Commedia dell'Artichoke Set for Artichoke Basille's Pizza, 12/14

Frances Black Project presents, Commedia dell'Artichoke, a bi-monthly show created and performed by Carter Gill and Tommy Russell. Performed in classic commedia dell'arte mask, these two Yale Drama trained actors create a world of characters who live and work in a pizza shop in New York City. It's a story about following your dreams, being your own boss and the chaos that must ensue. December 14 and 15 at 9:30pm at Artichoke Basille's Pizza, 114 10th Avenue (at 17th Street). General admission tickets are $30 and include a slice and drink of choice. Reserved seating is $40. Tickets are available online at The following performances with be on February 22 and 23. Same place and time.

This site specific and immersive theatre production features original music by accordion player, Matt Dallow and custom masks by Mister Face (maskmaker for Sleep No More). The production is rooted in the 16th century Italian theatre form of commedia dell'arte, which celebrates improvisation. The stock characters and scenarios will remain consistent each month, however the dialogue and references with continually change with the times.

Carter Gill (writer and performer) serves on the faculty as a clown and physical comedy instructor at Pace University, Rider University, NYU Tisch School of the Arts and The Studio New York. He is an Edith Wharton Award Recipient, and trained for several years as a teaching apprentice to Christopher Bayes at Juilliard and Yale School of Drama. New York acting credits: Comedy (Lincoln Center Theatre's Directors' Lab); Sprawl by Joshua Conkel (Soho Rep); Spacebar by Michael Mitnick (Studio 42); Even Maybe Tammy directed by Christopher Bayes (Frances Black Projects & The Flea Theater). Becoming Mary directed by Charlotte Brathwaite (ArtPond). MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama.

Tommy Russell (writer and performer) was last seen in Seventy Scenes of Halloween (Vaudeville Park). Other New York theater credits include: The Fever by Wallace Shawn (The Shed; Pratt Institute; Brooklyn College); Midsummer: A Study (New Theatre House); Obama Drama (45th St. Theater; Access Theater); On the Night of Anthony's 30th Birthday Party Again (Manhattan Theater Source); Ugo's Last Dance (Medicine Show); Prayer of the Expelled (Soho Think Tank); Nuts and Bolts (Woodstock Fringe). As a director, Tommy's work has been seen in The Gallery and The Hole (NY Theatre Barn) and In the Cypher (Drilling Theater Co). MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama.

Frances Black Projects (producer), established in 2009, produces small, spirited and unconventional theatrical experiences in New York City. Frances Strauss, is the founder and producer. New York theatre credits include: Becoming Liv Ullman a comedy by Crystal Finn (2013, Artichoke Basille's Pizza); Walled In, a comedy with clown by Zack Fine (2011, IRT Theatre); Co-producer on A Life in the Theatre by David Mamet (2010, Broadway); Even Maybe Tammy, a commedia dell'arte by Christopher Bayes & Company (2009, The Flea). MFA in Theatre Management from Yale School of Drama.

Artichoke Pizza is owned Francis Garcia and Sal Basille, cousins from Staten Island, and nightlife impresarios Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg. They have a cult following of fans who line up at their three New York City slice shop locations. The cousins have their own television show on the Food Network called Pizza Cuz.

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