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Faction of Fools Theatre Company is devoted to preserving and celebrating the classical style of Commedia dell'Arte. We believe that studying Commedia dell'Arte will enhance creativity, hone physical theatre skills, and spark imagination in all learners. Our educational mission is to create an understanding of and appreciation for Commedia dell'Arte by providing accessible education programming to learners of all ages.


We are committed to access and will work with your school and group to adapt a workshop or performance to your needs.
For more information, please visit our Access page.



DC Theatre Scene raves about our training programs! Read the feature HERE


Faction of Fool’s Touring Company

We are currently booking educational performances of the following shows:


A Commedia
Romeo and Juliet


Shakespeare's greatest love story
by DC's biggest fools

MORE INFO
Curriculum Guide



The Great One-Man
Commedia Epic


Touring the world
since 2004.

MORE INFO
Curriculum Guide


In-School and Out-of-School Residencies

All residencies are taught by experienced teaching artists, who have performed and trained with Faction of Fools. Residencies are fee-based and can range in length from a one-day workshop to a semester-length or year-long residency, depending on your needs.

Commedia dell’Arte: Our signature workshop series introduces students to the style and history of Commedia dell’Arte. Students will physically explore the classical stock characters and scenarios, learn improvisation and mask skills, and develop an appreciation for the international and historical context of Commedia dell’Arte. Upon request, workshops can be tailored to allow students to create their own masks and perform with them.

Improvisation: This workshop series cultivates imagination and creativity in students through the art of improvisation. Students will collaborate as an ensemble, explore theatre games, and create improvised scenes.

Stage Combat: This workshops series will introduce students to the art of storytelling through choreographed stage combat. Students will learn how to perform scenes of staged violence through techniques that emphasize safety and cooperation. An Unarmed residency will focus on hair and ear pulls, punches, slaps, kicks, and falls. An Armed residency will focus on dagger, rapier, and broadsword techniques.

Visual-Gestural Performance: This workshop series develops students’ abilities to communicate in non-verbal ways. Students will explore how gestures, facial expressions, and other non-verbal strategies can form the basis of interactions between characters in a scene.

Acro-Balance: This workshop series begins with individual explorations of the basic kinesiology of balance and moves toward partner work in giving and receiving weight and contact improvisation. Utilizing the Swiss acrobatics maxim, "I put my center under the thing that I do not want to die," we study simple techniques for lifting, carrying, and catching human bodies. We then progress to more spectacular balance and ensemble techniques. Great for slapstick, clown, ensemble work, and developing advanced grappling choreography. This class builds (literally!) "from the ground up."

For more information or to book a residency, contact us at education@factionoffools.org.

In order to provide the optimum experience for your students, please book residencies at least four weeks in advance of your anticipated start date. Fees are based on the residency length, degree of customization, and number of students impacted. Mileage may be accessed for programs beyond the Metro area.


Teacher Curriculum Guide

For our Teacher Curriculum Guide, click HERE.

College & University Workshops

Topics can include:
Commedia dell’Arte, Improvisation, Clown, Ensemble-devised Physical Theatre, Stage Combat, Acro-Balance, and Shakespeare.

Formats can include:
Lectures for Theatre History or Theatre Appreciation courses, Studio sessions for Acting or Movement lab classes, Evening or Weekend Workshop sessions for the entire department, and Semester- or Year-long Residencies

All workshops and guest lectures can be paired with a booking of The Great One-Man Commedia Epic for your theatre department or the entire student body.


Master Training Classes

Next up:

The Fool Factory: Commedia dell’Arte and Comic Violence

January Two–Day Intensive in COMMEDIA TECHNIQUE, SLAPSTICK, and ENSEMBLE ACROBALANCE, led by Founding Artistic Director and SAFD Certified Teacher Matthew R. Wilson. This January 25–26, 2014, at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Open to beginning and advanced students (returning students will work on canovacci while beginners study technique), this two-day intensive will focus on all the characters of Commedia dell'Arte as well as techniques, theories, and plans for comedic violence. (NOTE: there are no prerequisites, but strong backs and knees are recommended for this physical activity.)

Proposed plan of study:
Saturday AM:
The Commedia Characters (beginners will learn technique, returning students will create short scenari.)

Saturday PM:
Comic Violence: Slapstick techniques, Why is Pain Funny?, and How “Real” is Farce?
Ensemble Acrobalance: Lifts, Carries, Flips, and Comic Acrobatics

Sunday AM:
Brutal Balancé: The elegant art of fighting off the ground.

Sunday PM:
Scene Development: Participants will create ensemble-devised scenes, incorporating the techniques and theories previously studied.
4:30pm Final Showing: Short, devised scenes, open to the public (free of charge)
Note: there will be a one-hour lunch break each day. There are options for purchasing food at area restaurants, or participants will have use of a refrigerator and microwave on site.

Dates: January 25-26, 2014
Times: 10:30am to 5:30pm
There will be a final showing on Sunday, January 26th, at 4:30pm

$275 for the full course
$150 for first day only (Jan 25)

Register at http://janfoolfactory.brownpapertickets.com/

Where: Gallaudet University’s Elstad Auditorium
800 Florida Ave NE, WDC
*** Free Parking *** Metro: Red Line, NoMa-Gallaudet U.***
Click here for directions.

Spots are limited, so REGISTER NOW!

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