UCCA Beijing

Commedia dell’ arte’s Geoff Beale Invites You to Laugh


Location:  Workshop
Language:  English With Chinese Translation

As a powerful artistic vehicle that fuses humor with freedom, Commedia dell’ arte has promised to transport the audience into a space of collective human experience. Originating in 15th century Northern Italy, the genre has inspired generations of artists, and its influence can still be seen in contemporary operas, musicals, and sitcoms. Some even regard it as a precursor to the classical Shakespearean story structure. Till this day, the genre has kept alive many of its original features: stock character types, slapstick humor, quick wit, and audience participation. Without any given script, it entertains much freedom of play; the performers are asked to build their storytelling on the go, molding their personas in response to the audience reaction. How to effectively deliver the characters’ emotion and its implicit social commentary has always been at the heart of this genre’s inquiry. UCCA, in collaboration with The Creative Nation Ltd., invites Geoff Beale to share his experience as a Commedia improvisationperformer and expert, offering the audience a glimpse of its making, history, and legacies. The program includes a discussionbetween Beale and Shuang Zou, artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival, as well as a showcase of student performancesby Geoff’s improvisation comedy class in Beijing.


10 RMB/Adult

Free/UCCA member

* UCCA Members: Free, Non-members: 10 RMB/Adult

* All proceeds from the activities will be used to support the operation and development of UCCA public programs;

* Audiences are welcomed to purchase the 300 RMB annual membership card to enjoy the benefits of UCCA membership;

* Please pick up the tickets on the day of at the front desk before the event starts;

* It is recommended that you arrive in advance. If you are late, please follow the staff member’s instructions for entering the space;

* Due to limited space, attendees are limited to one ticket per purchase; tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis;

* Please keep your mobile phone silent during the event;

* No refund or exchange of tickets;

* Scan the QR code below to buy tickets.


Scan the QR code below to sign up for UCCA membership and enjoy exclusive member benefits.



Part 1: The history of Commedia dell’arte

Part 2: A discussion on acting in Commedia dell’arte

Part 3: Commedia dell’ arte interactive experience (performance showcase)

Part 4: Q&A


Geoff Beale (Improvisation Performer)

A student of Commedia master Carlo Boso, Geoffrey Beale is the founder of the respected Commedia dell' Arte company, Ophaboom Theatre and a leading figure in his field. Since its foundation, the company has toured around Europe, North America and East Asia. Outside his company productions, Beale has individually performed in several films, such as blockbusters Sweeney Todd and 28 Weeks Later. Beale has served as guest lecturer at East 15 Drama School, Royal National Theatre, Guildford School of Acting, Brunel, Warwick and John Moore’s University and numerous schools across U.K. With his extensive experience in teaching and performance, Beale has also been invited to National Theatre Company of China, China children's Art Theatre, Beijing Film Academy as their comedy instructor, and helped produce the popular the children’s play My Primitive Family.

Shuang Zou (Theater and Film Director)

Zou is the current artistic director of the Beijing Music Festival and a board member ofInternational Theatre Institute. She studied film at the University College London and held a Master’s degree with distinction in filmmaking from the London Film School. Over the years she has served important roles in various theater and film productions in China, including: appointed director of the Chinese adaption of Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit; translator and director of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, whose Chinese adaptation was performed at the National Theatre of China; appointed director for a reproduction of Schubert’s Der Flüchtling (The Fugitive), featuring renowned Chinesebass-baritone Shenyang, as well as the director of immersive opera Orfeo, premiered at the 2018 Beijing Music Festival; co-producer of the musical The Wonderful Adventures of Nils at the Wuhan People’s Art Theatre. Abroad, she has served as the executive director of Noye’s Fludde, a production sponsored by KT Wong Foundation at Grand Opera House, Belfast, and the multi-media visual director for the Frankfurt Opera’s production of Messiah in 2016. She has also worked as the first assistant director on Mystery a Cannes “Un Certain Regard” and Golden Horse Award recognized film.Her graduation film, Still, has been awarded Best Short Film at the Canadian International Film Festival.


The Creative Nation Ltd.

Since its foundation, The Creative Nation Ltd. has focused on discovering the most innovative, exhilarating live performing arts of our time. In collaboration with artists and performers from across the globe, The Creative Nation Ltd. promises to bring the best productions of classic and original theater to Chinese audience.

Ticketing QR code