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 Fools On Tour

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

Curriculum Guide

Based on the novel by Carlo Collodi

For anyone whose feet
have longed for adventure,
and whose heart has longed for home.


The Great One-Man
Commedia Epic

Touring the world
since 2004.

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 Acrobalance

Join the Fools for either day or both days of a February Two-Day Training in COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE TECHNIQUE and ENSEMBLE ACROBALANCE! February 7th & 8th, 2015, at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC.

Register at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1199565

Day One: Saturday, February 7th, 10am-4pm

A one-day intensive in the characters, history, theory, and techniques of Commedia dell'Arte. Learn the characters, study the masks, train, and perform. Led by Faction of Fools' Associate Artistic Director Paul Reisman, who holds an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting. His credits include the Shakespeare Theatre Company's The Servant of Two Masters.

Open to beginning and advanced students. No prerequisites, but the work will be physical. Come dressed to sweat and move. Participants are encouraged to bring water and snacks. (There will be a short lunch break with food options nearby.)

$125 for Day One Only
$200 for Both Days

Day Two: Sunday, February 8th, 10am-4pm

A one-day intensive in acrobalance and ensemble physicality. Jumps, lifts, carries, and comic acrobatics; aka, "Things to Do Onstage Other Than Standing Around." Learn how the human body carries weight-your own or someone else's! Create scenes and lazzi based on ensemble physicality and weight-sharing. Led by Faction of Fools' Managing Director Toby Mulford, who holds an MFA in Ensemble-Devised Physical Theatre from the famed Dell'Arte School and recently performed in 1st Stage's One Man, Two Guvnors.

No previous training in acrobatics required. The class will begin, literally, from the ground up. Open to beginning and advanced students. No prerequisites, but strong backs and knees required. Come dressed to sweat and move. Participants are encouraged to bring water and snacks. (There will be a short lunch break with food options nearby.)

$120 for Day Two Only
$200 for Both Days


Dates: February 7th and/or 8th, 2015 (Attend Either or Both Days.)
Times: 10am to 4pm

Register at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1199565

Where: Eastman Studio Theatre - Elstad Annex
Gallaudet University, 800 Florida Ave NE, WDC
*** Free Parking *** Metro: Red Line, NoMa-Gallaudet U.***
Click here for directions.

Price: $120 for either day or $200 for both days

Spots are limited, so REGISTER NOW!

Name *


Email *
 Please also send me information about Actor Training opportunities.