The center for movement theatre provides training for the ‘actor-creator’. It is appropriate for both the serious beginner and the experienced actor. The work embodies a dynamic and physical approach to acting and is strongly based on the work of master teacher Jacques Lecoq. It is the search for a theatre of creation, exploring the relationship between life and art, for those who wish to gain more insight into their abilities as actors, directors and writers. Using the body to find essential gesture, action and expression, participants discover and develop their own art. The body recognizes and can represent everything that is the prime element in the journey from life to the theatre.

Classes Instructed by Dody DiSanto.

Dody was trained in Paris, holding an esteemed position as a teaching protégé of the late Jacques Lecoq whose teachings she carries on at the Center for Movement Theatre. She is currently on the faculties of the Academy for Classical Acting for the Shakespeare Theatre at the George Washington University and at The Catholic University of America teaching neutral mask and clown; and has served as a recent guest teacher at Cirque du Soleil and The Yale School of Drama.

“My work promotes the emergence of a theater of movement and imagination where the actor is playful. I approach the territories of drama through an adherence to the physical and visceral knowledge we are assigned at birth, emphasizing the importance of resourcing the permanences in order to convey the depth of the human experience via enduring criteria. My pedagogic trajectory invites the student to return to a state of primal naïveté, innocence and curiosity. The first game of the actor is to make these internalized traces visible, perceived as they are seen and sensed, and not given through cultural representation. The memory of life alone is not sufficient for play. We must continuously return to living perception: both empirical observation and sense experience. It is primordial for the actor to know the laws of movement and the motors of action: balance, imbalance, opposition, alternation, compensation, action and reaction. I am dedicated to building the physical rigor necessary to maintain a resonant and responsive corporeal instrument.”



Art of Collaboration
Feb 6 – Mar 13 (6 weeks)

Clown Weekend
Mar 10 & 11

Performance Gym: Building the Poetic Body
Mar 27 – May 1 (6 weeks)

Comprehensive 1
Sep 18 – Dec 4 (12 weeks)

Clown Weekend
Nov 4 & 5



May 21 – 26

Neutral Mask (Comprehensive 1 equivalent, compressed to 6 days)
Jun 4 – 9

Passions & Tragic Space
Taught by Dody DiSanto
July 23 – 28
Class Information, Location & Registration: Celebration Barn Theater in Maine



MARCH 10 & 11

NOVEMBER 10 & 11

SATURDAY & SUNDAY 10 AM – 5 PM both days

Tuition: $200; Deposit due with registration*: $50

Class Location: The Center - DC

Register/Reserve Now!

In Clown, we embark on the wondrous journey to rediscover innocence and uncover the pleasure of play. It is a daring adventure, in which we open our fragile hearts in search of fun. The little red nose (the smallest mask) is a great liberator. It requires generosity and summons transparency, revealing us in all of our wonderful and complicated simplicity.

A riotous inquiry… a playful encounter…a look at our laughable & lovable selves.

We love clowns because they make us laugh while revealing the range of mythical and emotional archetypes within each one of us. The honesty and openness we find in clown will inhabit all of our work. Open to all levels.



FEBRUARY 6 - MARCH 13 (6 weeks)
TUESDAYS 7 PM - 10 PM (6 classes)

Tuition: $275; Deposit due with registration*: $75

Class Location: The Center – DC

Register/Reserve Now!

An inquiry into crafting a physical theater experience for those who wish to cultivate skills to create work collaboratively. Using the roots of classical pantomime, we progress to a fast-paced style of gestural language that develops both micro and macro image building. The work will take place on a reduced playing area, a concept evolved from the tréteau nu of Jacques Copeau in the early 1900s. Acting as a framing device, the compressed stage size serves to heighten spatial and ensemble awareness. In this style, corporeal strategies adapt to all manner of script interpretation, generating innovative storytelling techniques. This work cultivates physical imagination and develops ensemble awareness.


Performance Gym: BUILDING the POETIC BODY

MARCH 27 - MAY 1 (6 weeks)
TUESDAYS 7 PM - 10 PM (6 classes)

Tuition: $275; Deposit due with registration*: $75

Class Location: The Center – DC

Register/Reserve Now!

Sharpen your tools for expanding the relationship between text, movement, substance, form, play and complicity.

This course aims to promote a greater understanding of potential embodiment and playfulness by harnessing both active observation and experience in connection with performance. Expressivity involves: sense experience • empirical observation • living perception.

Engaging the behavior of substances and objects as source-material, we will give body and movement to them toward dynamic interpretation. Through recognition, these rhythms, spaces, forces and static objects can all be set in play. Here, we are working with something Jacques Lecoq expressed as: “the universal poetic sense, or the essence of life. It is an abstract dimension which can be found in all of us. Laid down by our various experiences and sensations — by everything that we have seen, heard, touched and tasted — these constitute a common heritage out of which springs dynamic vigor and the desire to create. We utilize this resonance in order not to be limited in our creativity to life as it is, or as it seems.”

All manner of concoction, messiness, increase, breakdown, consternation, digging, breakthrough, examination and assembly, to be expected!

This approach supports the notion that theater is to be invented.



TUESDAYS 7 PM - 10 PM (12 classes)

Tuition: $600; Deposit due with registration*: $100

Class Location: The Center – DC

Register/Reserve Now!

Course open to all levels. This class is the foundation for all classes at the center for movement theatre

The Comprehensive 1 Program will cover the entire thrust of the Neutral Mask work including all supporting structures: dynamic studies, movement analysis, element identifications and ensemble creation.

Using the Neutral Mask, this class will follow an in depth inquiry into the state of neutrality as a vehicle for expression and as a foundation and point of reference for building all character.

The neutral mask is a tool, addressing the inherent dynamic wisdom of the body as a vehicle to find freedom, awareness and expression in performance.

Working with the idea of spatial awareness, the mask is used to eliminate superfluous action and to distill movement down to essential rhythms.

When we say neutral, we mean ready.

The neutral mask is indeed a full-face mask that you wear through a series of exercises. The mask urges you to expand your presence while encouraging clarity of movement and a greater command of stillness.

It pushes us to our growing edge, guides us into a dialogue with our habits and arrives at the truth through essential gesture.

Working with THE NEUTRAL MASK will:

  • broaden your play
  • heighten your spatial awareness
  • free your body to respond without the control of the mind
  • support and develop your physical abilities

There are 3 masks:
the one we think we are,
the one we really are,
and the one we hold in common.



1 class: $600
2 classes: $1050
Deposits due with registration*: $100 per class


    MAY 21 – 26

    MONDAY – SATURDAY 10 am – 5pm

    Tuition: $600
    Deposit*: $100 due with Registration

    Class Location: DC - Academy for Classical Acting 2129 G St, NW

    Instructor: Dody DiSanto

    Register/Reserve Now!

    Please join me in the messy adventure of clown - the wondrous journey to rediscover innocence and uncover the pleasure of play. Where we shine the light on foolishness in pursuit of the soft brain and open physical hilarity of fun. This work helps in all aspects of life, but truly brings a fresh muscularity to the task of performing any material.

    Intended for those who have already taken some clown and seek further adventures in search of high rascalry!

    During this concentrated week we will work in various size groups to set loose the true nature of your clown, develop material, build routines and explore how clowns turn idiocy into art form.



    June 4 – 9


    Tuition: $600
    Deposit*: $100 due with Registration

    Class Location: DC – Academy for Classical Acting 2129 G St, NW

    Instructor: Dody DiSanto

    Register/Reserve Now!

    This immersion format is designed to cover all the structures of the neutral mask training. Generating energy, size and presence, the mask work guides us to eliminate habitual patterns, encouraging clarity of movement and a greater command of stillness. For more details, see the description for the Comprehensive 1 Program.

    Open to all levels.


    (at Celebration Barn in Maine)

    Taught by Dody DiSanto

    July 23 – 28

    Class Location & Registration: Celebration Barn Theater in Maine

    ~ Human passions run counter to the will of the gods leading heroes to their deaths ~

    The workshop proposes an in depth encounter into freeing the richness of resources rooted in tragic texts. Exploring the driving forces behind the human passions, we will probe how they move, bringing external structure to these internal states. Working both individually and collectively, we will search out the body of words, breathe life into the passions they express, and create an environment in which they are played out.

    The great works of sorrow and suffering give forth to movement and expression through the expansion and contraction of collaborative space. A coherent unit, the theatrical chorus operates as a living cell being pushed and pulled by the forces of our own destiny. Seeking gestures to match the heightened circumstances of the text, we grasp how our passions can be extrapolated spatially as well as cradled by the ensemble.

    The week will include some hands-on exploration with materials in order to arrive at symbolic condensation of the passions, along with continuous physical preparation to support the notions of balance, imbalance and fixed points. Core exercises will cover spatial architecture of the chorus, dynamics of the text, and plasticity of materials.

    This training provides tools of creativity for performers of all stripes by taking the creative act into a deeper dimension that we all carry within us, one that allows us to express what is not visible. Intended for the curious, eager and committed artist looking to strengthen and nourish their craft.


Please feel free to contact me via phone at 202-462-5810 or email if you have any questions!

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Thank you
Dody DiSanto

 the center for movement theatre

Please email dody[AT]thisisthecenter[DOTCOM] to reserve your
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       Attn: Dody DiSanto
       4321 Wisconsin Ave NW
       Washington DC 20016