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Our Mission

MISCHIEF · ADVENTURE · HEART

 

 
 

Tut’Zanni Theatre Company exists to create fun, interactive experiences that invite audiences to stand with us on the precipice of "what happens next?". 

As storytellers, we expand the views of not only what theatre can be, but what people can be. We bring people together to take them on an adventure that allows all of us to open our eyes, see our mistakes, comfort the heartbreak, celebrate the ridiculous, and remind ourselves that beauty and play exist everywhere. We believe that theatre is nothing if not entertaining, but the best theatre should also challenge our perspectives on the world and stir up the sediment so that we live truer, more just, more equal, more generous and more thoughtful lives. 

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Our Story

When a man loves a woman, and another man, and three other women…

We met in 2006 while attending the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. It was a special semester, to say the least. We won’t soon forget it. When the program ended, we scattered to the wind to continue our lives, thinking often of our incredible time together in the Tuscan hills.

In 2011, ALi and Dory called up Liam, Patrick, Allegra and Molly to realize a crazy dream: to come together again and devise an original work, called Art for Sale, as a new theatre company. With that, Tut’Zanni was born.

We come from all over. Outside Tut’Zanni we work as actors, directors, teachers, musicians, accountants, bartenders, dishwashers, administrators, and more, across the United States and Europe. As far away as we usually are from each other, we're hopelessly devoted to chasing the thrill of those magical moments that emerge when we're in the same room.

 
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Our Shows

We use masks, archetypal characters, physical comedy and improv to create a rough-and-tumble, “people’s theatre” style that is fun, relatable, and engaging. 

Our shows are all about the characters: the overworked and undervalued employee, their boss the tightwad business owner, the braggy social climber, and the power-hungry politician (sound familiar?). The characters in our shows invite the audience to join in the fun: to shout, suggest, support and heckle them along the way. Together, we are able to talk about our world and our struggles, and most importantly laugh.

Hungry for more? Explore our menu of shows.

 
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Our Members

Don't be shy, click a face!

 

Training & Workshops

 
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Workshop on Thursday, 7/19

11am-3pm! 

Taught by ALi Landvatter, come and play with some basics in Tut'Zanni's style of Commedia dell'Arte! You will learn physical and vocal techniques you can apply to any performance, and get to learn how to work in a mask. All levels welcome - Come and play!

*Starving Artist pricing and free scholarship spaces available!


Our Process

Our way of working is all about learning rules and then breaking them. We take inspiration from Commedia dell’Arte, a masked style of Italian street theatre from around the 16th century. Masked physical performance depends on a precise form, with rules and techniques that dictate how it is performed. This allows us to be clear, make strong statements and a lot of hilarious mistakes.

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We don’t work from a script.

We have a general outline of what's supposed to happen, and the characters play their way from point A to point B. We use masks and archetypes to help us develop characters, and then spend a lot of time tossing them together and improvising scenes. We say yes to everything. We play hard. By the time we get on stage, we have fully formed, strong characters that are ready to interact with each other and their audience.

Our Workshops

Though the theatre we create can seem like pandemonium, the form we employ actually requires a great deal of precision, so training is essential. Over the years, we have developed a series of exercises that now allow us to share our love of masked physical performance with students of all ages and levels:

  • We do a quick mask introduction and exploration that can fit into a high school or university class.

  • We do multi-day physical theatre intensives culminating in group projects and performances.

  • We do in-depth lectures and demonstrations around the history and traditional masks and archetypes of Commedia dell'Arte.

  • We can tailor our materials and exercises to the needs of any group, regardless of experience level, age, and group size.

  • We also have performances that can pair with any workshop to provide context. Learn more about our menu of shows here!

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Interested in workshops?

Fill out a form to get in touch with us!

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“The performance and the actors themselves inspired me to participate in more performances around my school. I really hope to meet them again one day!”

— Ramzee Williams, student at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School

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"The workshop was a huge help to me. I now have a huge list of different warm-up activities to do before any performance I’m in."

- Blaze Zink, 10th Grade

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The Tut’Zanni Company brought the historical form of Commedia Dell’Arte alive for my students. The theatricality of their performance exemplified the art of making the most of any performance environment, and their interactive workshop exposed students to new physical theatre methods and exercises. Tut’Zanni makes the old new again!
— Spencer Sutterfield, M.F.A., Theatre Teacher at Parkview Arts and Science Magnet High School
 
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Explore More

 

 

Our World

and other ways to support


Our Thoughts


Want to probe into the minds of Tut’Zanni’s makers? Look no further! Here's where we give you an inside peek into what we're up to, how deep we are into it, and what's growing for the Tut’Z. Click here for our full blog.


Our World


 

When we say Tut'Zanni has been on adventures all over, we mean it! Explore the map below to get a sense of where we live, where we've created, where we've taught, and where we've performed.

Key
alt text = A member of Tut'Zanni lives here
alt text = We've performed here (Art for Sale, Love Letter Lost, Don't Save the Princesses!, Beep & Bop)
alt text = We've been in residency here
alt text = We've taught a workshop here


Our Merch & How to Support

Want to send us some cold hard cash? Who are we to stop you? As a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, all donations to Tut'Zanni Theatre Company are tax-deductible. We rely on your generous donations to help cover the costs of travel, rehearsal and performing that aren't fully covered by ticket sales and workshop income. We're going to make this real easy for you - just click the donate button! We truly couldn't do what we do without you.


Designed for artists of all levels and experience, ALi Landvatter's book EXPLORING MODERN COMMEDIA DELL'ARTE provides a quick and informative guide for everything from form and technique to character and show development in a modern exploration of the ancient Italian masked theatre, Commedia dell’Arte.

Check out our Cafepress shop, full of dozens of products featuring the masks Tut'Zanni uses in performance as painted in watercolor by Liam! All profits go to support the work we do creating new theatre.

 Zanni Reusable Shopping Bag

Zanni Reusable Shopping Bag

 Masks of Commedia Pillow

Masks of Commedia Pillow

 Colombina Necklace

Colombina Necklace

 Masks Tank Top

Masks Tank Top

 Pantalone Mug

Pantalone Mug

 Masks Greeting Cards

Masks Greeting Cards

Already an Amazon shopper? Support Tut'Zanni with every purchase with NO additional cost to you by choosing Tut'Zanni Theatre Company as your Amazon Smile non-profit organization of choice below!

 

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