Ian Thal is a playwright, mime, clown, puppeteer, actor, and theatre educator living in Somerville. With James Van Looy and William J. Barnum, he co-founded Cosmic Spelunker Theater, a mime, poetry, and mask troupe. He has also performed with the radical puppetry troupe, Bread and Puppet Theatre, and the commedia dell’arte troupe, i Sebastiani. He is currently the artistic director of the commedia troupe, Teatro delle Maschere which works in tandem with Somerville-based Behind the Mask Studio & Theatre. Ian also has a small role as the mime in Harvard Square in the film, THE SOCIAL NETWORK.
His first full-length play, TOTAL WAR, was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition, and has the dubious distinction of attracting a street protest during its first staged reading. He is also the writer and performer of a one-act, one-man commedia inspired play, ARLECCHINO AM RAVENOUS. He is currently working on his second full-length play, THE CONVERSOS OF VENICE.
Some of his writings about his controversial and public parting of ways with Bread & Puppet Theatre have been used as course materials at Royal Holloway, University of London. Ian's poetry has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals. He writes criticism both on his own blog, as well as for THE ARTS FUSE, an on-line magazine for the arts in New England.
He has also taught workshops and courses in mime, commedia dell'arte, and puppetry at Wheelock Family Theatre, The Huntington Theatre, and The Stoneham Theatre, Brookline Public Schools, Riverside Theatre Works and Somerville's own Open Air Circus.
Ian holds a BA in philosophy from SUNY Purchase and an MA in philosophy from Boston College. He serves on the events committee with the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston. His blog can be found at http://ianthal.blogspot.com