The Commedia Company was created in 2018 in response to the pangs in Virginia Scott’s heart from so often having nothing to offer students who caught her in the hallway after class when they earnestly whispered, “Is there somewhere I can like go to see this, you know… performed??!” Now, finally, she can look those hopeful students in the eye and say, “Hell, yes! And you better hold onto your socks, sister!”

The Commedia Company is Phase One of the development of a performance wing of the Funny School of Good Acting, in which we have begun to offer our training to the public in the form of performance. We’re raising the profile of the funny forms and shining a light on the extraordinary skills and talents of our faculty and alumni. Clown Company comes next and then… Wanna do it too? Sign up for of those Funny classes!

The Commedia Company will be back with a BRAND NEW show in January 2020! 
 

It's an ALL NEW show of devised work AND improvisation in a seat-of-the-pants explosion of comedy, politics, and 17th century English Country Dancing*. The most dangerously talented, bravest and funniest actors working today will use the masks and archetypes of the Commedia dell 'Arte to take on the world we live in now - no bags of gold, arranged marriages or Renaissance-y bullshit! Watch as they transform themselves, space, and time at lightning speed. There will be moments of ecstatic hilarity and moments of deep collective soul-searching. And fart jokes (probably). 

 

with Brandt Adams, Will Clark, Nick Mayfield, Ralf Jean-Pierre, Jeff Seal, Christopher Tramantana

and music by John Coyne

* Could be - anything is possible.

Come play with the Commedia Company!

 
It’s an open rehearsal series where you can drop in and experience the inner workings of the Commedia Company and see what the heck playing a mask is all about. (Hint: it’s about defining strong characters physically and vocally and tipping into surprising physical and verbal comic invention!) We promise no bags of gold, arranged marriages, exaggerated physical indications or other Renaissance-y bullshit – the way we rock it is happening right now, surprisingly physical and astonishingly funny.
 
Each rehearsal we work some of the masks and the possibilities of their physical and vocal articulations as well as their status and status relationships. We’ll endeavor to discover how these masks might be played as characters in the present day and what kind of personal relationship we can find to each mask. Then we will explore GIMP-P (Game, Improvisation, Meta-play, Physical & Vocal Articulation and Ping-Pong). Finally, we’ll improvise some material all together! Virginia Scott and at least 2 members of the Commedia Company will lead rehearsals.
 
All rehearsals are on Mondays in various locations in Brooklyn. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.
 
Dec 2, 2-5pm
Dec 9, 7-10pm
 
Come to just one or every one! Email thefunnyschool@gmail.com to let us know you are coming and get all the dirty details. $15.
 
For those interested in joining The Commedia Company (or just playing with us for a night!) Nov 25 and Dec 16 will be rehearsals with the full company by invitation only. (Nov 25, 7-10pm & Dec 16, 630-9pm)

 

Who the what?!

Check out the feature

about the company at 

www.vaudevisuals.com

 

Virginia "Mother Courage" Scott

Virginia has been making commedia shows ever since she got her hands on the most beautiful leather commedia masks in the world. Strapping thousands of euros to her boobs she set forth from Amsterdam, across Belgium to meet master mask maker Den Durand in a disreputable coffee shop outside the Paris train station. After 2 hours of drinking espresso and pretending to speak French the exchange was made and the goods were hers! Later in Los Angeles, to her delight, American mask maker Bob Beuth created for her in neoprene new versions of certain other masks such as Tartgalia and Dottore.  She has since used all these magical artifacts in countless classes and shows including the currently touring Jarrod Bates: Out of the Box and Onto Your Face. Beautiful messes she has made in variety, clown and other forms of comedy include the time she somehow wrangled a show out of the divorcing juggler/acrobat couple, Planet Banana, to create a long running hit at Ars Nova. And she will forever look back with equal parts pride and regret on what she made with the 3-man clown group Happy Hour. We burned bright in the aughts before the, perhaps inevitable, supernova. Virginia is committed to the actor/creator and making new works through improvisation, which gives access to the wisdom in the body of the actor and the inspiration of the moment rather than relying on the big brains lying around eating potato chips in the writer’s room. Check out her bio on the Faculty page for more fancy credits. Inspired by the hilarious, beautiful, impossible things she’s seen actors do at FSGA lo these many years she dreamed up the Commedia Company. When you get that many funny, brave and trained people together in one place with only the flimsiest of plans something extraordinary is bound to happen and creating an opportunity for that to be shared with the world is better than anything else she can think of. She’d like to offer her profound thanks and adoration to Christopher Bayes, the origin of it all, and the company members who make it happen.

Company Director, Co-Founder and Faculty Member of FSGA

Brandt "Big Daddy" Adams

Brandt “Big Daddy” Adams first encountered commedia in a high school drama class in Fredericksburg, VA where he brought to life a janky handmade paper mache Dottore mask that has, alas, been lost to time and his father’s basement. Then for the next 15 years: nothing. Like said mask, Brandt was lost, blown from here to there (or was it there to here? who can remember?), until one fateful June when a stiff Northwesterly wind landed him in a room covered in foil from floor to ceiling (to protect our brains from the government…) with two people who are definitely not crazy: Christopher Bayes and Virginia Scott. They reintroduced him to the form and juiced it up with more swearing and filth than has ever been allowed in any high school auditorium. The rest, as they say, is history. During his dark wayward years Brandt’s play, Dispatches from (A)mended America, co-written with Godfrey Simmons, was produced Off-Broadway by Epic Theatre Ensemble. He has also performed in works produced by LaMama, Abrons Arts Center, JACK, Dixon Place, and University Settlement and once had the privilege of performing at the National Theatre of Kosovo in Pristina.  www.brandtadams.com

Company Member

Jarrod "Mississippi Whizbang" Bates

Jarrod is an actor, musician, and mischief-maker with a particular love for breaking the rules and doing the impossible. He moved from the red clay hills of Mississippi to study that serious acting stuff at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, but eventually became sidetracked by the silly, sparkly, and downright stupid at The Funny School of Good Acting with Christopher Bayes and his lopsided band of dreamers. There, he teamed up with Virginia Scott to create the currently touring solo commedia show Jarrod Bates: Out of the Box and Onto Your Face. Outside the FSGA, Jarrod has trained in clown and physical comedy with Daniel Passer, and with Spymonkey's Aitor Basauri at the Celebration Barn in Maine, in New York, and in Honolulu. Jarrod studied improv at the i.O Chicago, and the Annoyance Theatre NYC where he was a regular performer, along with curating his nonverbal comedy variety show Shut The F*ck Up. Jarrod has also performed at the People’s Improv Theatre, The Kill Bar at Times Scare, The Cutting Room with Endtimes Productions’ annual Yuletide bacchanalia Naked Holidays, and had the pleasure of joining the band for You Go To My Head as part of Salty Brine’s Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret at the Red Room. He has worked with Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival, was in Clown Bar at The Box with Pipeline Theatre Co., and can be found fooling with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot and Bryant Park Shakespeare with the Drilling Company. Most recently, Jarrod has been working with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, having toured a 3-person clown adaptation of The Comedy of Errors directed by FSGA family Zachary Michael Fine, and is now playing the title role in Hamlet for their spring educational tour. jarrodbates.com

Company Member

Will "Cautiously Optimistic" Clark

Will “After Dark” Clark first dipped his toe into the comic world of the Funny School when one of his fancy Yalie friends pointed him in the direction of Chris Bayes. After two weeks of terror and a little spiritual awakening, he was hooked! What followed was several years of returning to the Funny School and hunting down other like-minded funny people to play with. Will has taken gobs of clown and commedia workshops with Chris Bayes, Aitor Basauri, Zack Fine, Andy Grotelueschen, Jim Calder, Virginia Scott, and Lucas Caleb Rooney. He has performed in an array of devised works at The Pit, The Wild Project, The Interrobang Festival, and most recently in a workshop production of fellow clown Joe Hendel’s play, Playing with Masculinity. When not clowning around, Will is the Associate Artistic Director of The CRY HAVOC Company, with whom he has taken part in the development of more than 150 new plays, musicals, and screenplays, and has performed in dozens of CRY HAVOC’s readings and productions, including his performance in Kitt Lavoie's Sabbatical, for the Lincoln Center Originals series. Most recently, he has appeared in two productions at the Ivoryton Playhouse, as Mortimer in The Fantasticks and in The Simpsons writer Mike Reiss’ new musical, I Hate Musicals: The Musical in which he played Jesus (type-casting). 

Company Member

John Coyne went to acting school and decided it just wasn't for him. Now he makes all sorts of music with his fingers and mouth to help stories be told. He likes the funny stories best of all. One time he sat in the corner and played moody Chekhovian guitar while BEDLAM did a theatrical mashup called Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet. Another time he sat in the corner and made things up on the piano while Nicholas Mayfield danced around and said things in Masc4Mask: A Solo Queer Commedia Show. John also writes musicals but no one knows about any of them yet because John is still quite young, but he's working on getting older, one day per day. Nowadays John sits behind a keyboard while the Commedia Company yells at him for not knowing songs from the 80's. John daydreams about having a pet pig, and his favorite fruit is plums. www.johncoynejohncoyne.com

Company Musician

Leland "Young Sparkle" Fowler

It’s been a long-short journey for Young Leland, with plenty more destinations coming down the pipeline! Leland first ventured into the Clown & Commedia worlds with Christopher Bayes at the Yale School of Drama, where he grabbed his MFA in Acting, and made some funny potent political stuff with Bayes in Ubu. He was last seen in the city playing Claudio in TFANA’s Measure for Measure. Somewhere in swanky studios across the country, Leland and his companions can be found using some other masks (the Balinese kind) to make work with Budi Miller and the soon-to-come Full Stop Theatre Company. Leland is more than thrilled to be a part of the budding Commedia Company. He loves the beauty of the clown and the truth of the masks. He loves it all. 

Company Member

Mayelin "Hot Damn" Geraldino

Short, young and full of sass, Mayelin(Mah-Je-Lin) first strutted her way into Christopher Bayes summer Clown class in 2015, after conning her friends and family into paying for a full summer of Clown at The Funny School of Good Acting. There she bared her soul, laughed herself into a waterfall of tears, made a mess, forgot to clean it up and crawled her way from one week to the next. From Clown I, to Clown II, to Commedia Dell’Arte and lastly Commedia Dell’Arte Performance with Virginia Scott, she learned to have a lot of stupid fun. Virginia’s class led to a short performance of Smeraldina’s exploration on the pains of motherhood, being a working class woman, and Smeraldinas presidential campaign. It was there she fell in love with the mask. Recently she took a fun scene study class with Gabriel Levey. Before that she took some clown with Zachary Fine at the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford, did some more clowning in a Lucas Rooney Class, before that, she graduated Queens College, and before that—well, she was born, learned to walk, talk, and hasn’t shut up since. This past summer Mayelin(say it how you can) spent it in Connecticut performing with the Shakespeare Academy at Stratford as, Francisca and Barnardine in the Measure for Measure production directed by Brian McManamon, and Prospero in The Tempest directed by Jessi D Hill. Currently Mayelin(sometimes I don’t even know how to pronounce this), is excited to put on a mask, see who pops out, and to have some fun with some of her old clown friends and new ones!

Company Member

Carter "The Gentleman Caller" Gill

Carter’s commedia beginnings began in 2009 with Even Maybe Tammy, conceived & created at Yale with Chris Bayes and the YSD ’09 Actors.  He began a beautiful and long-ass clown & commedia teaching apprenticeship with Bayes a couple of years later until 2013 and has since been creating funny stuff, most notably, Commedia Dell Artichoke with Tommy Russell, and he’s been holding space for other funny people to create other funny stuff in clown noses, in human noses, in Denis Durand (Den) and Max Dana’s (Mister Face) gorgeous commedia masks with noses inside. Carter is on faculty at Pace University, Rider University, and Marymount Manhattan College teaching clown, commedia and acting. He has a BFA in Directing from Southern Methodist University and MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama. Directing Credits include A Doctor in Site of Himself, Ubu Roi (Directed & Adapted) and A Flea in Her Ear at Rider University, Ruzante (Asst. Director to Chris Bayes, Workshop Production at TFANA), Skeleton in the Pantry by Elisabeth Gray (Workshop Production at Manhattan Theatre Club), and The Servant of Two Masters at Marymount Manhattan College. Acting Credits in New York include productions the Flea, Lincoln Center, Soho Rep, Studio42 and The Women’s Project. Original & Co-Created Theatre: Commedia dell’Artichoke and Even Maybe Tammy (Frances Black Projects). Regional Theatre: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Allentown Shakespeare Festival, Berkshire Theatre Group, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and Yale Repertory Theatre. TV & Film: Law & Order, Person of Interest, Turn: Washington’s Spies, Couch, and Eskimo Sisters.

Company Member

Ralf "The Sweetness" Jean-Pierre

Ralf Jean-Pierre, is a first generation Haitian-American actor, comedian & songwriter-rapper born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. A life-long artist, Ralf earned a BFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007.  He studied at Dance New Amsterdam, the People’s Improv Theater, with the members of Centralia, one of the most distinguished improv troupes in the world, and with Christopher Bayes, who also teaching clown and physical theater at Yale and NYU. He has apprenticed with world-renowned master clown, Eric Davis. Ralf has acted in more than a dozen plays, including The Elephant Man, and History of America Abridged, and half a dozen short films such as Growing Down. Ralf has written, directed, and produced for the theater.

Ralf spent most of 2012 riding his bicycle around the United States as `Speare Bearer, a one-man theater troupe performing his repertoire of Street Shakespeare scenes in which he played all the characters. Ralf and his collaborator Jolie Tong spent the next five years developing a one-man musical, with original blues rap music, all written and composed by Ralf, about his one-man Shakespeare on a bicycle tour called WHAT SHOULD BE THE FEAR, which debuted at Gamba Forest Art Space in Brooklyn, NY in 2017. Ralf has written raps and songs most of his life. He writes, composes, and performs music as Precious Gorgeous. He is part of a NY based artists’ collective known as the #BlackGodPantheon.

Company Member

Annelise "The Wildcard" Lawson

Annelise has been chasing good and funny acting since age three, when she slapped on a pair of her dad’s oxfords and made a clown show in her Berkeley living room.  She got her first taste of collaborative comedy in Minnesota, performing in The Laundromat (directed by Barbra Berlovitz); her appetite for spontaneous theatrics in a group was whetted acting with and directing Cujokra - improv fraternity and openers for Bobby Moynihan and Ellie Kemper, amongst others. After a brief stint in Chicago - where she trained at iO, performed on the iO Harold team Sigourno Reaver, and founded comedy troupe Senator Grandpa - she sojourned east to earn her MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama.  There, she studied clown and commedia with real-life wizard Christopher Bayes, and appeared as Mr. Fix-It in his production of And Sometimes Why….Annelise is a devotee of commedia, and thinks there’s no greater magic than launching into play with a talented, eager ensemble - she’s profoundly grateful for the opportunity to do so with the Commedia Company. She’s currently a teaching apprentice at FSGA; when she’s not learning how to help others make big, beautiful, unexpected theatre, she’s acting, writing, and teaching Russian Theatre at the New School for Drama. 

Company Member

Gabe "Your Father's Favorite" Levey

Gabriel Levey is an actor, teacher and theatre maker based in Brooklyn NYC. After receiving an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama, Gabriel continued to work with his mentor Christopher Bayes as a teacher trainee in Clown and Commedia. Over the past 9 years Gabe has collaborated with Chris in a number of capacities: student; teacher trainee; Understudy  - A Doctor in Spite of Himself (Yale Repertory Theatre); Devisor/Performer This F*cking Commedia Project (Yale School of Drama); Assistant Director - The Servant of Two Masters (Theatre for a New Audience); and as a performer in ongoing workshops of Ruzante (Theatre for a New Audience). As a theatre maker original work includes the clown duet Dwellicle 109 (IRT); the solo show Brainsongs, or the play about the dinosaur farm (Yale Cabaret); an ensemble piece And now we do LINDBERGH’S FLIGHT by Bertolt Brecht (Yale Cabaret); The Most Beautiful Thing in the World (Yale Cabaret/Boston University/Cloudcity); and How to Help the Self Needs Help, with Carol A. Jantsen (The Peoples Improv Theater).  Other recent acting credits include Br’er Rabbit/Capt. Ratts in An Octoroon (Theatre for a New Audience).  As a faculty member of The Funny School of Good Acting, Gabe teaches Acting as Play – a hybrid Clown and scene study class - every Sunday night, and Shakespeare Clown at NYU Tisch. Additional teaching experience includes multiple Clown workshops with company members from Gallim Dance, a semester of Commedia and a semester of Chekhov at PPAS (The Professional Performing Arts High School), Scene Study and Games at the Yale Summer Acting Conservatory, and Games and Improv at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. www.gabriellevey.com.

Company Member, FSGA Faculty Member

Nick “The Future” Mayfield is a Texas-bred, Brooklyn-based actor, theatre-maker, and idiot! He’s got the biggest hard-on for this Commedia thing and has been studying it for years with Venetians, Romans, Brits, and even Park Slopers! He’s created several original works by dragging his friends into a dark room and making them dance (Commedia dell PARTAY, Commedia’s Got TALENT), but his current favorite child is MASC4MASK, a Solo Queer Commedia Extravaganza, directed by mentor Virginia Scott, currently touring! Nick stretches his Commedia muscles at weird renaissance festivals in the woods, on a stupid improv podcast he makes with his friends (I know, you’ve been really hoping to hear from another white improviser with a podcast!) and touring his show. You can learn more about this idiot at nick-mayfield.com.

Company Member

Carine "The Grande Dame" Montbertrand

By chance, Carine discovered and fell in love with Commedia as a student at the Conservatoire National Superieur d'Art Dramatique in Paris, where she went to study classical French theatre and got derailed by masks. She was enthralled by the work of master mask teacher Mario Gonzalez, longtime member of Mnouchkine's Theatre du Soleil. Later she also studied clown tons with Chris Bayes and Bouffon with Philippe Gaulier at his school in Paris. She has taught both neutral and Commedia del'Arte mask in theatre programs in NYC and throughout the US. Theatre credits include off Broadway - Soho Rep, two seasons with The Acting Company, CTH and others. Regional - Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage, The Alley, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cincinnati Playhouse, Denver Center, and many more. She is also an award winning audiobook narrator with something like 80 titles for Recorded Books, Audible, Penguin Random House. www.carinemontbertrand.com

Company Member

Julia "Something's Coming" Proctor

Julia "Something's Coming" Proctor began studying with Chris Bayes at The Funny School of Good Acting in 2012, and completed a pedagogical apprenticeship in clown and commedia with Chris in 2015. In addition to the FSGA, she has studied clown and commedia with Philippe Gaulier, Aitor Basauri, Dody DiSanto, and Isabelle Anderson, among others. In 2014 she founded Clown Gym, a weekly drop-in theatrical clown and games class, which she's been leading for four seasons. She's a graduate of The People's Improv Theatre's training program, has an MFA from Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting at GWU, and a BA from Middlebury College. As a member of Actors Equity she has performed at such theatres including Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre, Round House Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, PTP/NYC, the Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble, Project Y, New Dramatists, and The Lark. Her own devised work has appeared at The PIT, ART/NY, The Tank, and Cloud City. Join her at Clown Gym on Tuesday nights! clowngym.com juliaproctor.com

Company Member

Tommy "Sweet Cheeks" Russell

Tommy Everett Russell jumped back into the world of commedia after grad school by co-creating an original 90-min musical Commedia dell'Artichoke, which played to sold out crowds at Gene Frankel Theater and received rave reviews. New York credits: The Rafa Play (The Flea Theater);  The Fever (The Shed; Pratt Institute; Brooklyn College);  Seventy Scenes of Halloween (Vaudeville Park); Obama Drama (45th Street Theatre); On the Night of Anthony’s 30th Birthday Party…Again (Manhattan Theater Source); Ugo’s Last Dance (Medicine Show); Prayer of the Expelled (Soho Think Tank).  As a director, The Gallery and The Hole (NY Theatre Barn); In the Cypher (Drilling Theater Company); and The Last Five Years (Yale Cabaret). Tommy co-wrote and directed an original clown show with Bryce Pinkham entitled Out of the Box and  conceived/directed/starred in an eight-person mime show entitled Spring Nite O’Mime (Yale Cabaret). Other  acting work includes Alls Well (Yale Rep) and the lead role in Run, Mourner, Run, a short-story adapted and directed by Tarell Alvin McCraney. MFA, Yale School of Drama.

Company Member

Jeff "Fixed Point" Seal

Jeff, “Fixed Point,” Seal has been doing Commedia Dell’arte since before he was born. He started training in the art form in 16th Century Italy so he’s actually the only person alive who knows how it was actually done. For the next 4 centuries Jeff wasn’t alive yet but once he was he started doing Commedia again at the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco. Before that he studied Corporeal Mime in Paris with Thomas Lebhart, a student of Etienne Decroux. After having a fall out with Marcel Marceau, Jeff went back in time to star in Les Enfant du Paradis which, ironically, inspired Marceau to become a mime in the first place. After getting stuck in the alternate 1984 that his time traveling accidentally created and a brief stint a a Born Again Christian, Jeff returned to his roots and studied Commedia and masks with Julie Goell, Mario Gonzalez, William Hall and Leonard Pitt. He also spent a lot of money on clown classes with Jeff Raz, Avner Eisenberg, Mick Barnfather, Letitia Bartlett, Lou Jacobs, Christopher Bayes, Eric Davis, Otto Griebling, Ronlin Foreman, Grock, Dominique Jando, Judy Finelli and Emmet Kelly. Currently Jeff performs in his two-man clown show, Jeff and Buttons and makes videos with his comedy collective, Bankrukt. You can see all the dumb things Jeff's ever done at jeffoseal.com and bankrukt.com.

Company Member

Christopher "The Real Deal" Tramantana

Tramantana has been an idiot for as long as he can remember and if you check with his family they can attest he’s been one for even longer than that.  A lover of all things ridiculous and stupid, he began his work at FSGA in 2014 where he trained with both Chris Bayes and Virginia Scott.  “Urgent Care” has had the privilege of putting not one, but two shows together with Virginia Scott for FSGA. He also completed a teaching apprenticeship with Bayes where he trained and assisted him at the Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School, and The Funny School of Good Acting.  Tramantana has also studied Clown, Commedia d’ell Arte, Games, and Play with Jane Nichols, Aitor Basauri, Jim Calder, Lucas Caleb Rooney, and others. He has taught Clown, Games, and Play at NYU Tisch’s Meisner Studio, The Graduate Acting Program at University of Tennessee in Knoxville, Queensborough Community College, and at The John DeSotelle Studio in NYC.  Directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Metamorphoses, Our Town, You Can’t Take It With You, Antigone, Sweeney Todd, and Into The Woods. Christopher holds a BA in Performance from Fordham College at Lincoln Center and an MFA in Acting from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.  www.christophertramantana.com 

Company Member

Justine "Wildcat" Williams

Justine discovered clown and commedia waaaay back in 2001 when she was just a young buck, full of hope and optimism. She took class with Christopher Bayes who she was convinced was a master clown from Belgium because he smoked cigarettes, had European hair and spoke in a funny accent. By the time she figured out who he was (not gonna tell you - ha-ha!) — she was hooked! Justine has been a burr in Chris' side ever since -  working with him and his caravan of fools as a performer, collaborator and producer, helping to create all kinds of beautiful nonsense. She has strutted her stuff on stages at The Public, NYTW, Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, Ars Nova and the like, and film work as a performer and/or director has premiered at New Directors/New Films, Maryland Film Festival, Slamdance, Rotterdam International Film Fest and more. She completed her MFA in Performance and Interactive Media Arts from CUNY/Brooklyn College, and teaches play and devising at the Yale School of Drama, The Funny School of Good Acting, and other fine institutions of learning.  She is currently a 2018 NYWIFT Filmmaking Fellow, directing her first feature film about that time when she was 13 years old and sabotaged her own Bat Mitzvah. 

Company Member, FSGA Faculty Member

Liz "Weepy Face" Wisan

Liz is an actor, singer, comedian, writer, and whatever else you need her to be. You got a job for her? She'll take it. She first encountered Clown and Commedia in 2009, at Yale School of Drama, studying with Chris Bayes. It was hard and she cried literally every class, but it was still pretty great, and she kind of fell in love with all the beautiful and funny things you could find in the clown and commedia worlds. At YSD, she made a Commedia show with Mr. Chris Bayes called Almost Always Something, and she played Smeraldina, and they got to bring that show to Istanbul!!! Then like two seconds later, Sir Christopher Bayes directed Liz playing Smeraldina in another Commedia show called The Servant of Two Masters, which started at Yale Rep in 2010, and over the next six years, went to Shakespeare Theatre Company (D.C.), The Guthrie, ArtsEmerson, Seattle Rep, and finally landed at Theatre for a New Audience in Brooklyn! (By that point they’d been doing it so long, Liz was playing a different role.) She also workshopped Ruzante with National Treasure Chris Bayes for TFANA, and is spending this year as a teaching apprentice to All-Powerful Lord Bayes at FSGA, and Yale School of Drama. Sure, she’s done other stuff like Other Desert Cities (Bway/LCT), These Paper Bullets (Atlantic Theater), The Tempest (La MaMa), and lots of other shows at Yale Rep, Berkeley Rep, Old Globe, Two River, and Dorset Theatre Festival to name a few, but she keeps coming back to Commedia and Clown work because it's so funny and sometimes pretty stupid, and also so so beautiful. Next up: The Winter’s Tale (TFANA) and Taming of the Shrew and Richard II (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). www.lizwisan.com

Company Member

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The Funny School of Good Acting
New York, NY
thefunnyschool@gmail.com