© 2019 The Author(s). Background: Use of the video digital format in the classroom is a common way to present clinical cases to stimulate discussion and increase learning. A simulated live performance with actors, also in the classroom, could be an alternative way to present cases that may be more attractive to arouse students' interest and attention. The aim of the present study was to compare the learning process between a group of students who saw a clinical case as a simulated live scene in the classroom and others seeing the same clinical case projected by video. Method: One hundred and thirty-one students (69 from physiotherapy and 62 from medicine) attended an interactive seminar on delirium in older people. Each group was subdivided into two groups: one saw the clinical case as a theatrical performance in the classroom (scene group; n = 68), while the other saw the same case projected on video (video group; n = 63). Before and after attending the seminar, students answered a questionnaire [four questions on theoretical knowledge of delirium (score 0-7) and two on subjective learning perception (linear scale: 0-10) (score 0-20)]. At the end, a further question was included on the usefulness of the scene or a video in the learning process (linear scale: 0-10). Results: Students in both groups (live scene and video) significantly improved in all questionnaire scores after the seminar (p = 0.001) with a large Effect Size (ES > 0.80). Students of the scene group obtained higher scores on theoretical delirium knowledge [6.41 ± 0.73 vs 5.93 ± 1.31 (p = 0.05)], subjective learning perception questions (what they thought they knew about delirium) (16.28 ± 3.51 versus 15.92 ± 2.47 (p = 0.072)], and the overall questionnaire (22.45 ± 4.15 versus 21.48 ± 2.94 (p = 0.027)] than the video group. Students of the scene group opined that live scene was very useful for learning with a mean score of 9.04 ± 1.16 (range 0-10), and opinion in the student's video group scored 8.21 ± 1.22 (p = 0.001). Conclusions: All students improved significantly their knowledge but those who saw the theatrical performance obtained slightly better results, which suggest that this form of clinical case presentation in the classroom may be an alternative at least as effective as traditional video projections.