Foolery body of work
mission and history body of work personnel links


Dirtnap is a story of a prisoner clown on death row who, while escaping, accidentally digs up a dead girl and resurrects the world she came from, the American South during the Civil War. This original piece reunited the founding members of Foolery, Martha Mendenhall and Thadd McQuade, and ran for 20 shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland Aug 6-22, 2004.

photo by Kara McLane Burke

photo by Kara McLane

Vassilisa the Brave
was an original adaptation of the Russian folk tale performed at Fool Hall in Jan 2002 and restaged at the Blackfriars Theatre in Staunton as part of the Commonwealth Performance Festival in August 2002.

Life's a Dream, by Pedro Calderon de la Barca, foremost dramatist in the golden age of Spanish literature, was performed at Foolery's new home in the former Papercraft building in the May 2001.

Kara McLane and Thadd McQuade in Life's a Dream

Photo by Will Kerner The Winter's Tale, featuring a cast of twenty-five actors and musicians in collaboration with the Live Arts Theatre Ensemble, played to sold out audiences in December 1999.

Something Wanting, an original two-hour exploration of the nature of longing, blends physical story-telling, music, and dance with active audience participation, was performed at Live Arts 1998. Photo by Will Kerner

Cesario, an original, non-text piece inspired by Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, played for two consecutive summers in 1998 and 1999. Most recently, it was reincarnated at the Norcross Warehouse in December 2000.

The Second Shepherds Play, a medieval mystery play, attracted sold-out audiences at Charlottesville's Live Arts theater space in December 1997. Photo by Will Kerner

Photo by Vienna Wilson Cyrano, an original clown show, was nominated for the Total Theater Award for Most Innovative International Production and received the BBC Radio's Most Innovative Show award at the 1997 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland.

The company has also written and produced a silent film, The Winemaker, which the Vinegar Hill Film Festival and the Virginia Film Festival featured in 1999. Photo by Kara McLane

Foolery hosted national and international performers in Charlottesville for workshops and exchanges.



Spring 2001- World-renowned theatre artist Maja Mitic of Dah Teatar

Maja Mitic has a degree from the Faculty of Dramatic Arts Departments for Actors University of Novi Sad/Yugoslavia. She has worked in several theater institutions and acted in films as well as on radio. She is a founding member of Dah Teatar in Belgrade, the first theater laboratory in Yugoslavia. She works at the drama studio for young people in the Dah Theater Research Center as a teacher, and leads voice and movement workshops for actors and dancers.
She came to us to conduct a 3-day intensive workshop for 8 members of Foolery and 6 other artists from the community. In conjunction, Foolery sponsored a well-attended public performance and lecture/demonstration of the work of Maja Mitic and Dah Teatar. 



MARIANA SADOWSKA- Ancient Songs From Ukraine

"Sometimes a musician has such an inborn desire to communicate that her message naturally becomes universal...the responsibilities, protocol and tradition of whatever style she is working in just vanish; she replaces them with pure vitality. Such is the case with the Ukrainian singer Marjana Sadovska·" --The New York Times

October 2001---Foolery hosted internationally acclaimed performer Mariana Sadowska, formerly of the Gardzienice Center of Theater Practice in Poland. "Gardzienice [is] one of Poland's-and the world's-premiere experimental theatre companies...[they] constitute the very heart and essence of Polish experimental and anthropological performance."*

Ms Sadowska is from Lviv in Western Ukraine, and has spent 10 years traveling through the villages of Ukraine collecting folksongs and rituals. This is not the state-sanctioned face of rural Ukraine, but the long-buried (and quickly disappearing) heritage of an incredibly complex culture.

Ms Sadowska enchanted audiences at Fool Hall (the former Papercraft building) with her performance, Enchantment Songs: Ancient Songs from Ukraine.

*-Richard Schechner, Editor - The Drama Review; Prof. of Performance Studies - Tisch School for the Arts, NYU

Photos by Will Kerner




June 8-11, 2002


This company proposes
that "coordination, rhythm, precision and physical consciousness are key elements in the actor's training. Through physical exercises, simple Kung Fu forms, vocal work with and without text, and rhythmical exploration between voice and body, the actor can create and make use of tools that will enable him/her to create a daily work that broadens his base for meeting the acting situation, whether improvisational, traditional or experimental."


Designed and Programmed by