Friday, June 20, 2014

Last Weekend for Bloody Good Fun by the Fools

Comedy is tragedy happening to someone else

What: Titus Andronicus by William Shakespeare

Who: Faction of Fools Theatre Company

Where: Eastman Studio Theatre - Elstad Annex at Gallaudet University
800 Florida Ave NE WDC (Free Parking! Metro access: Red Line, NoMa/Gallaudet)

When:  Thursday, May 29 through Sunday, June 22, 2014
Thursday, Friday, & Saturday evenings at 8:00pm; Sunday matinee at 2:00pm
Special Monday Night Performance: Monday, June 16 at 7:30pm
Pay-What-You-Can Performance: Thursday, May 29 at 8:00pm
Select performances ASL Interpreted.
Open Captioning available upon request.

Tickets: Regular: $25; Students, Seniors, & Military: $15
Available at the door, 1-800-838-3006, and
Appropriate for ages 13 and up.
Running time is approximately 2 hours and 10 minutes with an intermission.

Bloody good fun!

Faction of Fools Theatre Company presents TITUS ANDRONICUS, the funniest version yet of Shakespeare's bloodiest play, adapted and directed by Helen Hayes Award-nominee Matthew R. Wilson.

TITUS ANDRONICUS ends Faction's fifth season with a shriek, in a gory spectacle merging bloody deaths, physical comedy, acrobatics, and Commedia dell'Arte. During the Renaissance, Seneca's grisly Roman tragedies came back into vogue, and Commedia dell'Arte players presented their own violent delights as part of their repertoire of traveling plays. These "tragic" Commedia pieces were known under the genre of opera reggia, the "royal works" featuring nobles behaving badly--very badly indeed...

Shakespeare knew of this genre both from Seneca's classical writings and from the contemporary performances of itinerant Italian players. He clearly had these in mind when penning Titus Andronicus, his own contribution to the genre of Renaissance horror story. The play is not meant to be silly, but it is too absurd to stomach as a straight drama. It is the sixteenth-century's version of Saw or Hostel.

In the Fools' darkly comic adaptation, something wicked becomes something wickedly delightful. The versatile ensemble includes Nello DeBlasio in the title role, Cori Dioquino, Daniel Flint (Faction's The Mandrake), Christina Marie Frank, Tyler Herman (Faction's A Commedia Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, The Mandrake), Manu Kumasi, Toby Mulford (Faction's Pinocchio!, Christmas Carol, R&J, Hamlecchino, The House with Two Doors), Matthew Pauli (Faction's The Lady Becomes Him), and Chema Pineda-Fernández, along with Gallaudet University seniors Miranda Medugno and Charlie Ainsworth (both featured in Faction's The Mandrake).

Faction of Fools is DC's only theater company devoted to Commedia dell'Arte. The Fools are best known for their adaptations of Shakespeare, such as Hamlecchino and A Commedia Romeo and Juliet, and for new scripts based on old tales, two of which, A Commedia Christmas Carol and Don Juan, have received Helen Hayes nominations for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. They are also the Helen Hayes Awards recipient of the 2012 John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company.

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