Firstly, our name- where does it come from? What does it mean? It is a bit of a play on words. The first part is simple- it is an abbreviation of "tutti", which in Italian, means "all". The second part becomes a little more complex to explain, but we will do our very best.
Zanni is a commedia dell'arte term which refers to a class of characters. It can also be the name of a specific character, but that character would exist within that same class. This is the servant class, the lower, regular, plain old characters that go about their tasks, serving their masters, and serving their base needs. They can be mischeivous, clever, stupid, stammering, sweet, or any number of things. Each Zanni is unique and special.
In our name, think of Zanni as referring to "the regular people". So, putting the first and second part of the name together, it would mean "all the regular people" which is not only who we are, but everyone who shares in our art with us. Not that we exclude any other classes, more that as we all come together, there is a neutralizing force where we all become one. We become our own special and unique characters, that all need the same things. We all need sex, we all need food, we all need love, companionship, and a driving force in life.
So what does our company do? Tut'Zanni is just starting out, but we have a very clear view of what we intend to achieve.
Tut'Zanni is a traveling theatre troupe. We will start with about 2 or 3 shows a year, in places around the world. We choose somewhere we would like to go, whether it's from a personal attachment, or an opportunity that comes up, or we feel we can do some good there. Occasionally, we will spend time in an intensive rehearsal period to develop the basic structure of our show. Then as our performance date approaches, we will arrive at whatever location we have chosen, to get to know the people there. We will get to know their culture, their current events, as much as time will allow, so that we can complete and finely tune the show to directly to apply to those people there. The beauty of physical theatre is it is developed through doing it, and every performance can be unique and different. Each show should be relevant to its audience. We want them to be able to relate to and feel a part of it.
So what is in store for 2012? Here is what we hope to achieve this year:
Tut'Zanni will assemble in Los Angeles for its very first ever intensive rehearsal and development period! We will begin constructing our very first show, and strengthen ourselves as a group. And, at the end of this period, we will be having a preview, work-in-progess showcase and fundraising party! Admission will be free, though donations are welcome, and we will have many fun activities and cool merchandise that will all go to help support our group. We will show what we have worked on so far, and take any feedback our lovely supporters can give. It is sure to be a gay ol' time, so keep an eye out for our announcement of those dates ;)
Tut'Zanni is going to go to Arezzo, Italy, to complete and perform their debut show, as well as take part in and teach workshops at the CrisisArt Festival, provided our application is accepted. We are also sending a proposal to the Accademia dell'Arte for their support in a workspace and a professional assistant director, to help us bring our show to the next level before performing at the festival.
Tut'Zanni is hoping to take part in the New York International Fringe Festival. The application process is a long and expensive one, but we have our fingers crossed, and are working very hard to get there.
We are so grateful to all of you that love and support us in ALL ways. We are a little company diving into a huge world, but we are determined to succeed. We hope you will come along for the ride, and as we share our hearts with all of you, we hope that you, too, will discover your inner Zanni.