The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, the only accredited acting school in the Greater Washington Area, announced today that it would celebrate international "Commedia dell'Arte Day" today, February 25, with a staged reading of a brand-new Commedia play written by local playwrights Mario Baldessari and Tyler Herman.
"The Good Devil, in Spite of Himself" follows the comedic travails of a 17th Century Commedia troupe besieged by a royal decree that forbids them from using any dialogue in their plays. The royally imposed restriction sends the troupe's planned spoof of the Faustian fable on a rollercoaster ride of comic invention as they seek to successfully skirt the restrictions.
The reading, which is free to the public, will be held at 7:30 pm in the Conservatory's black-box theater. All seating is general admission. Doors open at 7:00. The reading features three of the Conservatory's faculty members: Doug Wilder plays the Royal Messenger and the Devil; Ray Ficca plays Signor Spittitucci, Pantalone, Il Dottore and Lelio; and Tia Shearer Bassett plays Signora Spittitucci, Isadore and Colombina. The reading is directed by Tyler Herman.
Baldessari teaches classes in Commedia for the Conservatory. Herman is a company member of DC's Commedia aficionados, Faction of Fools Theatre Company - the organization in charge of International Commedia dell'Arte Day 2013.
More information on the reading is available here: www.theconservatory.org/coming-soon.html and www.facebook.com/learntoact. More information on Commedia dell'Arte day here: www.commediadellarteday.org/eventi.
The Conservatory is located in the heart of Georgetown, at 1556 Wisconsin Ave. NW. Detailed directions here: www.theconservatory.org/directions.html.
As an accredited actor-training academy, the Conservatory operates under the oversight of the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, and the US Department of Education; and its students are eligible to receive federal student loans and grants. The Conservatory's two-year, intensive, actor-training program - which is firmly rooted in the teachings of Michael Chekhov, Michel Saint-Denis and Constantin Stanislavsky - provides students with 1,800 hours of instruction, practice and rehearsal in 16 months. The Conservatory's faculty consists of actors, directors and playwrights who are actively employed in the DC-area theater and film community. The Conservatory has been training people for careers in acting since 1975.