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  • Locations: Calabria, Italy
  • Program Terms: Summer
  • This program is currently not accepting applications.
Dates / Deadlines:

There are currently no active application cycles for this program.
Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language of Instruction: English Minimum GPA: 2.0
Area of Study: Theatre/Performance Program Type: WCU Faculty/Staff-Led Program Abroad
Available to Non-WCU Students?: Yes Faculty/Staff Director: John Bellomo
College: Visual & Performing Arts
Program Description:
Students will travel to Italy, to learn the 500 year old traditions of the Commedia dell’Arte along with traditional Italian puppetry, stage combat, and Ancient Greek theatre. They will work with international theatre artists in the creation of an original play based on a classical commedia dell’arte scenario written in 1600’s.  Beyond the study of this material, students will be learning and performing in the country where these techniques originated, living and creating theatre as the actors of the Italian Renaissance did 500 years ago, giving participants a truly immersive experience.
Copanello, Calabria, Italy.
Students will be staying at a communal living Italian Villa on the Ionian coast of Italy, with a mere 5 minute walk to the sea. Rooms can accommodate 1, 2, or 3 students. Two meals per day will be included on instructional days. Students will have access to the kitchen to prepare a third meal.

All instruction for this program will be conducted in English, but students who wish to practice their Italian can do so with the native Italian speaking instructors. No prior knowledge of Italian is required for participation in this program.
This program is primarily a non-credit experience, however students can earn 3 credits by registering for THA 410 Behind the Mask: Revelations of Italian Culture Through Renaissance Theatre Practices (3 credits) through the Department Theatre and Dance at WCUPA if they would like academic credit for the experience. Classes will be taught in Commedia dell'Arte, Italian Puppetry, Ancient Greek Theatre, and Stage Combat. THA 410 fulfills the Foreign Language Italian Culture Cluster gen ed requirement.
  • Day trip to the Archeological Park of Scolacium - The park houses the 12th Century Byzantine Basilica of Santa Maria in Roccelletta, the ruins of an ancient Greek/Roman town (complete with an amphitheater, theatre and forum), as well as a small archaeological museum with its pottery, artwork and photos of Scolacium’s war-stained past.
  • Day trip Pizzo and the Tyrrhenian Coast.
  • Day trips to several neighboring towns and villages such as Catanzaro Lido, the castle at Squillace, Soverato, among others.
Examples of possible excursions available to students (but not included in the cost of the program):
  • 2 nights in Rome
  • Weekend trip to Sicily to see a Greek play in the Ancient Greek Theatre of Syracuse, visit the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the mosaics at the Roman Villa in Piazza Armerina, and the ruins of Morgantina.
All participants will pay a program fee of $4,295 to participate on this program.  This program fee covers all housing accommodations for the duration of the trip, two meals per day on instructional days at the Academy, lodging, transportation to from train station in Italy, all workshops, performances, and excursions. In addition, all students will be billed the non-refundable $100 WCU Study Abroad application fee upon applying for the program and will be required to purchase the mandatory WCU international insurance prior to departure.  If students opt to participate in this program for academic credit, they will also be billed the regular WCU tuition rates for the 3 credit hour course.

Not included in the program fees listed above are the round-trip airfare from the USA to Rome, Italy, train tickets from Rome to Lamezia Terme, Calabria (approximately $150), and personal expenses such as groceries, eating out, museum admission, gelato, etc. (Lamezia Terme also has an airport if students would prefer to make a connecting flight).  Also not included in the program fees are costs related to COVID-19 testing, vaccination, and/or quarantine (if required at the time of travel).

For additional information, view the OMBELICO Mask Academy video.

John Bellomo, Assistant Professor
Department of Theatre and Dance

This program is currently not accepting applications.