Corinna Di Niro

Corinna Di Niro has made a substantial name for herself over many years performing to and educating many in Commedia both locally and around the world, but her exciting career has encompassed numerous other areas of the dramatic arts as well.

Corinna Di Niro was born in Adelaide in 1981 to Italian-born parents. She is a proud first-generation Italo-Australian. The youngest of four children, Corinna took to creative ways such as dancing, singing and performing to get the attention of her parents. So was not long before a career in acting was in her sights. Taking a ‘gap-decade’ after high school, Corinna spent most of her twenties travelling and performing. She first began performing Commedia dell’Arte in 2002 to school groups. In 2004, she was accepted to study Commedia dell’Arte and Comic Acting in Italy under the direction of Antonio Fava – a world master; in 2006-2007, she performed on board Disney Cruises; and between 2007-2015 she played everyone’s favourite honey eater – Humphrey B Bear. In and around her various theatrical endeavours, Corinna became a house-hold name in schools around South Australia and beyond as a Commedia dell’Arte performer and teacher. In 2008, Corinna enrolled into a BA Media Arts (Drama) at UniSA, which she completed in two years. In 2010 she completed her Honours (UniSA). In 2011, she won an academic scholarship to undertake the first performing arts PhD at UniSA, which was conferred in 2016. 

Corinna holds a PhD in Commedia dell’Arte for an Australian contemporary context and runs her own theatre company, Stage Secrets. For over twenty years, she has continued to share her passion and love for Commedia dell’Arte with diverse audiences ranging from primary, secondary and tertiary students, actors, teachers, and people living with a disability. She is highly knowledgeable in Commedia dell’Arte and its relevance and importance in contemporary times. Her performances, direction, workshops, lectures and publications continue to be sourced by schools and universities in Australia and beyond. Corinna is now considered Australia’s leading expert of Commedia dell’Arte.

As a creative researcher, author and theatre maker Corinna also combines cutting edge technology with theatre to create performances that address social issues. In 2018, Corinna led a creative research team to experiment with ways to enhance the audience experience using virtual reality in theatre. This led to her becoming a TEDx speaker the following year. In 2019, Corinna directed Bone Cage by Geoff Gillham for the ‘(In)Visible Violence Towards Women and their Resistance’ conference. The play explores challenges women face when trying to leave abusive relationships. Over the years that followed, Corinna continued her creative practice research in this area, gaining several conference presentations and publications and culminating her research in a season of both in-house and live stream performances at the Adelaide Fringe Festival 2022. 

Between 2015-2022, Corinna published widely in the field of Commedia dell’Arte and its importance, use, accessibility in an Australian 21st century context, including a text for which she was lead editor and a contributing author ~ Commedia dell’Arte for the 21st Century: Practice and Performance in the Asia-Pacific (Routledge, 2022). 

For her dedication in continuing this important Italian theatre, in 2022 Corinna was a finalist for the Cultural and Art Award (South Australian Italian Association). Additionally, she was invited to exhibit a Commedia dell’Arte exhibition at the Migration Museum in Adelaide (, showcasing many of her Commedia dell’Arte masks that she has collected over the years and other artefacts. Bone Cage was also a finalist for the Award for Innovation (Adelaide Critics Circle). Last year however marked a significant moment for her: Corinna won the Inaugural Progetto Donna Arts Awards (Com.It.Es SA).  

Corinna currently works full-time as a Senior Lecturer at SAE Creative where she is the Faculty Development Lead for the Adelaide based academics, and the Student Convenor for the Masters of Creative Industries online cohort. She supervises MCI candidates and sits on the following committees:

  • Design-Creative Industries-MCI Course committee
  • Graduate Studies Course committee
  • Scholarship & Research Course committee

Corinna continues to run workshops and teach Commedia dell’Arte. This year she is running a series of professional develop workshops for teachers and actors across Australia and continuing to support school students in South Australia with Commedia workshops and performance mentorship. Corinna is currently writing her first sole authored text on Commedia in Australia that will be published by Routledge. 

January 2024