Tomorrow Sunday, April 13th at 7 PM: Faction of Fools Theatre Company presents the 5th Annual “Fool for All”: ‘Tales of Heroes and Gyros’

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 13th at 7 pm, Faction of Fools Theatre Company presents the 5th Annual “Fool for All”: Tales of Heroes and Gyros.  The Fool for All has been happening every year since 2010.  We’ve compiled quotes from this year’s cast about their favorite Fool for All memory or insight.  See below for what these actors have to say.

Graham Pilato, Matthew R. Wilson, Rachel Spicknall Mulford and Eva Wilhelm in "Courting Chaos", from Tales of Love and Sausages, 2010. Photo by Virginia Vogt.
Graham Pilato, Matthew R. Wilson, Rachel Spicknall Mulford, and Eva Wilhelm in “Courting Chaos”, from Tales of Love and Sausages, 2010. Photo by Virginia Vogt.

But wait, what is the “Fool for All”? … Four years ago Faction of Fools invited over thirty actors from across the DC theatre community to train in Commedia dell’Arte, and create seven different one-act plays, which were performed in rotation as part of the Capital Fringe Festival. This sampler platter was called Tales of Love and Sausages. By year two, word had gotten around and Tales of Courage and Poultry involved 58 actors!

The next year, Tales of Marriage and Mozarrella included a real live wedding on stage during one of the shows!

For three years the Fool for All was a mainstay of the Capital Fringe Festival. Then in 2013, the Fools set a new challenge for Tales of Honor and Anchovies: to be devised, rehearsed and performed in a single day.

The play-in-a-day Fool for All returns this year for Tales of Heroes and Gyros. (Yes, we have been setting that joke up for four years!)  The performance also acts as a fundraising event for the company’s 2014-2015.

Like the Commedia dell’Arte troupes of 16th century Italy, there is no fourth-wall, no script, and no back-up plan. The directors arrive at 8 am and the actors arrive at 9 am. The show is at 7:00 that night. The work is driven by the actors. Their training is vital; it’s what prepares them for a 10 hour rehearsal. Plus, they have a shared language of improvisation, Commedia characters and physical tricks. Most importantly, they have each other.

Here’s what some of the actors said when I asked them, why do you do this? What is your favorite thing about the “Fool for All”?

“So many times in Commedia classes and workshops, I will sit back and laugh like a child at the spontaneous inspiration that’s being created on the spot.  The Fool for All is an opportunity to capture some of those Commedia moments while they’re still fresh and surprising, and share them with an audience before anyone starts thinking hard enough to spoil the fun.”
– Toby Mulford (Fool for All director 2010 – 2014, actor in 2011 and 2013)

“Every year we ask ourselves, “How will we top the last one?”  Year three I married a couple on stage.  Year four we created the show in 11 hours.  This year, who knows?!!”
– Paul Reisman (Fool for All director 2012 – 2014, actor in 2011-2012)

“It feels liberating to find creative and hilarious methods of taking down the language barriers between Deaf and hearing actors.”
– Charlie Ainsworth (Fool for All actor in 2012 and 2014)

“I like Il Dottore [the pompous scholar]. You need nothing else. I imagine a beautiful world where the entire Fool for All is just dozens and dozens of Dottori all discussing important things.”
– Steve N. Bradford (Fool for All actor 2010-2014)

“Commedia is fun to watch, but it’s even more fun to create. I love that a historical form with such a rich tradition is also so immediate. And you can’t get more immediate than creating and performing it all in one day!”
– Chantal Martineau (Fool for All actor 2011-2014)

“I love the collaborative nature of the theatre, which is well exemplified in a lightning-fast process like the Fool For All. A project like this breaks down barriers and subverts expectations as the collaborators seek immediate solutions to theatrical obstacles.”
– Jack Novak (Fool for All actor 2014)

By ClintonBPhotography.
By ClintonBPhotography.

Faction of Fools Theatre Company 5th Annual “Fool for All”: Tales of Heroes and Gyros

Sunday, April 13th at 7 pm at Elstad Auditorium at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Ave NE WDC, *Free parking*)

Theatre made in a pressure cooker! Tales of Heroes and Gyros will be created from scratch in a single day! Actors skilled in Commedia dell’Arte begin devising at 9am, with masks, acrobatics, physical comedy, adventure and deli meats. When the curtain goes up at 7pm, there is no fourth wall, no script, no set, and no boundaries. The 5th Annual “Fool for All” is a spectacle for the whole family!

This performance is ASL Interpreted.
Tickets: $5 suggested donation; reserve online at

Visit for more info.

 The article is by Rachel Spicknall Mulford.


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