Paola Coletto (2023)
Paola Coletto, a former faculty member at Columbia College Chicago, taught physical theater and mask there and founded the School for Theatre Creators in Chicago in 2012, working with many directors, actors, and writers. Her pedigree in physical theater was impeccable: Coletto was one of only 40 students in the 67-year history of the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq to be certified as a pedagogical specialist under the direction of the school’s founder, legendary French actor-director Jacques Lecoq. A true renaissance woman, Coletto also had degrees in classical studies and architecture, design, and textile work, as well as certification as a personal trainer and bodywork professional.
Her international career included work throughout Europe, the United States, Israel, and New Zealand. But though she moved back from Chicago to her native Padua, Italy, in 2018, where she established the PadovArts Academy, her influence on Chicago artists remained strong.
Former Chair of Columbia College Theater Department John Green recalled her enduring contributions to the school, “Paola was a wonderfully skilled teacher of physical theatre, mask, and object work, and a passionate advocate for bringing these traditional forms back into the mainstream of actor training and production. To be in a room with her was to be inspired by her intellect, energy, and vision.”
Coletto died on April 19, in Padua Italy, surrounded by family and friends.