Matthew R. Wilson


Movement & Commedia Specialist

A Commedia Romeo and Juliet

“what first-class theatermakers can do with masks”
–The Washingtonian City Paper

“taking the classic Commedia dell’Arte form out of academia and making it cool, relevant, and very, very funny.”
–DC Theatre Scene

“The cast has a dancing quality at times; the vivid movements are free and precise in director-choreographer Matthew R. Wilson sprightly staging.”
–The Washington Post

Matt works as a movement consultant and instructor of theatrical movement specializing in Lecoq-based techniques, stage combat, Commedia dell’Arte, mask work, comic acrobatics & acrobalance, clown, mime, Laban Movement Analysis, elemental & animal movements, and basic Alexander technique.

For productions in NYC, regionally, and internationally, Matt has choreographed physical comedy routines, ensemble movement sequences, object manipulation, and stage combat effects.  He also coaches actors in mask technique, period movement styles, ensemble acrobalance, and physical characterization.

As a scholar, practitioner, and instructor, Matt is one of America’s leading experts in Commedia dell’Arte, which is the subject of his PhD dissertation. For six years, he was a faculty instructor at Antonio Fava’s Stage Internazionale di Commedia dell’Arte in Reggio-Emilia. He then founded the award-winning Faction of Fools Theatre Company in Washington, DC, serving as its Artistic Director from 2009 to 2015. As a member company of the international cultural association SAT, Faction of Fools coordinates the worldwide celebrations for Commedia dell’Arte Day every February 25.  The 2011 celebration included 64 events on all seven continents—including Antarctica. A proud contributor to the Routledge Companion to Commedia dell’Arte, Matt is also a published scholar of the history of Commedia in addition to being a practitioner. His TEDx Talk “Make ‘Em Laugh: Common Ground in Comic Characters” is available on YouTube.





Photo: Faction of Fools’ A Commedia Romeo and Juliet. Directed & choreographed by Matthew R. Wilson. Adapted by Paul Reisman and Matthew R. Wilson. Clockwise from top: Toby Mulford, Paul Reisman, Eva Wilhelm, Gwen Grastorf and Drew Kopas. Masks by Aaron Cromie. Costumes by Lynly Saundes. Set by Daniel Flint. Lighting by Sarah Tunderman. Photo by ClintonBPhotography.