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Carlo Altomare is a director, producer, composer, actor, musician, and painter. His lifeforce has been ensconced in music and the stage lights since he was a young boy. By high school, he was starring in community and college theatre productions. And in college, his passion ignited for directing and creating public space for performance and theatrical experimentation.


Mr. Altomare was a member of The Living Theatre from 1973-2012, devising and acting in plays around the world, such as of Seven Meditations on Political Sadomasochism and 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. 

In 2005, he co-founded the original iteration of Alchemical Studios for performance, rehearsal, photography and film at 137 W 14th St, just across 14th Street from our previous location which was torn down in 2023. He is also the founder of Alchemical’s resident acting company, The Alchemical Theatre Company (1981- ) which presented many works including the world premiere (1982) of There Is No More Firmament by Antonin Artaud, The Daily Activity of Slaves, 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 2011. 

 

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.

In late 2022, he began painting. Not a stranger to expressing himself in countless mediums, he was shocked to discover he could no longer live without putting brush to the canvas.

He has created over 80 paintings in the last year and a half.

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