Our Mission

To entertain, educate and elucidate through
the practice and performance of Commedia dell’Arte


We believe that Comedy doesn't negate tragedy.
They are brothers in arms.

We use Commedia to bring out the truest sense of what
a play is on the page, in order to rediscover classics
and create dynamic new work.

We embody the spirit of Commedia, which is
traditional yet innovative, international yet familiar,
and classical yet accessible.

In our performances, actor training, international initiatives,
and educational outreach, Commedia dell'Arte is theatre at
its best: physical discipline, spontaneous imagination,
collaborative energy, and joyous wonder.

Faction of Fools: We take comedy seriously.

Faction of Fools Group character picture

Faction of Fools is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization in residence at Gallaudet University since 2011.

Commedia dell'Arte's Legacy

Commedia dell'Arte, which translates as "professional theatre," began in Italy in the early 16th Century and quickly spread throughout Europe, creating a lasting influence on Shakespeare, Molière, opera, vaudeville, contemporary musical theatre, television sit-coms, and improv comedy. The style of Commedia is characterized by its use of masks, improvisation, physical comedy, and recognizable character types—young lovers, wily servants, greedy old men, know-it-all professors, boasting heroes, and the like. The legacy of Commedia includes the first incorporated (i.e. professional) theatre company, the first European actresses, and many of the themes and storylines still enjoyed by audiences today.