Shakespeare’s Heartbeat: From the de-dum to the stage
med Paola Balbi

Søknadsfrist   Løpende
Dato 27. mar – 28. mar
Pris 1100/950 kr
Tid 10:00 - 16:00

Om Workshop

Kursbeskrivelsen er på engelsk, da kursets arbeidsspråk er engelsk.

With excitement, and in collaboration with The Norwegian Storytelling Festival, we welcome the highly acclaimed Shakespeare actress and professional storyteller Paola Balbi (IT).

How to become a true accomplished Shakespearian actor/actress? This workshop aims to open the door and set participants on the path to start their Shakespeare practice in its original language with awareness, technique, clarity and creativity.

How can Shakespeare still make our hearts beat faster after 500 years?

The answer is that he found the secret to keep his heart beating even after his physical death, through the voice and body of each actor/actress who speak his lines, especially when they are performed in their original rhythm and language.

Shakespeare’s own words are like a spell that can transport both actors and audience to another magic dimension across space and time,once the performer manages to tune his/her heartbeat to the «blank verse».

All exciting and true, but how can contemporary actors face the challenge and overcome the barrier of the Bard’s apparently obscure and obsolete language and difficult metre?

There is only one way in and this is to experience it with no fear: drumming, breathing, dancing and singing the lines with commitment and joy until Shakespeare’s words run through your veins, flow out «trippingly on the tongue» (quote from Hamlet), make you fly until you are able to «cut him out in little stars, And he will make the face of heaven so fine. That all the world will be in love with night» (quote from Romeo and Juliet).

The programme will address the following topics:
– Experiential study of Shakespeare metre (Iambic pentameter and      variations. How to scan a Shakespeare verse line, how to develop an ear for blank verse). The study of Shakespeare’s poetry will be approached through a practical acting method, rather than a scholarly theoretical approach
– How to tune the metre with breath
– How to speak the verse lines tuning the breath to the metre and carrying forward the meaning
– How to understand Shakespeare’s stage directions embedded in the text
– Shakespeare’s world (how to unlock Shakespeare’s deeper meaning through the knowledge of his time, environment, belief)
– Who wrote Shakespeare? A look on Shakespeare’s original theatre company and ensemble work.
– Shakespeare’s figures of speech and how Shakespeare’s work itself is a powerful timeless metaphor
– How to enact a text driven Shakespeare performance, supported by sound technique to awaken strong emotions
– How to «translate» Shakespeare’s words into voice and body work.

The participants are asked to bring:
Please bring a notebook and pen. A choice of monologues and sonnets will be provided to all participants beforehand. Please bring along Shakespeare Complete Work in English, if you have it.

The participants are asked to wear:
Please wear comfortable black rehearsal clothes, character shoes or bare feet or black socks. If you have it please bring a long black rehearsal skirt.

Working language
Working language is English and fluent English is required. We will work on Shakespeare original texts. No experience of «Shakespeare English/ Middle English» is required. We will learn how to unravel it during the workshop.

Quotes from previous participants to Balbi’s Shakespeare’s workshops and press:

Paola’s Shakespeare course didn’t only orientate my career, but changed my life – Italian drama student, now established actor

I knew that you were a very good storyteller, but your knowledge of Shakespeare is outstanding – British workshop participant

Her Shakespeare clearly sounds divine – The Stage, Theatre Press, UK

I haven’t decided yet whether I like Shakespeare, but I surely love your classes! – Italian drama student


Deltagere på dette kurset får anledning til å kjøpe billett til forestillingen David og Batseba søndag 26. mars til studentpris.


Paola Balbi: Actress, storyteller, artistic director and Drama school professor. Paola is a graduated actress with BA in Performing Art from National Academy of Dramatic Art Silvio D’Amico in Rome (Italian State Drama School,, as well as a worldwide renowned professional performing Storyteller and artistic director of Storytelling events and Festivals. She lives between Dubai and Rome and often on tours around the world with her shows and workshops.

After her acting degree in Italy she lived in the UK for three years where she specialised in Shakespeare acting (The Actor’s Centre, London) and had the chance to develop her skills under the guide of Shakespearian legends such as John Burton, Julian Glover and Susanna York.

Paola has completed all steps of the Linklater voice training (from Freeing the Natural voice to Advanced Shakespeare studying with Kristin Linklater herself in New York and London and has a complete mastery of her voice and body instrument on the stage.

Her roles include: Helena in Midsummer’s Night Dream, Isabella in Measure for Measure, Calpurnia in Julius Ceasar, Nicia in The Mandrake, Ophelia in Hamlet, Isabel in Holy Day.

In 2003 she won the “GAI acting award” (award for young Italian talents working abroad) with her project “Me, will and fairer sex” about Shakespeare and Storytelling and her performance was sponsored to feature at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2004.

She has been a Professor at “Link Academy- University of Malta” (Rome Branch) from 2005 to 2015 teaching “Shakespeare Versification and Acting” and directing each year two immersive Shakespeare performances with her students. She has been thesis advisor/supervisor of 17 thesis about different aspects of Shakespeare’s theatre and acting.

With colleagues Ryan Ellesworth, Teo Ghil and Tim Treloar she designed, ran and conducted Shakespeare’s workshops for young international actors in London from 2008 to 2015 and directed «R&J», a goth production of «Romeo and Juliet» performed both in London and Rome.

In 2013 she premiered «Agerona» the secret name of Rome, an experimental production mixing Shakespeare’s theatre and storytelling based on Shakespeare’s long poem «The Rape of Lucrece» where she features together with British storyteller Michael Harvey.

While successfully taking forward her professional acting career with classical roles, in 2001 Paola discovered another stage passion: oral Storytelling. She trained to become an accomplished performing Storyteller both in the UK (at Credo Storytelling Trust and Beyond the Border Festival) and in Canada (at Storytellers of Canada/ Conteurs du Canada).

She has been a pioneer of the Storytelling Revival in Italy, where she founded Raccontamiunastoria Storytelling Company in 2004, now become the most established Storytelling Company in Italy and one of the most acclaimed in Europe. Raccontamiunastoria was accepted as an official member of FEST- Federation for European Storytelling ( in 2007 and Paola sat on the board of FEST from 2010 to 2013, organizing FEST Conference in Rome in 2013.

As a performing storyteller, artistic director and Festival organizer Paola shares her career with long standing partner Davide Bardi and together they feature on a regular base in the line-up of the most prestigious International Storytelling Festival. Raccontamiunastoria opened a branch in Dubai in 2016.


Åpent for profesjonelle skuespillere, dvs. med godkjent treårig utdanning på høyskolenivå i utøvende skuespillerkunst, eller tilsvarende profesjonell skuespillererfaring.

Studenter fra og med andre år på bachelor kan også søke.


Norsk Skuespillersenter, Welhavens gate 1, 0166 Oslo


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Søknadsfrist   Løpende
Dato 27. mar – 28. mar
Pris 1100/950 kr
Tid 10:00 - 16:00