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Our Mission

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Mischief. Adventure. Generosity.

 

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 do this because we believe that theatre is nothing if not entertaining, and the best theatre should 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. 
 

 

Our Shows

 
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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, like the overworked and undervalued employee, their boss the tightwad business owner, the braggy social climber, and power-hungry politician (sound familiar?). At our shows, these characters 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 struggles, and most importantly laugh.
 

 
 

Our Story

When a man loves a woman very much… just kidding! We met in 2006 while attending the Accademia dell’Arte in Italy. It was a special semester. We won’t soon forget it. ;-)

Then in 2011, ALi and Dory called up Liam, Patrick, Allegra and Molly to meet and devise an original work, which became Art for Sale. With that, Tut’Zanni was born.

We come from all over the place. Outside Tut’Zanni we work as actors, directors, teachers, musicians, accountants, bartenders, dishwashers, administrators, and more, all over the United States and Europe.

 
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ALi Landvatter, co-founder

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Allegra Libonati, founding member

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Dory Sibley, co-founder

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Liam Mulshine, founding member

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Molly Tomhave, founding member

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Patrick Berger, founding member

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Training & Workshops

 

Signature Dishes

Made-from-scratch meals served hot and fresh for crowds of any size

What would you do for someone you love?

When a quest to make art becomes all-consuming. Literally.

House Specials

A la carte items from the Tut'Zanni kitchen, available to go

Beep & Bop

Surviving this world by creating a world of their own

Don't Save the Princesses!

Be[at] your own boss

In the Test Kitchen

The newest recipes we're cooking up for our next menu

Mr. and Miss Understanding

Mistake, mistrust, mischief, mishap.

Cinderella Cubed

At midnight, everything gets clocked up.

Food, Sex, & Big Checks

What drives you?

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Our form is very precise, 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 also tailor our materials & exercises to your needs, experience level, age and group size.

  • Plus, we have performances that can pair with any workshop to provide context.

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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 is 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.

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Interested in workshops?

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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 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, PARKVIEW ARTS/SCIENCE MAGNET HIGH SCHOOL

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/Science Magnet High School
 

LOVE LETTER LOST

What would you do to get what you want?

Masks: Zanni, 2 Innamorati, Colombino, Dottore, Magnifica, Capitano, Pulcinella

LOVE LETTER LOST is an improvised, interactive, and occasionally inappropriate show that explores the outrageous things people do in the name of love. Tut'Zanni Theatre Company presents traditional Commedia dell'Arte with a modern twist in this original tale featuring feuding households, cross-dressing servants, a seafaring duo, and more.

RAVE REVIEWS FOR "LOVE LETTER LOST" AT CAPITAL FRINGE FESTIVAL!

"...with [Tut'Zanni's] delightful breed of Commedia dell’Arte, they’re welcome visitors to this year’s Capitol Fringe Festival... they were clearly having just as much fun as we were. And that’s really the spirit that Tut’Zanni Theatre Company brings to their work – have a laugh, and enjoy yourselves."

DC Theatre Scene

"FIVE STARS... Best of the Capital Fringe... everything a Fringe show should be: fast paced, highly entertaining, and a wonderfully comic way to spend an evening."

DC Metro Theater Arts

"[I]f you’re looking for contenders for the best comedy Fringe has to offer, I think we may have just got beaten on our home turf by a gang of out-of-towners."

Washington City Paper

 

 

Photos by Zach Kronisch at Zach Kronisch Photography

Click here to download a copy of the press release for Love Letter Lost.

ART FOR SALE

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Brighella’s theatre company is trying to put up their show but a million things go wrong. Through prima donna actors, money-hungry venue owners, and plain old-fashioned chaos, this play explores the relationship between art and money, and what that can mean to artists.

Art for Sale uses various theatrical forms, including Commedia dell’ Arte and neutral mask, music, shadow puppetry, dance, and acrobatics in what is a spectacular exploration of heart and expression that illustrates the struggle and satisfaction of being an artist.

Art for Sale, the first show created by Tut'Zanni Theatre Company, was workshopped in Los Angeles in 2011, then was performed in Arezzo, Italy at the CrisisArt Festival and at the New York International Fringe Festival in 2012, as well as a number of venues in Arkansas and Mississippi during a tour of the Southern US.

Masks: Brighella, Arlecchino, Colombina, Capitano, Pantalone, Innamorata, 

Photos above by Angel McVay-McGeehee

BEEP & BOP

BEEP AND BOP

Beep and Bop are siblings, a sister and brother respectively. We don’t know how they got to the city, but we get a glimpse into their daily lives. We are taken through their endearing wake-up routine, after which they are immediately faced with something so basic we can all relate to it: hunger. They do not have parents, so Beep takes on the mother role, pushing them to perform for the few dollars that allow them to barely survive. Where Beep is practical, Bop is imagination. Beep feeds their bellies, and Bop feeds their hearts. These two are caught in a world, this city, that does not care about them. No one is there to help them assimilate, so they create their own world to help them survive. 

Masks: Two Zanni masks

DON'T SAVE THE PRINCESSES!

 

 

Cara begins her day the same way every time her cartridge is put into a game system. She is a beautiful princess on a picnic, who is kidnapped by an evil witch who wishes to steal her youth, and she waits in her cage until the hero comes to save her and share a kiss. Then it begins all over again. But, one day, the most dangerous thing that can happen to a female video game character happens – she has a thought. Her own, independent thought, that maybe things could be different.
 
But what happens when a damsel in distress decides to rescue herself? What happens to the hero when she decides she doesn’t need him anymore? The audience, alongside Cara, Capitano, and Strega, must decide how the game will now play out, and who will dance the victory dance and beat the game.

Masks: Princess, Hero (modeled after a Capitano estupido), Strega

Don't Save The Princesses! played at the Brick Theatre, 579 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 112211
from Tuesday, July 14th thru Friday, July 24th 2015 CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO

FOOD, SEX, & BIG CHECKS

What happens when Pedrolino comes to the big city to follow his dreams?
How can decisions be made in a board room full of Brighellas?
If Dottore was reporting the news and his co-anchor was Zanni, could the news ever happen?
If Capitano was running for President... should we all move to Canada?
Can Colombina make it sandwiched between the working class and a boardroom of Brighellas?
Will Strega figure out how to use her webcam?
This and more will be revealed in Tut'Zanni's latest creation.

Masks: Pedrolino, Zanni, Colombina, 2 Dottores, an innamorata, 3 Brighellas, Capitano, Strega