FIASCO THEATER is an ensemble theater company created by graduates of the Brown University/Trinity Rep M.F.A. acting program. Past shows include Cymbeline (TFANA/Barrow Street), Into the Woods (Roundabout, Old Globe, McCarter), Measure for Measure (New Victory), The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Folger/TFANA) and Twelfth Night. Cymbeline was presented Off-Broadway twice, for nearly 200 performances, and was honored with the 2012 Off-Broadway Alliance Award for best revival. Into the Woods garnered the 2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Best Revival. Every year, Fiasco offers the Free Training Initiative—a three-week, conservatory-level classical acting intensive for professional actors, completely free of charge to students. Fiasco has been in residence with Duke University, Marquette University, LSU, and NYU-Gallatin. Their work has been developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, the Orchard Project, SPACE at Ryder Farm (upcoming) and the Shakespeare Society, and Fiasco has led master classes at Brown University and NYU.
The mission of Fiasco Theater is to offer dynamic, joyful, actor-driven productions of classic and new plays, and to offer high-level theatrical training through classes and workshops. Our goal is to create a new model of fiscal sustainability whereby we remunerate our artists for their valuable work and offer our performances and training at low or no cost to our audiences and students.
Who We Are:
We are a team of classically trained actors with a common aesthetic vision and a passion for teaching acting. We choose to work as an ensemble because we believe this allows us the possibility to create something greater than the sum of its parts.
What We Believe:
The artists at Fiasco believe that thrilling theater is invented through dynamic rehearsal – exploring the play in a full, open, joyful way through the voice, body, and imagination. We believe the performer, the text and the audience are the only elements required to make great theater. These principles of the power of rehearsal inspire both the creation of our performances and the training of our students.
A New Fiscal Model
We believe that theater is a societal foundation. It brings communities together, teaches empathy and has the power to inspire, galvanize and heal people. It’s vibrancy is necessary for the health of a culture, and shouldn’t be a luxury only accessible to the wealthy. We also believe that people who choose to create art for a living should be able to make a living doing so and shouldn’t have to choose between creating art and a living wage. But the current producing wisdom demands that wages be kept low to minimize costs while ticket prices are raised to maximize the potential for profit. It is a wisdom that hurts artists and audience alike. Fiasco’s mission is to invert that equation: we seek to offer art to the public at affordable prices while paying the artists who create it a living wage. We do so by enlisting the generosity of donors, corporations and foundations in support of artist salaries and subsidized ticket prices.
Legend has it the word “fiasco” was first used to describe commedia dell’arte performances that went horribly (and hilariously) wrong. In those instances the performer would have to fare fiasco or “make a bottle.” In other words “You’re buying!” While we hope to avoid on-stage disasters, we do believe that it is only when artists are brave enough to risk a fiasco that the possibility exists of creating something special. We chose the name Fiasco to remind ourselves to brave the huge leaps in the hopes of reaping huge artistic rewards.