• producer of fun and unconventional theatrical experiences



    The reason we exist and for whom

    Frances Black Projects exists to create fun and unconventional theatrical experiences produced with a personal touch. We primarily encourage, nurture and produce theatrical artists who are playing in the world of comedy, clown and commedia dell'arte and who are committed to bringing audiences and communities together through laughter and fun at the theatre. We also produce theatrical events that bring people together to celebrate shared interests. We believe love, laughter and offline human connection can heal the world, one heart and one experience at a time.

    Core Values

     Our fundamental beliefs that guide all business operations


    A small word with big impact. Accessing joy and vulnerability in audiences is core to Frances Black Projects mission, therefore we believe that if the artistic and planning process is fun, the end result will exude feelings of joy and sounds of laughter. Everything we create at Frances Black Projects puts fun central in the audiences experience.


    Frances Black Projects values making work by putting to use what we have available to us and being resourceful. Too many talented theatre makers are sitting quiet on the sidelines waiting to have more money, more time and more people. We celebrate what we do have, seek partnerships and get on with making things happen. 


    There is room for everyone who wants to have fun and make a difference at Frances Black Projects. We believe a lot of theatre excludes people by being a tad pretentious in the content that is on stage and the overall theatre going experience. We aim to keep ticket prices as low as economically possible and value highly accessible spaces. We include our audience and artists needs in our planning and ambitions. The content of the work on stage is silly, sweet and universal and not meant to exclude people but rather bring people together in a shared experience. 


    At Frances Black Projects we believe one of the great values of leaving your home and going out to the theatre or an event is to appreciate beauty in the world in all its forms. We work to produce plays and events that uplift people  and encourage a sense of wonder and renewed appreciation for the many beautiful things in the world. 


    please join in on the fun and attend an upcoming event

    Actor Training Workshop by Aitor Basauri in NYC

    Your Inner Fool: Clowning for Performers

    FEBRUARY 14-18, 11am-6pm

    For registration contact thenewyorkdramacenter@gmail.com


    Frances Black Projects is thrilled to be collaborating with the New York Drama Center to bring Aitor Basauri of Spymonkey (UK) to NYC for a weekend workshop. Aitor is a master teacher, specializing in clown, improvisation, and the creation of original work. He is one of the most sought after clowning teachers in the world. Aitor trained with legendary Philippe Gaulier. Aitor has a unique talent for pushing his students to be honest and vulnerable, embrace their true comedic potentials, and claim their inner fools.


    YOUR INNER FOOL: Clowning for Performers
    In this week long intensive, participants will be asked to bring their hearts and imaginations - open, willing, and curious - into a series of games that are designed to shine a light on their most authentic comedic potential. In class, there will be failure: glorious failure, painful failure, bewildering failure, messy failure, boring failure, hysterical failure, risky failure, tearful failure, vibrant failure, hilarious failure, and big, huge flop failure. And sometimes there will be sweet, sweet, gorgeous, poetic, elated success. No matter which, the delicate world of the clown teaches each performer to be courageous, make a generous proposal, risk everything, and embrace their inner fool. Aitor helms the ship with humor, compassion, and deep wisdom. Come play, and discover the gorgeous idiot you didn't know you were.

    DATES: Wednesday, February 14th - Sunday, February 18th
    TIMES: 11-6PM
    TUITION: $625
    CAPACITY: Maximum 22 participants
    MORE ABOUT AITOR: a wonderful Video of Aitor describing his work & Aitor's Bio

    So Please You, or The Tragical Comical Tale of Dennis, The Almost Silent Shakespearean Actor.

    New work in development. Created by Zack Fine.

    Zachary Fine (Walled In, Manifest Destiny) takes a closer look at Dennis, a character that appears only once in Shakespeare's As You Like It, in So Please You or The Tragical Comical Tale of Dennis, The Almost Silent Shakespearean Actor. So Please You was first developed with a world premiere at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival with the 2016 Conservatory Company. The show is currently being re imagined with Aitor Basauri (Spymonkey, UK) playing the lead role of Dennis.


    So Please You is currently in development at New Victory's Labworks.

    US Manager: Master Clown Teacher, Aitor Basauri

    Teaching next in Celebration Barn (Maine) summer 2017. Stay tuned for more dates & details.

    READ MORE about Aitor's training and credits.


    READ MORE about Aitor's educational workshops.

    US Co-Booking Manager: Spymonkey's The Complete Deaths

    Performing next at Chicago Shakespeare Company (Chicago) December 2016. Stay tuned for more dates & details.

    MORE INFORMATION on Chicago Dates


    For booking inquiries contact frances@francesblackrprojects.com



    There are 74 onstage deaths in the works of William Shakespeare—75 if you count the black ill-favored fly killed inTitus Andronicus. From the Roman suicides in Julius Caesar to the death fall of Prince Arthur in King John; from the carnage at the end of Hamlet to snakes in a basket in Antony and Cleopatra. And then there’s the pie that Titus serves his guests. Spymonkey will perform them all—sometimes lingeringly, sometimes messily, sometimes movingly, sometimes musically, but always hysterically. The four “seriously, outrageously, cleverly funny clowns” (Time Magazine) will scale the peaks of sublime poetry and plumb the depths of darkest depravity. It may even be the death of them. Directed by Tim Crouch (I, Malvolio, An Oak Tree, Adler & Gibb), The Complete Deaths is a solemn, somber and sublimely funny tribute to the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.


    producing plays, creating events and consulting since 2009 

    Annual Canada Day Party in NYC

    July 1 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 & 2017 PH-D, Chelsea


    Commedia dell'Artichoke 

    December, February & April 2015/2016, Artichoke Basille's Pizza, Chelsea, PRODUCER


    January/February 2016, Gene Frankel Theatre, Noho, PRODUCER

    Conceived by Frances Black, Carter Gill & Tommy Russell

    Directed by Devin Brain

    Created and performed by Carter Gill*, Alexandra Henrikson*, Tommy Russell* & Shannon Marie Sullivan*

    Music by Robert Cowie

    Commedia Consultant Christopher Bayes

    Choreography by Frank Ventura

    Playwriting Consultant Matt Moses

    Set Design by Katherine Akiko Day

    Costume Design by Lisa Loen

    Lighting Design by Marie Yokoyama

    • Associate Produced by Collaborative Arts Project 21 (CAP21)

    The Most Beautiful Thing in the World 

    Spring 2015, Cloud City, Williamsburg, PRODUCER


    written and performed by Gabriel Levey


    directed by Carter Gill

    designed by Paul Lieber

    co-created with Kate Tarker

    • originally produced at Yale Cabaret
    • subsidized rehearsal space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation


    Manifest Destiny 

    Winter 2015, IRT Theater, West Village, PRODUCER


    created by Aitor Basauri (Spy Monkey), Lucas Caleb Rooney & Zack Fine


    performed by Lucas Caleb Rooney* and Zack Fine*

    directed by Aitor Basauri

    choreography by Caroline Fermin

    puppets by Annie Worden

    lighting design by Melissa Mizell

    stage manager Natalie King

    production coordinator Christopher Tramantana

    • produced in part by Kori Rushton and the IRT 3B Development Series (www.irttheater.org)
    • subsidized rehearsal space provided by the A.R.T./New York Creative Space Grant, supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation

    Standards under the Stars

    Fall 2014, aboard the Mariner III, Hudson River



    Megan Loughran, vocalist


    Zak Sandler, music direction & piano

    James Polsky, drums

    Joe Cohn, guitar

    Todd Grunder, bass

    3 with 1 Productions, lighting and sound 

    • Co-produced with Manhattan by Sail & Captain Sean Kennedy, Mariner III

    Becoming Liv Ullmann

    Spring 2013, Artichoke Basille's Pizza, Chelsea



    written and performed by Crystal Finn


    directed by Danny Mefford

    featuring Zack Fine

    Walled In

    Fall 2011, IRT Theatre, West Village



    written and performed by Zack Fine


    directed by Diana Buirski

    created in collaboration with Christopher Tramantana


    set design by Katherine Akiko Day

    costume design by Luke Aaron Brown

    original music & sound design by Daniel Kluger

    lighting design by Melissa Mizell

    stage managed by Patricia Lynn

    production manager/technical director Justin Elie

    • developed with generous support from SPACE at Ryder Farm
    • produced with support from Kori Rushton and the IRT 3B Development Series 

    A Life in the Theatre

    Fall 2010, Broadway



    by David Mamet
    directed by Neil Pepe


    set design by Santo Laquasto
    costume design by Laura Bauer
    ighting design by Ken Posner

    Even Maybe Tammy (Or, A Cockamamie Bucket of Ruckus)

    Spring 2009, The Flea Theater, Tribeca



    conceived and directed by Christopher Bayes


    written by Christopher Bayes and The Company
    music by Alex Knox with Barret O'Brien
    lyrics by Christopher Bayes and The Company

    The Company: Eric Bryant, Laura Esposito, Carter Gill, Sisi Aisha Johnson, Alex Knox, Teresa Avia Lim, Christopher McFarland, Barret O'Brien, Luke Robertson, Erica Sullivan, Alex Teicheira


    Frances Anne Black

    Founder & Producer

    Frances has a passion for bringing people together off line to share in memorable experiences. Most recently Frances served as the Director of Programs at A.R.T./New York from 2009-2014 and currently sits on the Board of Trustees of Ice Theatre of New York. Previously Frances was the Associate Managing Director of Yale Repertory Theatre and Yale Cabaret. A Toronto native, Frances attended University of Kings College in Halifax (Hons. B.A) and Yale University (M.F.A Theatre Management). She loves to figure skate, play tennis, travel, throw parties and watch funny shows and movies. Frances resides in New York City with her husband Matt and daughter Bridget.


    To receive news about Frances Black Projects' shows and events, please sign up for our emails. We like to keep it cheap and cheerful so email is our prime form of communication


    If you are excited about the programming at Frances Black Projects please consider making a non tax deductible donation. We work on a shoestring to produce theatrical comedy, give actors a playground for making new work and to make theatre fun for the audience. We value paying artists a living wage and keeping ticket prices affordable. Your contribution will make a big difference in helping us achieve that goal. If there are other things we can provide of value, please let us know, we love working with our patrons!



    Leo & Brigitte Addimando

    James Alexander
    Katrina Allen

    Cassie Black

    Kelly Black

    Kristina M. Cox

    Nick Demarest

    Rebecca Epstein

    Shelagh & Max Gundy

    Katherine Heberling

    Michael Higgins

    Michalann Hobson

    Maggie Lind

    Amy Matthews

    Sharon Matthews

    Adam & Sabrina Peterson

    Laura & Jason Schwalbe

    Alyssa Simmons

    David Stark & Rachel Singer

    Jennifer Singer

    Jason Strauss

    Marguerite & Richard Strauss

    Matthew Strauss

    Anne Trites

    Ian Weiss




    Leo & Brigitte Addimando

    Cassie Black

    Kelly Black

    Madeline Brickman


    Scott & Aileen Gregoire

    Shelagh & Max Gundy

    Michael Higgins

    Michalann Hobson

    JTS Fund - New York Community Trust

    Tula & Rodney Larmand

    Eric Leeds

    Maggie Lind

    Thomas Marshall

    Sharon Matthews

    Naked Underwear

    Peroni Beer

    Yvonne & Leslie Pollack Family Foundation

    Laura & Jason Schwalbe

    Catherine Scotto

    David Stark & Rachel Singer

    Jennifer Singer

    Jeremy Smith

    Jason Strauss

    Marguerite & Richard Strauss

    Matthew Strauss

    Anne Trites

    Phillipe Vasilescu

    Ian Weiss

    Mostafa Zafer

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