Chiara D’Anna is an Italian actor, director, lecturer, movement coach, and Commedia dell'Arte specialist. She trained in Italy, Poland, and the UK. She holds a BSc and MSc in Geology from the University of Turin, an MA in Physical Theatre from Royal Holloway University, and a Ph.D. in Performing Arts from London Metropolitan University. Her practice-led research on the legacy of Commedia dell’Arte in Post-Dramatic Theatre focuses on the centrality of the actor in a devised performance. Chiara is co-founder of Natural You Dance, a movement meditation practice that draws on Yoga, dance, physical theatre, and meditation.
Between 2005 and 2013 she was Associate Artist of The Quick and the Dead an international group of theatre practitioners and researchers engaged in a practice-based research project on New Methodologies of Actor Training led by Alison Hodge. Known as the ‘Core Training’ the outcome of this research was published by Routledge in a DVD pamphlet: ‘Core Training For the Relational Actor’ (2013) and documented by Peter Hulton as part of the Exeter Arts Archives.
Chiara teaches Movement in the MA Theatre Lab at RADA and works as Associate Lecturer at E15 Acting School, Goldsmiths University, London Metropolitan University in London; and the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy.
As artistic director at Panta Rei Theatre, her mission is to inspire, challenge and entertain audiences with humour, irony, and powerful imagery. Her projects include the adaptation of plays and novels, devised productions, combined-arts performances, Commedia dell’Arte shows, multimedia, and site-specific immersive work.
For the company, she wrote and directed Rocinante! Rocinante! (2010-2011); 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 show Don’t You Dare! (2018/2020) winner of the Best Show, Best Director, Best Actress, and Audience Award at the Città di Chivasso International Theatre Festival 2019.
Other credits include adaptations of Mistero Buffo (2017) and Accidental Death of An Anarchist (2018) by Dario Fo; The Mountain Giants (2019; 2016) and Henry IV (2011) by Luigi Pirandello and The Holiday Trilogy by Carlo Goldoni for students’ productions at Rose Bruford College; and the Commedia dell’Arte shows Commedia dell’Shakespeare (2017) and Commedia Extravaganza (2016/17) at East 15 Acting School. With her directorial debut, Salomè (2002), she received the Acquilegia Blue National Prize as Best Newcomer, Turin, Italy.
As a screen actress, she is best known for her collaboration with writer and director Peter Strickland in Berberian Sound Studio and The Duke of Burgundy. 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), Native (2016), The Visitors (2021), A Dice with Five Sides (2022) and Midnight Peepshow (2022).