Commedia dell’Plague - an international Zoom show featuring artists from Italy, the UK, and Israel.

Come Celebrate the International Commedia dell’Arte Day 2021!


Commedia dell'Arte Day 2021 - Israel

Thu. 25.2.21

21:00 [Israel time]
20:00 [Italy time]
19:00 [UK time]

 “Commedia of the Plague”

An international project conceived and directed by

Haim Abud

Artistic director manager

Didi Hopkins

co-artistic director

Cristina Coltelli

co-artistic director


Haim Abud and his Scapino theatre group have been organizing and taking care of the celebrations of the international CDA day in Israel  for 8 years now, with outstanding expertise and enthusiasm. Year after year the annual event  taking place in Israel in partnership with Hasimta Theater and  in collaboration with the Italian Cultural Institute of Tel Aviv and Haifa, and it  became a happy, familiar rendez-vous for the Commedia dell'Arte community and its growing audience.

But then Covid stroke, the merry laughters turned to silence and everything seemed doomed to an end, at least for the current year.

So, celebrating the CDA day this year is not an easy task.

And not just for obvious technical reasons: theatres remain shut down all over the world and there's no clear sign of what the fate of live performance will be, but because after one year of dealing with the pandemic we have this uncomfortable feeling that we're kind of getting used and resigned to this never-ending “on line-life” that gives us the chance to communicate on one side, but forces us apart on the other.

Commedia dell'Arte is so connected with “feeling” and playing the live event for its audience, that we were almost convinced there was nothing to celebrate this time. 



Then one night, at the top of depression, Haim was having a chat (on line of course), with Didi and Cristina, a glass of wine and a cigarette, just sobbing about the fact, there were no Covid we would have been already together rehearsing our new live production.

And then something clicked.

After all, even our comedians ancestors had to deal with more than a pandemic and one of Commedia's basic rule is: if there's a problem, just play the problem.

And all of a sudden we imagined the entire crew of Commedia's characters giving his/her secular opinion on the matter, each one from her/his shelter, but all connected by the urgency to get closer, to get together, to make something that human race has been doing for ages: telling stories that will become part of the collective memory, making us a little bit more humans.

Nice dream uh? But how to make it in practice? 

48 hours later,  Haim came with a green light from Hasimta Theater and the IIC of Tel  Aviv, and with a practical plan  how to make this dream real.



Since we must go on streaming anyway, we asked ourselves how do we preserve that feeling of community?

We decided that, non-matter what, we had to perform the pandemic topic and we had to perform LIVE.

From that point we had to contact the artists, amazing people who have devoted their entire life and profession to live performance, who accepted the quest of being part of this unusual, pioneering show. To them, to their generosity and professionality we are deeply grateful.

And we realized we have a lot to celebrate.


The fact that Commedia dell'Arte is such a huge tool that can always speak to your senses, especially in uncertain times.

The enthusiastic response we had both from the producers, the artists and the audience who's submitting to the event told us this was needed. Although we're all more fragile as isolated human beings, we will always tend to get together to sing our chants, listen to our stories, share our knowledge.

And we learnt that the only way to get rid of Death, it's to nourish Life.


So, please, have a seat and be our guests!

Didi, Cristina, Haim



Sign up now! Leave your details in the form below and we'll email you the link a few days before the performance.

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AMIR LAVIE - The Ruler's Plague
Capitano - The Killing Game / Eugene Ionesco, adapted by Amir Lavie


Pulcinella - Conceived by Alessio Sapienza

Capitano as a mayor speaks to his citizens about a mysterious plague and its effects.

A terrible invasion of fleas is spreading the plague all over. Pulcinella is terrified and will do whatever it takes to beat those fleas to the punch! Will he succeed to escape the ravenous epidemic?

CHIARA D'ANNA - Thrills & Spills

Arlecchino  - Conceived by Chiara D'Anna

Arlecchino was sent to fetch some medicines. They are really powerful medicines to cure Pantalone's bad illness...a dangerous illness...a contagious illness! 

CRISTINA COLTELLI The last survivor

Andreina Andreini Conceived by Cristina Coltelli

Andreina Andreini, last survivor of Andreini's family: the most famous Commedia company of the renaissance. She's in quarantine since the plague of 1630, trying to keep things going on, including the family business and her children (Faust and Margherita) education. She has two plague doctors as bodyguards to protect her from the virus and from a disturbing, repeated knocking on her door...


Brighella, Pantalone, Arlecchino - Conceived by Enrico Bonavera

The effects of the plague on those 3 who struggle to survive it.

GILI IVRI - The Lecture

II Dottore - Conceived by Gili Ivri

Dr. Atzati, a world renowned expert of plagues, diseases and other problems, in his lecture dedicated to "COVID-19- new discoveries and findings" based on his long term and broad research.


Punch & JudyConceived by Howard Gayton

The characters are Mr. Punch (the English puppet version of Polchinello); Judy - his long suffering wife; and Baby.
Mr. Punch is left to look after the Baby. The Baby has symptoms of a virus. What is Mr. Punch going to do!?

LEE WHITE A Cure For A Cure

Dottore & Baggatino - Conceived by Lee White

No text. Dottore and Baggatino - Two brains. One brain cell. No clue.

LILACH TZUR The Jeanivian Mutation

The First Lady - Conceived by Barak Gonen

Belin is in a farewell zoom call with her dying husband, Pantalone, who is quarantined in their home.

NANDO BRUSCO - Earthquake

Music - Nando Brusco  Lyrics - Tradidional

Calabria is a beautiful, spectacular, yet restless land. Naturally isolated by the mountains on one side and by the sea on the other, its territory has been plagued by a huge number of earthquake swarms leading to destruction and further epidemics that have left a heavy mark not only along the territory, but inside people's souls. 

On February 5th, 1783, an earthquake destroyed 109 towns and villages, with countless victims. This event is still alive in the collective memory of the people, thanks to a traditional chant (source: A. Garritano in Il canto popolare in Calabria, Rubettino 1984) naming and describing the places which were severly devastated and that lost, all of a sudden, “the best part of human beings”.

OLLY CRICK - The solution

Il Dottore - Conceived by Olly Crick

Il Dottore found the solution to the disturbing situation, and he must tell you about it.

ORIT PERES - Colombina vs the Lockdown

Colombina - The Killing Game / Eugene Ionesco adapted by Amir Lavie 

Colombina can't stand it! She has to break the lockdown. Now!  

SARAH RATHERAM - Punch's Pandemic  

Pulcinella - Conceived by Sarah Ratheram

Pulcinella is in lockdown, busy stockpiling goods in his attic and defending them against anyone and everyone. His neighbours, meanwhile, are being generous and community-spirited - to Pulcinella there is no excuse for such behaviour. A global pandemic is for furthering one's self-interest, and one should behave as badly as possible.

FABIO MANGOLINI - Love Affair with Death 
Capitano - Texts by Fabio Mangolini, Lorenzo Franciosini, Francesco Andreini

Song -  Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi

Capitano describes how he made lady death fell in love with him.


Pantalone - Improvised by Barak Gonen





Enrico Bonavera is the Arlequin of the Piccolo Teatro di Milano – Teatro d’Europa.

A former apprentice of Ferruccio Soleri, he received training in Experimental theatre through collaboration with Teatro di Ricerca (E.Barba and J.Grotowski), and has for more than three decades maintained a successful acting career.

Between 1987 and 1990, and again from 2000 until present, Enrico Bonavera has performed Brighella and Arlecchino  in Goldoni’s famous The Servant of Two Masters directed by Giorgio Strehler at the Piccolo Teatro di Milano and he has tourned the entire world with the play,.
Since 1990  Enrico Bonavera has taught at the Scuola del Teatro Stabile di Genova. Since 2004 he has been Associate Professor at the Drama, Art and Music Departement of the University of Genoa.  

As a coach he collaborates with the Accademia della Commedia dell’Arte of  Piccolo Teatro di Milano directed by Ferruccio Soleri and the Shapkin Theatre School in Moscow, also with the at the HKPA in Hong Kong,  

In 1996 Enrico Bonavera received the award for the best actor in supporting role best at Borgio Verezzi festival for his Arlecchino in C.Goldoni "I due gemelli veneziani" (Venetian Twins).

In 2007 he was honoured with the ‘ Golden Arlequin” award in Mantua, which had previously been bestowed on actors such Marcel Marceau, Dario Fo, Ferruccio Soleri.



Nando Brusco began his training in the field of folk music, poetry and traditional dances, and soon realized that he is deeply tied to their rhythms and to the instrument that generates them in the popular music of Mediterranean Italy: the frame drum.

He begins in the early 2000s an intense journey that will lead him to be one of the most recognizable and vibrant voices of traditional and contemporary folk music. He meets and studies with the greatest masters such as Massimo Laguardia, Alfio Antico, Paolo Cimmino, Davide Conte, Andrea Piccioni, Leon Pantarei, Luca de Simone and others, and with them he aknowledges  and masters the numerous traditional techniques of Southern Italy.

Graduated in anthropology with a thesis on traditional dances in Calabria, he begins a historical-anthropological research that will also characterize his original compositions, leading to many collaborations in the field of folk music and performing in the major ethnic music festivals in the country.

Nando also intensified his collaborations with  theater and physical theater in particular. Since 2015 he has been cworking with the Proskenion Theater as a trainer in artistic residences.

In recent years, he has put his acquired knowledge to good use, proposing a workshop / meeting "The Inner Drum" completely dedicated to the relationship between bodywork and rythm, a valid tool not just to musicians but to actors and dancers as well.



Cristina Coltelli is actress, author, director and teacher of physical theatre and Master Teacher of Commedia dell'Arte. Cristina was only 17 when she started her journey into professional theatre. She graduated in 1997 at Scuola di Teatro di Bologna A. Galante Garrone, twined with Ecole des Arts-Paris by Jaques LeCoq. Among her early Masters: Ariane Mnouchkine, Dario Fo, Ferruccio Soleri. She worked for several seasons into national theatres directed by directors such as Lorenzo Salveti, Walter Le Moli and Gigi Dall'Aglio. But then she decided that's was not enough for her creative project. She took a Master in Shakespearean staging at R.A.D.A-London and then she focused on Commedia dell'Arte, physical theatre and Mask pedagogy. She travelled all over Europe to enlarge her knowledge and in 2008 she came back to her home town becoming the main referent point of Commedia dell'Arte and physical theatre training in the south of Italy.

Her personal research is focused on the melting of ancient traditional italian theatre, sicilian popular traditions and the contemporary scene, with a special academic and staging research on the archetype of Arlecchino that she's been performing since the age of nineteen.



Olly Crick is a performer, trainer and director, having trained in Commedia under Barry Grantham and Carlo Boso. He is founder of The Fabulous Old Spot Theatre Company.

He is freelance educator and teacher,mainly in the field of Commedia dell'Arte. His PhD was on how and why contemporary practitioners see the aesthetic of the genre . he has taught at many drama schools, including RADA, GSA LAMDA, as well as FOOLTIME, the UK's first circus school. He has performed as a street performer, juggler and Commedia actor, and co-produced two books on Commedia dell'Arte: Troupes and Groups with John Rudlin in 2004, and The Routledge Companion to Commedia dell'Arte with Judith Chaffee in 2015. He performed in International Juggling duo The Long and the Short of It in the 1980s, and also with UK Commedia dell’Arte Company The Unfortunati . He devised the first two shows for NoFit State Circus and performed with The Medicine Show and TAG Teatro di Venezia in the 1980s. Between 1994 and 2004 he taught at Hereford Art College, running FE touring Commedia shows, before leaving to form the Fabulous Old Spot Theatre Company, touring ten community Commedia based shows in Gloucestershire and surrounding counties. his PhD thesis in the dramaturgy of contemporary Commedia dell’Arte.



Chiara D'Anna is an award-winning Director, Movement Coach, Actress and Commedia dell’Arte specialist.

As Artistic Director at Panta Rei Theatre, she wrote and directed Rocinante! Rocinante! (2010/11); Don Quixote! Don Quixote! (2012) winner of the Charlie Harthill Special Prize, Pleasance Theatre/Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012; Samhain Night (2011), A Floating Caravan Under the Moon (2014/15); and the acclaimed solo Don’t You Dare! (2017/20). Her work includes stage productions, multimedia performances, site-specific immersive work, happenings and Commedia dell'Arte shows.

Chiara is Associate Lecturer at Rose Bruford College, RADA, East 15 Acting School, Goldsmiths University in London and the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Chiara is best known for her collaboration with Peter Strickland in the films The Duke of Burgundy and. In 2017 she was awarded the Inspiring Woman in a Film prize at the Los Angeles Film Awards for her lead role in Stars and Bones. Other film credits include The Rook (2015) and Native (2016).



Graduate of the TAU acting school in 2002, Barak was a part of The Camrei Theatre of Tel-Aviv in the year 2003-2004 performing in large theatre festivals around the world such as The Lincoln Center Festival in NY.
Barak took part in many independent fringe productions, and was a part of Kremshnit ensemble that created comedy sketches both for TV and stage. At 2010 he was one of the founding members of Scapino Theatre Company- the leading group in Israel of masked theatre and Commedia dell Arte. Since 2010 Scapino is the creative home for Barak where he writes, direct and act. Among the shows Barak took Part in are: 'A Minster's Honor',' The Miser-Directors cut','Don Perlimplin',' Those From The Other Side','Flashback' and more.
Barak has a black belt in two different martial arts. combining his knowledge of theatre and the art of fighting Barak has established a unique technique of stage fighting. Barak is a fight choreographer for many theatre productions and he is the house fight instructor of The Israeli Opera. Since 2019 Barak teaches in Goodman acting academy both stage fighting, masks and commedia dell' arte.



Howard has worked for 30 years as a director, performer, and dramaturge. He was the co-founder and artistic director of Ophaboom Theatre, England's premier Commedia company, which toured extensively throughout the UK and Europe for two decades, including performances at Venice Carnival. He has directed shows for many other physical theatre companies in the UK and abroad; he has performed and directed puppet shows for The Little Angel Theatre, London; and he is the consulting director for Hedgespoken Traveling Theatre. Howard is a regular teacher of Commedia at East 15 acting school, London, and ESMAE in Porto, Portugal; and teaches glove puppets at the Curious School of Puppetry, London. He studied Native American masking traditions in Arizona with the aid of an Arts Council England grant, which continues to impact his work



Didi Hopkins is one of the leading commedia practitioners in the UK, instrumental in the bringing commedia to Richard Bean’s National Theatre West End and Broadway production of ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’.  Didi is actress and director, most recently with a West End transfer of ‘The Life I Lead’ (9/2019). She was movement director on Love for Love (Royal Shakespeare Company), The Rivals (Arcola), Way of the World and The Rake’s Progress (Wilton’s Music Hall). Didi also worked as dramaturg with Richard Bean on ‘The Hypocrite’.(RSC). She teaches and directs in the UK and abroad at drama schools and the NT made 5 short films about her work with commedia, view at NTdiscovertheatre/didihopkins/commedia. Didi runs workshops for the London International Mime Festival, and has directed Commedia shows for the National Theatre’s outdoor summer season, Watch This Space. She spends half her life in theatre, and the other half in business, taking the roots of commedia into leadership and women in business across 5 continents



Gili is an actor, director and theater teacher and above all - he is a clown. Since 2000 Gili has been studying indirect relationships and encounters that take place on the stage, on the street, and in hospitals.

As a medical clown, Gili is a highly regarded expert, artist and teacher in the field of clowning. Gili graduated from the Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in1997, and is the Artistic manager and one of the founders of the the cuckoo theater group and was one of the founders of the Jerusalem Psik Theater.

He has studied comedy Dell'Arte from Adriano Jurosevich - from the comedy Dell'Arte Academy in Venice.

For 14 years Gili performed as a street clown, using improvisation and audience interaction without the use of verbal language. He performed in festivals such as Avignon, Edinburgh, Tarrega, Charleville and many others.

Gili has directed and participated in many wining prize performances, including: "TO LIFE","Spontaneous" ,"Fool-on" and many more. Gili is an instructor of Clowning, Acting, Improvisation and Comedy del Arte workshops for professionals' actors and clowns, for theatre students and for theatre amateurs.



Amir is an actor, playwright, director and theater teacher for about 30 years. A graduate of the Department of Acting at Tel Aviv University (1990), he studied pantomime, and comedy del'arte with Prof. Yoram Boker. Studied "The creative actor" workshop by Neta Plotsky and Pablo Salzman and "Amir Orian's" Performing Arts and Screen, Room Theater ". Trained in mask work with Fabrizio Paladin, Christina Coletti and Haim Abud. Winner of a writing award for his play "When a Gun Appears in the First Act" (in which he also acted) at the "small Stage 4" festival and  for directing "Krum" by Hanoch Levin, at the "Kol Ha'aretz Bama" festival Tzavta. Among his works is the Del'arte comedy "Little Red Riding Hood following the Martiton" (directed by Haim Abud Holon Theater). Also translated and directed Eugene UNESCO's The La Jeux de Massacre. Wrote for the show "Conversations with the Bartender" and also wrote and directed the satirical cabaret "Silent Protest". Director of the "Dan Avshalom" Association with a teaching certificate At the Kibbutzim Seminar, theater and acting teacher for children, youth and adults. 



Fabio Mangolini is an actor, director, author, pedagogue, and manager.

Graduated in Philosophy from the University of Bologna with a specialization in Semiotics.

He also graduated in 1987 from the Ecole Internationale de Mimodrame of Marcel Marceau in Paris.

In 1986 he entered as Arlecchino into the international company “Les Scalzacani” directed by Carlo Boso in Paris. He specializes in the servant roles of the Commedia dell’Arte. After leaving the company in 1991, he continued to perform, direct and teach Commedia wherever in the world.

From 1992 to 1994 he was granted by the Japan Foundation Artist Fellowship Program and by the International Theatre Institute and Ministry of Japanese Culture  to collaborate with the Kyogen’s Master Nomura Kosuke.

He is currently a member of the “King Lear Global Projet” directed by the British world famous director Tim Supple. As a director, Fabio directed shows touching contemporary so as classic theatre. As a manager, he has been President of an important Italian theatre so as of the Italian School of Opera. as a pedagogue, he taught in in important and prestigious dramatic art academies such as GITIS and the MKAT of Moscow, the Conservatoire of Brussels, the Académie of the National Dramatic Centre of Limoges, in important Universities in United States and South America.



Actress, artist and psychodrama therapist. Graduate at "HaStudio", Holon acting school in Holon theatre. 
B.ed in directing and theatre education from seminar HaKibutzim college in Tel-Aviv. 
M.A in therapy through arts and psychodrama from Seminar HaKibutzim college. 
Graduate of mask acting at prof' Yoram Boker's workshops and of Comedia delArt'e acting at Fabricio Feldin and Haim Abud's workshops. 
Actress at Scapino theatre company since 2015 in which she is playing the leading women roles. Among the shows Orit took part in are-“Don Perlimplin”,Those From The Other Side”,”Flashback”,”Superguy” and more.
In the years 2018-2020 Orit was a cultural delegate of the Israeli ministry of education in Buenos Aires Argentina, where she also acted in the plays- “Eurydice” and the “Odd Couple”which took place at the “Suburban Playhouse” theatre.



Sarah is an actor, musician and physical theatre performer who trained at East-15 Acting School and works in a lot of different styles of theatre – from classical roles and new writing to half-mask and bouffant, with a hefty slug of immersive theatre, family shows, outdoor theatre, musicals and pantomime. She is passionate about theatre in non-traditional spaces, and the importance of accessibility. 
Theatre work includes Macbeth and Styx (RIFT); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Little English Theatre); The Giant Jam Sandwich (New Perspectives); We Are Not Shellfish and The Looker (Sabotage Theatre); Morbid Curiosities (Don’t Go Into the Cellar); A Midsummer Night’s Dream in New Orleans (Ruby in the Dust); The Book’s the Thing and A Christmas Carol (Librarian Theatre); The Bitches Ball and The Missionary’s Position (Penny Dreadful Theatre); Mr Burke & Mr Hare (Ophaboom Theatre); Animal Farm (Tour de Force) and several shows for CoLab Theatre, Forthright Theatre and A Door in a Wall. 
Sarah was a long-time member of Ophaboom Theatre’s mask ensemble, touring with them from Kendal to Korea via the Venice Carnival and performing in 5 languages.



He began his artistic training in Catania at AIDM - The International Academy of Musical, where he learned singing, dancing and other disciplines such as acrobatics and tap dance as well as the study of acting.
After discovering a deep love for  Commedia dell'Arte,  he graduated from  SIAC-International School of Comic Actors, directed by Antonio Fava. And  then increased his experience and knowledge by approaching great masters of Commedia dell'Arte such as Carlo Boso, Ferruccio Soleri, Claudia Contin "Arlecchino", Claudio de Maglio, Marco Sgrosso up to the meeting with the master Michele Monetta at ICRA Project.
In 2013 he founded the cultural association "La Bottega dei Comici", with the aim of disseminating the Commedia dell'Arte as a cultural heritage, in Italy and abroad. He took part as organizer in the international festival of Commedia dell'Arte-COME D'ARTE, which since 2014 is the first festival in Lazio about Commedia dell'Arte
During his experience in Rome he also nourished and deepened craftsmanship, in particular  construction of leather masks, studying with the masters Alberto Ferraro and the more famous Stefano Perocco di Meduna, laying the foundations in Sicily for his leather masks workshop: Anonimo Siciliano.



Lilach is an actress and a storyteller.
She began her professional path at the School of Performing Arts seminar Hkibbutzim. There she was first exposed to the comedy dell'Arte, who regained her heart.
From there she continued to specialize in a white mask at the School of Puppet Theater in Holon, and at the School of Body Theater in the work of the dell'Arte Masks.
From 2017-2021 she served as artistic director of the Israel Storytellers Association. Appeared at many festivals as a storyteller who accompanies her performances in Comedy dell'Arte masks
Today, as a storyteller, she uses comedy masks in all her performances and teaches teenagers about body language.



Lee is an award winning Actor, Writer and Director.  He also makes Commedia masks and loves everything Commedia. He is founder of Stickyback Theatre and is currently penning a new show. 
Lee works extensively in theatre with credits including SNOW PLAY (Theatre by the Lake), SUNSHINE (Lyric Theatre), THE END (Little Angel Theatre) A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Greenwich Theatre) and, up until theatres suspended play, Robinson in Robinson Crusoe (touring Italian Theatres). Film work often see’s him in dark comedy mode which he cherishes when the chance arises. His latest role, Derek in Derek and his Brick, alongside Claire Foy recently scooped Best Drama at Sweden Film Fest and Best Cast 300 Sec Film Fest Canada.

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