2016 Classes


(Introductory Classes, Sept 16 – Oct 23)


Taught by Carlo Altomare



Objective Acting
The goal of this work is to introduce theatre artists to a vision of the stage where the actor is a primary creative force, capable of composing in real time for an audience.



Meyerhold's movement study for actors: Stringing The Bow


Surrender to Public Scrutiny

The presence of the actor and the complex art of address


Jazz Acting

Micro-narrative performance studies
A new form of non-fictional acting


Scene Study

Working with text, Naturalism and Objective Acting



Enrollment questions: classes@thealchemical.com

These classes are dedicated to the understanding of real-time action as the basis of acting, invoking the inner life of the character through physical means, and the exploration of chance operation in the art of acting. The classes will help you discover how physical action connects to the conscious and unconscious mind, and how that experience creates a new vocabulary for the actor of both surrender and deliberate expression. Like the alchemist, the actor separates and identifies the aspects of subjective and objective experience, and recombines them to bring both actor and audience into the immediate moment. 


“A new and meaningful theatre in our time 

begins with re-imagining the art of the actor.”


Carlo Altomare is a director, producer, and actor. In 2005, he co-founded Theaterlab in the previous location of The Alchemical Theatre Laboratory. He was Co-Artistic Director of Theaterlab for 7 years, until the space's 2012 name change.


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.


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 called DIrect 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.