Primo, taken from Primo Levi’s If This is a Man, which he is presently touring and presenting in national and international festivals.

With six languages at his command – Italian, English, French, German, Danish and Swedish – he has been able to perform throughout Europe and in North Africa, South America and Asia. He has appeared in many short and feature-length films and worked on numerous radio and television programs as well.

He teaches acting, stage presence, Commedia dell’Arte and clowning both in Italy and abroad. Since 2011, with Jim Calder, he has collaborated with New York University in Florence, teaching, creating Commedia dell’Arte performances, and helping to stage productions with professional actors, graduates of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.More information about the summer program Commedia dell'Arte.