Carlo Altomare is a director, producer, composer, and actor. In 2005, he co-founded Theaterlab just across 14th Street from The Alchemical's current location. He was Co-Artistic Director of Theaterlab for 7 years. He is also founder and presiding Director of ATL’s resident acting company, The Alchemical Theatre Company (1981-) which presented the world premiere (1982) of There Is No More Firmament by Antonin Artaud, and devised an original piece, Pure War / The Madness of the Day based on the writing of Paul Virilio and Maurice Blanchot, last revived in December 2011.
Mr. Altomare was a member of The Living Theatre from 1973-1980, devising and acting in the plays of The Legacy of Cain Cycle, and composing music for The Dismantling of The Money Tower and Prometheus. He returned to the LT in the late 80’s to compose and perform the music for The Tablets and I and I, and again in 2011 to stage Korach, the Biblical Anarchist, as assistant director to Judith Malina. He regards Malina and Julian Beck (founders of The Living Theatre) as his teachers and mentors.
He is an expert in the reconstruction of Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, a rigorous acting technique, in which the inner life of the character is evoked through physical means. He has developed an extended form of this study, which he calls Jazz Acting, which combines techniques of “non-fictional” acting with more traditional methods of naturalism. In 2006, Carlo directed the first Jazz Acting performance piece: Appearance – A Suspense in Being. He currently teaches Meyerhold’s Biomechanics and Jazz Acting at The Alchemical Theatre Laboratory.
He has taught and lectured around the world in universities including The Sorbonne, The Max Rhienhardt Schule in Berlin, and DAMU in Czech Republic. One of his featured workshops was calledDirect Action Workshop in which the participants created a piece in one week and performed it on the street. He taught over 50 Direct Action Workshops. The objective was also to teach collective creation and for the group to create a piece guided by an agreement in answer to, “What is the burning question of our times?”
His primary objective as a theatre educator and director is to bring the art of acting to the forefront as the centerpiece, and catalyst, of a revitalized contemporary theatre.
Gia Lisa Krahne
Gia Lisa Krahne is a teacher, writer, activist, dancer, and actress. In 2011, she joined Artistic Director Carlo Altomare in re-establishing The Alchemical Theatre (1981-). Their first collaborative effort, Pure War / The Madness of the Day, part I of the trilogy Deus X Machina, was performed by the resident company of actors in December 2011.
Gia performs, teaches, and creates with relentless devotion and attention- bridging her yogic practices with her life as an artist and teacher. She is a productive poet and writer, as well as an accomplished theatre dancer, specializing in the repertoire of Bob Fosse. A former company member of General Mischief Dance Theatre. She received her BA in psychology & English from NYU, honors in classical voice & piano from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, with further medical studies at Columbia University, actors training at The New Actors Workshop, and yogic studies at Sambhava School of Yoga (SLC). Gia also spent some intermittent years working in neuroscience at NYU Medical Center.
In recent years, she acted with The Living Theatre in Korach and Seven Meditations on Political Sado-Masochism. In 2010, she presented her solo dance piece, The Radiance, inspired by the tantric sutras, in collaboration with kirtan artist Leraine Horstmanshoff in Salt Lake City. She has been teaching piano, singing, and acting to children and adults for 20 years. Much of her ritual of study is devoted to teaching and practicing meditation, yoga, healing, tantra, and the vedic sciences, in which she finds a deep confluence with her theatrical vision.