Corinna Di Niro is a specialist of the 16th century theatre genre Commedia dell’Arte. She has taught and/or performed this craft in Paris, Padua, London, Stockholm, Lima, Auckland and throughout Australia, and has produced three highly successful shows, iSize (2010), The Marriage of Flavio and Isabella (2012), and The Royal Bloodbath (2015). She is highly skilled in comic acting, physical theatre, characterisation, movement, voice, slapstick, mask technique, clown, devising theatre and improvisation. She completed her PhD in 2016 through the University of South Australia, for an artefact/exegesis, ‘Performing Commedia dell’Arte in a contemporary Australian context with reference to Antonio Fava’s method: a continuous translation.’ This was the first practice-led performing arts PhD for UniSA. Corinna currently guest lectures in Commedia at NIDA.
Corinna is a creative academic researcher-director-performer. She is the lead author of two publications, the article ‘Spitballing, slapstick, lazzi and improvisation: the benefits of practising Commedia dell’Arte in secondary schools’, in The European Journal of Humour Research (2015), and the book chapter ‘You’re Doctor What? Contemporary challenges for creative arts research in a culture of binaries’, in Lived Experiences of Women in Academia (2018). Corinna continues to present at numerous national and international conferences and collaborate on research projects and publications with her colleagues.
In 2018, she received funding from the School of Creative Industries, UniSA for her project ‘The Virtual Actor’, which investigated the possibilities of enhancing the audience experience through virtual reality in live stage shows. Her research involved collaboration with the virtual acting school in Amsterdam and virtual reality companies in Adelaide. Corinna was also invited to deliver a TEDx Talk on her Virtual Reality research (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNvBwss9KiI). In 2018, Corinna additionally received funding from the Multicultural Education and Languages Committee to run her project ‘Performing Commedia’ in secondary schools.
In 2019, Corinna researched the benefits of participatory theatre in mental health. She directed and staged the production ‘Bone Cage’ for the International Interdisciplinary conference: Indelible (Eng) / Indelebile (It) – Representation in the arts of (in)visible violence against women and their resistance, and is working with domestic violence, mental health and sexual health organisations to facilitate a range of creative workshops that aim to support those in need. Corinna is a supporter of White Ribbon and the Zahra Foundation and actively campaigns for better resources for women and children leaving domestic violence situations and who suffer from financial abuse. She encourages all women to “recognise the signs” and leave as safely and as early as possible.