Under the direction of Vincenzo Tortorici, a group of Dublin Scioto High School students pranced around the theatre stage to lute music last week.

Under the direction of Vincenzo Tortorici, a group of Dublin Scioto High School students pranced around the theatre stage to lute music last week.

A few laughs and looks among the students betrayed their embarrassment.

"Don't feel stupid," Tortorici said. "Give yourself over to it."

Tortorici held a "Commedia dell 'Arte" workshop for theatre, AP and International Baccalaureate students on Oct. 23 with a performance for all Scioto students as well as some invited from Coffman and Jerome high schools later in the day. On Oct. 24, Tortorici held a workshop for community members and another performance in the evening.

Polytropic Productions, Tortorici's group that boasts "interactive entertainment" and "innovative education," has several different performances and workshops, but the ones done at Scioto High School focused on Italian theatre.

Scioto theatre teacher Patricia Santanello met Tortorici in Vancouver last year while training for the school's new IB theatre program.

"I don't usually enjoy workshops where you have to participate and I had a horrible cold while I was there, and I had a blast," she wrote in an e-mail. "I learned so much about the form as well as learning some new rehearsal techniques. I kept thinking, 'If I'm enjoying this, my students would go crazy.' "

Santanello said Tortorici's lessons on "Theatre in the World" fit perfectly with the IB program, but other teachers got students involved as well.

"In addition, Dennis Rogers, one of our English teachers, is working on a unit about this time period in literature with his AP English and IB literature students and (James) Gray, our band director, is working on a unit in music history that falls within the Commedia time period. They are attending the workshop as well," she said last week. "All of our IB students at Scioto will be participating in the morning workshop and IB students from Coffman and Jerome will be joining us in the afternoon for the performance."

This is the first year for the IB theatre program, said Hollys Hall, the school's IB coordinator.

Students going for an IB diploma must take math, social studies, science, English, a foreign language and an elective such as art; the IB theatre program gives students one more class to choose from.

Students who want an IB certificate take the courses they want a certificate in, Hall said.

While students in last week's workshop seemed to be exerting themselves with the physical aspects of "Commedia dell 'Arte," Hall said IB students also stretch their minds with the program.

"Colleges like (the IB program) because (students) take some things they normally wouldn't. It makes them take a risk," she said. "It stretches them."