Margherita is a screen and stage actor from Milan who works in Italy, Australia, and USA. She studied with Emma Dante and Mamadou Dioum of The Peter Brook Ensemble in Italy and later at The Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Los Angeles and Larry Moss in NYC. She is a company member of “Make A Scene,” an Educational Theatre Company based in Australia as well as “The Lucid Body Institute” in NYC.
Margherita is a regular performer at La Mama Theater in Australia and NYC, where she has acted in a wide variety of work, ranging from Luigi Pirandello’s Caps and Bells to a provocative new translation of La Medea by Franca Rama and Dario Fo. She performed at the Solo Show in “Wounded” written by Mario Fratti LES Festival in NYC and “The Count of Montecristo” produced by New Light Theater Company, Off Broadway show.
In addition to her theater work, Margherita is an accomplished film and TV actress, receiving several “Best Actress” nominations at Film Festivals around the world and is a familiar face on Italian TV. Margherita is also an accomplished writer whose translation of Beatrici with the author Stefano Benni, premiered at NYC’s “La Scena” festival. She also wrote Margarita’s current project “Io, Marta”, which was workshopped at the prestigious international theater festival Next Generation Spoleto.
When did you first become interested in story-telling and acting?
Margherita Peluso: I was in college when I was asked to take part in a theater show. I had to turn it down because after school my engagement was to go back home to help my mum and study English. At the end of the year there was the premiere of the show, I was so amazed and discouraged because I wanted to be there on stage. My hands were sweating, and my heart was beating so hard as if I was there between the actors. I decided to enroll in a theater school immediately after.
We first met you at the IFFNY film festival in New York as a jury member. What was that experience like? How did you like New York?
Margherita Peluso: I had the privilege to see so many good films and meet many talented artists. This amazing experience gave me the opportunity to confront myself with my own limits and fears. I learned a lot by looking into details of the films selected, by talking with the artists and the other members of the jury. NYC for me was the best school, the place where I met my mentors, such as Fay Simpson, Mario Fratti, Gloria Gifford. My work brought me to different countries but still I have a deep connection with the artistic scene in Manhattan.
What are you currently working on?
Margherita Peluso: I am a Lucid Body teacher. The Lucid Body is a hands-on technique for the actor striving for authenticity. Created by Fay Simpson in NYC, this technique offers a path for the actor who wants to open his body to every human potential. It is a method that trains not just the physical body but also the mental and emotional body. LB helped me to “hear” my inner body, “diagnose” my energy, turn the focus inward and “listen” to myself without judgment.
Additionally, I am producing a Film based on Marta Abba pioneer of the Italian Theater, actress and Muse of Luigi Pirandello.
What were your first roles in film and theater?
Margherita Peluso: My first role was in theater. I played a Colombina in Commedia Dell’Arte, Pierre de Marivaux at the Theater San Babila of Milan.
What are some of the most memorable roles you’ve played in your career so far?
Margherita Peluso: One of the most grotesque, hilarious and dramatic role that I’ve played was in a short movie produced in Australia, “Blood Trust”. It’s a story of jealousy, possession and murder. I was playing an eccentric mother who wants to defend her son from bullying by committing murders. Another great role was “Medea” a play written by Franca Rama featured at La Mama Theater.
What inspired you to teach yoga?
Margherita Peluso: Well…. First I practiced regularly yoga for long time, then I studied the philosophy of Yoga and then I lived in Ashram for over a year. Yoga is a way of living, it is ethic, morality, and self-discipline. I was so fascinated by the Gurukula system (Guru=Master Kula=Home), a spiritual education system. There is a great devotion for the Master. The concept is to live next to him for long time in order to acquire the knowledge and be able to share it. I’m fascinated by ancient traditions, rituals, collective memories.
What type of yoga do you teach? Is there any particular philosophy that you follow?
Margherita Peluso: There are 4 paths of Yoga. Karma Yoga is the path of action and suits people with active temperaments. Bhakti Yoga is the yoga of devotion and is perfect for people who are emotional by nature. Jnana Yoga is the yoga of wisdom or knowledge is most suitable for intellectual people. Raja Yoga is the science of controlling body and mind. The asanas (body postures) and pranayamas (breathing exercises).
I teach Raja Yoga and practice constantly all the other paths. I combine Drama Therapy in my yoga classes. Another reason why I’m taking Lucid Body training, is because I teach adults and kids.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
Margherita Peluso: I feel that theater is a way to practice yoga because it requires that as actors we work on breathing, how to control the mind, body and emotions. Theater, just like yoga, encourages you to listen the silence and our inner rhythm. Grotowski and Stanislavsky were inspired by great yogis. In this respect, I have been practicing yoga for over 15 years, now with more consciousness.
What are your future plans? What can we expect from you in 2021?
Margherita Peluso: Be surprised by life.