A beautiful runaway and a mysterious foreigner chance to meet by night in the streets of Naples, transforming a cloak-and-dagger intrigue into a Renaissance bedroom farce complete with masks, swordplay, mistaken identity, and laughs for the whole family.
THE HOUSE WITH TWO DOORS is a world premiere comedy based upon a plot scenario fragmentarily preserved in the theatre papers of a 17th-century Commedia dell’Arte troupe from Naples. Through months of improvisation, the performers have rewritten long-forgotten dialogue and recreated the physical comedy routines that survived only in obscure descriptions such as “Pulcinella does his lazzi of fear” [lazzi = “shtick” or “gag”]. The ensemble of DC-area actors has trained in Commedia dell’Arte—a style of masked physical theatre that began in Italy in the early 1500s and has influenced comedy from Shakespeare and Moliere to the Marx Brothers and SNL—under the guidance of Artistic Director Matthew R. Wilson, who teaches at one of the world’s premiere Commedia dell’Arte conservatories in Reggio-Emilia, Italy. The famous stock characters, such as Pulcinella, Tartaglia, and the Dottore, are fully realized with traditional masks, hand-crafted in leather by the world-renowned Antonio Fava.
Directed by Matthew R. Wilson
Featuring Vanessa Buono, Joel Reuben Ganz, Chase Helton, Michelle Tang Jackson, Toby Mulford, Denise Perrino, Graham Pilato, Annetta Dexter Sawyer, Laura J. Scott, TD Smith, and Rachel Spicknall