Improvised * Masked * Political * Revolutionary * Comedy
character to another at lightening speed, using nothing but some hunks of leather on their faces.
Part of it's planned, part of it's improvised. We explode reality into a world made up of music, pantomime, and verbal gymnastics. And sex! It gets filthy and ridiculous and political. Come scratching around that “backdoor” just right and you’ll find yourself sucked into a whole new world to explore… Think Robin Williams on a late night talk show (but with masks!). It’s part stand-up, part improv, part physical comedy, part character comedy, part political comedy and all imagination. The heart of Commedia continues to beat out the rhythm of “Stick it to the man!” so keep your hands and feet inside the car as we pitch ourselves through the ensuing anarchy and brouhaha! It's like nothin' you never seen before and you'll never forget it!
We drop a brand new show every 3 months - so come again and again - you're gonna wanna!
We play with masks. DON'T FREAK OUT! It's weird, I know, but it's not that hard to understand really, and once you let yourself go with it, you'll have the time of your life (both on stage and in the audience)! Promise.
The masks come from the tradition of the Commedia Dell 'Arte which was a theatrical form during the Renaissance in Europe, in which the actors wore half masks. Each mask is a character based on an archetype. It's a whole thing. Look it
up if you want! But you don't gotta because we don't do it the Renaissance way (at least not in public - what company members do on their own time is their own damn business). We use the masks to make characters in our current world, right here, right now. And, playing masks allows us to harness a kind of physical comedy you can't really get your hands on any other way.
What will happen when you come to a Commedia Company show?! Well, first of all it's a party! We open the doors an hour before the show starts and have live music and drinks and
lollipops. Company members will get to know you, tell you a joke, sing you a song, introduce you to someone sitting across the aisle. It is our mission to destroy the culture of the audience sitting quietly in their chairs, pre-unwrapping their lozenges and preparing for the punishment of having to watch something that is supposed to be good for them while they think about where to go to dinner after the horror is over or take a nap. Then when the moment is right the
company, who are the some of the bravest, most skilled, most dangerously talented, and most
hilarious performers in the world will transform
space and time as they careen from one
Brandt "Big Daddy"Adams
Brandt “Big Daddy” Adams is an actor, playwright, sometimes director, and all of the time father. He has been with The Commedia Company since it was just a glimmer in Virginia’s eye and he couldn’t be prouder of the surly teenager with borderline oppositional defiant disorder it is today.
Outside of The Commedia Company, Brandt has performed at LaMama, JACK, Dixon Place, University Settlement, the National Theatre of Kosovo, and in his living room, where he mans a rabbit puppet named “Bunny” who demands hugs and tells his son when it’s time to put things away. www.brandtadams.com
"Mississippi Whizbang" Bates
Brandt Jarrod is an actor, musician, and mischief-maker with a particular love for breaking the rules and doing the impossible. He moved from the red clay hills of Mississippi to study that serious acting stuff at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, but eventually became sidetracked by the silly, sparkly, and downright stupid at The Funny School of Good Acting with Christopher Bayes and his lopsided band of dreamers. There, he teamed up with Virginia Scott to create the currently touring solo commedia show Jarrod Bates: Out of the Box and Onto Your Face. Outside the FSGA, Jarrod has trained in clown and physical comedy with Daniel Passer, and with Spymonkey's Aitor Basauri at the Celebration Barn in Maine, in New York, and in Honolulu. Jarrod studied improv at the i.O Chicago, and the Annoyance Theatre NYC where he was a regular performer, along with curating his nonverbal comedy variety show Shut The F*ck Up. Jarrod has also performed at the People’s Improv Theatre, The Kill Bar at Times Scare, The Cutting Room with Endtimes Productions’ annual Yuletide bacchanalia Naked Holidays, and had the pleasure of joining the band for You Go To My Head as part of Salty Brine’s Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret at the Red Room. He has worked with Writopia Lab’s Worldwide Plays Festival, was in Clown Bar at The Box with Pipeline Theatre Co., and can be found fooling with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot and Bryant Park Shakespeare with the Drilling Company. Most recently, Jarrod has been working with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, having toured a 3-person clown adaptation of The Comedy of Errors directed by FSGA family Zachary Michael Fine, and is now playing the title role in Hamlet for their spring educational tour. jarrodbates.com
"Caustiously Optimistic" Clark
Will “Cautiously Optimistic” Clark has been shakin’ a leg with The Commedia Company since the Spring of 2018 and has performed with them at Cloud City, Shakespeare Forum, Cantina Royale, JACK, and Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe and is looking forward to moving to bigger venues, massive audiences, and becoming one of the foremost Commedia performers of the modern day... but he’s keeping a level head about it... 'cause, you know he's cautiously optimistic.
Will is the Associate Artistic Director of The CRY HAVOC Company, with whom he has taken part in the development of more than 150 new plays, musicals, and screenplays, and has performed in dozens of CRY HAVOC’s readings and productions, including his performance in Kitt Lavoie's Sabbatical, for the Lincoln Center Originals series. He has performed in an array of devised works at The Pit, The Wild Project, The Interrobang Festival, and recently in a workshop production of fellow clown Joe Hendel’s play, Playing with Masculinity. Most recently, he has appeared in three productions at the Ivoryton Playhouse, as Mortimer in The Fantasticks, Ernst in Cabaret, and in The Simpsons writer Mike Reiss’ new musical, I Hate Musicals: The Musical in which he played Jesus (type-casting).
John "Where have you been
all my life?" coyne
John Coyne sat in on the last show at Catina Royale and there was a collective exclamation of "Where have you been all my life?!" A good musician is hard to find. A good musician who can play for the theatre is a unicorn. A good musician who can play for contemporary, semi-improvisational commedia is a unicorn making out with another unicorn, riding a pegasus.
John went to acting school and decided it just wasn't for him. Now he makes all sorts of music with his fingers and mouth to help stories be told. One time he sat in the corner and played moody Chekhovian guitar while BEDLAM did a theatrical mashup called Uncle Romeo Vanya Juliet. Another time he sat in the corner and made things up on the piano while Nicholas Mayfield danced around and said things in Masc4Mask: A Solo Queer Commedia Show. John also wrote a musical called Wildheart about comic books and growing up. Somebody please give John a million bucks so it can be produced please and thank you :) Nowadays John sits behind a keyboard while the Commedia Company yells at him for not knowing songs from the 80's. John daydreams about having a pet pig, and his favorite fruit is plums. www.johncoynejohncoyne.com
Company Musician & Composer
Julian Evander Hernandez is a regular boy from Clearwater, FL. This is his first season with the Commedia Company! He just joined and that's why he has no handle. YET. Will he be good? Damn, hopefully! He’s studied improv in Chicago and New York at iO, UCB, and The Annoyance.
He writes, directs, and acts in jooby (jooby.nyc). Maybe you’ve seen him in other places like St. Ann’s Warehouse, The 14th St. Y, Brooklyn Comedy Collective, or something else he's definitely forgetting. Julian likes to do other things too: laugh, piss, etc. How can you describe the actions of a real human being doing their best? Follow him on Twitter: @thethongsong. Follow him in real life if you can.
Nick “The Future” Mayfield is a Texas-bred, Brooklyn-based actor, theatre-maker, and idiot! As the Commedia Company's youngest member ("THE FUTURE") he bears the burden of attempting to explain Gen Z references, memes, and TikToks to the rest of the company, and he’s not even Gen Z!
He’s been ultra Commedia-Curious for years, studying it with Venetians, Romans, Brits, and even Park Slopers! He’s created several original works by dragging his friends into dark rooms and making them dance with paper maché on their faces (Commedia dell PARTAY, Commedia’s Got TALENT), but his current favorite child is MASC4MASK, a Solo Queer Commedia Extravaganza, directed by mentor Virginia Scott, currently touring! Nick stretches his commedia muscles at renaissance festivals in the woods all over the country, and has a character-based RPG podcast he makes with his friends (@bitsbeforecrits). See his nudes at nick-mayfield.com
Carly "The Momentum" Moses first met Commedia dell’arte 6 years ago when she impulsively signed up for a class. She had no clue what was going on, but was overjoyed to see a comedy form that included absurdity, reality, commentary, music, and MORE! It was like finding a seven course meal in 1 stick of bubblegum, and Carly was ready to turn into a blueberry. She’s been dipping various toes into Commedia ever since while submerging her whole head into as many forms of comedy as possible. For the past 6 years she’s been studying and performing clown, stand-up, sketch, and children’s comedy with name-drop worthy teachers: Virginia Scott, Christopher Bayes, Philippe Gaulier, Michael Toomey, Veronica Mosey, and by watching small children play. She’s been a secret admirer of the Commedia Company since it’s genesis in 2018, and holding onto the edge of her seat to keep from jumping up on stage with them. She now is thrilled to have her butt up and ready to play!
Carly is most well-known for her colab-creation and performance of: Revenge; a Comedy Show (a 3 woman dark comedy extravaganza), her stand-up performances (Comedy Cellar, Village Underground, Broadway Comedy Club), and Carly & Gina (an absurd comedy ego trip). To learn more about what Carly is actually talking about, hit up carlymoses.com
Cyndi Perczek knew she wanted to perform commedia when she became that obnoxious woman in the audience who was laughing like a damn chicken-horse (if you can imagine both of those animals laughing at once). She's a performer, teacher, theatre-maker, and lover of all things absurd or just plain gross. She works with toddlers, where there is NO FUN ALLOWED, EVER.
Being so accomplished is difficult, because she couldn't possibly write down all her accolades in this bio. She's worked with Pipeline Theatre Company, Fresh Ground Pepper, harunalee, Political Subversities, and The Dance Cartel. Education: BFA-NYU-ETW, MS-EDU-THTR-CCNY. She recently joined The Commedia Company and is flying by the seat of her paaaants!
Ralf Jean-Pierre, is a first generation Haitian-American actor, comedian & songwriter-rapper born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. A life-long artist, Ralf earned a BFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2007. He studied at Dance New Amsterdam, the People’s Improv Theater, with the members of Centralia, one of the most distinguished improv troupes in the world, and with Christopher Bayes. He has apprenticed with world-renowned master clown, Eric Davis. Ralf has acted in more than a dozen plays, including The Elephant Man, and History of America Abridged, and half a dozen short films such as Growing Down. Ralf has written, directed, and produced for the theater. The Sweetness debuted with The Commedia Company at their last show and became an instant fan favorite. We were hardly surprised. He's The Sweetness.
Ralf spent most of 2012 riding his bicycle around the United States as `Speare Bearer, a one-man theater troupe performing his repertoire of Street Shakespeare scenes in which he played all the characters. Ralf and his collaborator Jolie Tong spent the next five years developing a one-man musical, with original blues rap music, all written and composed by Ralf, about his one-man Shakespeare on a bicycle tour called WHAT SHOULD BE THE FEAR, which debuted at Gamba Forest Art Space in Brooklyn, NY in 2017. Ralf has written raps and songs most of his life. He writes, composes, and performs music as Precious Gorgeous. He is part of a NY based artists’ collective known as the #BlackGodPantheon. www.preciousgorgeousralf.com
They call her Mother Courage 'cause she pushes the cart like crazy. Virginia has been making commedia shows ever since she got her hands on the most beautiful leather commedia masks in the world. Strapping thousands of euros to her boobs she set forth from Amsterdam, across Belgium to meet master mask maker Den Durand in a disreputable coffee shop outside the Paris train station. After 2 hours of drinking espresso and pretending to speak French the exchange was made and the goods were hers! Later in Los Angeles, to her delight, American mask maker Bob Beuth created for her in neoprene new versions of certain other masks such as Tartgalia and Dottore. She has since used all these magical artifacts in countless classes and shows including Jarrod Bates: Out of the Box and Onto Your Face and Masc4Mask. Beautiful messes she has made in variety, clown and other forms of comedy include the time she somehow wrangled a show out of the divorcing juggler/acrobat couple, Planet Banana, to create a long running hit at Ars Nova. And she will forever look back with equal parts pride and regret on what she made with the 3-man clown group Happy Hour. We burned bright in the aughts before the, perhaps inevitable, supernova. Virginia is committed to the actor/creator and making new works through improvisation, which gives access to the wisdom in the body of the actor and the inspiration of the moment. Head back to Fizgig for more information! Inspired by the hilarious, beautiful, impossible things she’s seen actors do in class lo these many years, she dreamed up the Commedia Company. When you get that many funny, brave and trained people together in one place with only the flimsiest of plans something extraordinary is bound to happen. And it did. She can hardly believe it's been almost 2 years! Her love and admiration for the artists who make up the Commedia Company is endless.
Jeff "fixed point"seal
After Jeff "Fixed-Point" Seal saw the first Commedia Company show, he liked it so much he went on a hunger strike until Virginia relented and finally let him join the company. He can now add yet another skill to his resume that he loves to do with all his heart but will never make him any money whatsoever.
Jeff Seal is a graduate of the Clown Conservatory at the San Francisco Circus Center and studied Decroux-based corporeal mime at the Hippocampe Project in Paris. He makes comedy videos with his comedy group, Bankrukt Productions, and is one of the founders and artistic directors of Cloud City, an arts space and theater in Brooklyn. More at jeffoseal.com.
Christopher "The Real Deal" Tramantana has been an idiot for as long as he can remember and if you check with his family they can attest to the fact that he’s been one for even longer than that. He willingly courts both triumph and disaster and displays the wreckage and… sometimes (but very rarely), the glory, before a crowd of people for the specific purpose of giving those innocent bystanders a spectacular, if only brief, relief from their daily grind. Such is the life of a laugh junky and community lover. His relentless pursuit of all things magical, hysterical, poetical, ridiculous, beautiful, stupid, and stupendous have landed this idiot in many a pickle, and some might even go so far as to suggest that it’s a miracle The Real Deal is still alive. "I've opted for fun in this lifetime." Someone famous said that and it's a pretty strong mission statement. At the end of the day, Christopher loves to play, and that’s why he’s “The Real Deal”. Tramantana is a founding member of the Commedia Company, and has had the true good fortune and privilege of playing with so many amazing dummies throughout the seasons. He studied Clown, Commedia d’ell Arte, Games, and Play with lots of people. He teaches Clown, Games, Play and other physical arts at lots of places. Acting credits include lots of shows: some funny, some not. The Real Deal actually graduated from college AND graduate school- truthfully! www.christophertramantana.com
"the Real deal"
Chris Truini is a physically-obsessed perpetual motion creature who arrives back under Virginia's tutelage after first studying clown with her in 2013. After that, he found himself staggering around the globe, working, studying, flipping, and falling through Ljubljana, Slovenia, Arezzo, Italy, and Moscow, Russia for the better part of the past five years. After completing a semester abroad at the Moscow Art Theater School in 2014, Chris returned to Moscow and studied in Moscow with movement teacher Andrei Shchukin, actor and director Konstantin Raikin, and master movement guru Andrei Droznin. In Italy, he studied physical theater at the Academia dell'Arte in Arezzo in 2015 before returning to work as an assistant movement teacher from 2016 to 2018. There he learned the art of all things messy and stupid and loud and fast: la Commedia dell'Arte. Upon stepping foot back on American soil, his Russo-Italian experiences proved inescapable, and he came crawling back to the his first ever clown teacher to embark on a new adventure with the Commedia Company! And what an adventure it has become! In addition to teaching stage movement and all kinds of strange wiggling to all ages around the world, he has also taken to the stage, most notably: co-directing and performing as Truffaldino in The Servant of Two Masters as his undergraduate thesis, performing with Russian director Dmitry Krymov in his adaptation, The Square Root of Three Sisters at the Yale School of Drama, and devising and performing in an original piece, Meyerhold & the Avant Garde in Performance, as part of the CrisisArt Festival. He is so grateful to be involved with the brilliant artists and lunatics of the Commedia Company so he can continue to spread the joy and political potency of Commedia as a means to commiserate, poke fun, stoke flames of righteous rage, & make poop jokes.
Assistant Director and Understudy
Check out the feature
about the company at
Check out the feature
about the company in the Brooklyn Paper!
Commedia Company Classes
Wanna learn to do the crazy, dirty, hilarious, epic, beautiful, poetic nonsense you've seen conjured at a Commedia Company show?!?! Check out the training at FIZGIG! Start with Commedia 1 or get a taste for it at a drop-in open rehearsal.
The Commedia Company