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Faction of Fools

Fools to Turn Scrooge into a Pantalone

Most Shakespeare and classics-oriented theaters stage a classic of another sort every holiday season with adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. So it’s only natural that Faction of Fools Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., would add the family favorite to its schedule.

But this being Faction of Fools, a company dedicated to commedia dell arte, this won’t be your typical Dickens ghost tale. Indeed, it’s title, A Commedia Christmas Carol, and the fact that the production is credited as being written and directed by Matthew R. Wilson, “based on the novel by Charles Dickens,” tells you this will be staged as a true commedia dell arte presentation. Wilson, the company’s founding artistic director and an established commedia dell arte player and scholar, adapted Shakespeare’s Hamlet and played the lead in Hamlecchino, Clown Prince of Denmark this past spring.

The company’s other foray into Shakespeare this past year, A Commedia Romeo and Juliet, is currently touring schools and will be taking up residence at the Gathersburg Arts Barn in Gathersburg, Md., in January. The company finishes out its fourth season of theatrical productions with The Lady Becomes Him, a scenario from the classic age of Italian commedia dell arte, and the fourth annual “Fool for All”—next year titled Tales of Honor and Anchovies—during the Capital Fringe Festival in July.

Both A Commedia Christmas Carol (Nov. 29–Dec. 23) and The Lady Becomes Him (April 18–May 12) will run at theaters at Gallaudet University.

August 1, 2012

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