All posts by HannaB_home

Lady, an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" by Andrzej Zurowski and Hanna Bondarewska

Painting by Dorota Krzymowska
Graphic Design by Anna Klamczynska

LADY, A One Woman Show based on Macbeth comes to life!

SHAKESPEARE's LADY COMES TO LIFE!

But we do need your help! 

Ambassador Theater and its artistic and technical team celebrates William Shakespeare with the upcoming production of "LADY" based on "Macbeth"


In the world of constant change and struggle between the evil forces that some believe turn our world upside down, it's time to look closely at the subject again through the eyes of today's artist inspired by the most important bard of all times, William Shakespeare.

The script is adapted by Andrzej Zurowski and Hanna Bondarewska
Music by Jerzy Satanowski

The idea is inspired by famous Polish-American Shakespearean actress, Helena Modrzejewska, who was the most toured actress of the 19th century. Her last role was the role of Lady Macbeth that she played in New York.  

In her footsteps, we are hoping to produce a hiffghly interactive show with lots of sound and visual effects and magic.  We would love to produce the show in DC and then take it on the road and present it at all places that Madame Helena Modjeska performed.

The concept was born last year and as a result of research and studying Shakespeare at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and also studying with Maestro Dario Fo, An Italian Nobel Prize winner, whose mentorship helped significantly to gain strength in developing a one woman show.

Currently, we are working on technical aspects of the show, visual effects and sound, as well as movement and more.
The costumes will be created by Sigridur Johannesdottir.

The cost of the show is high, we need to secure money for the space, for costumes, set, visual and sound effects!

We would greatly appreciate your help!
Any amount counts!  Donations $50 and above are tax deductible!

PLEASE DONATE ONLINE

or you may send a check written to Ambassador Theater at 205 Yoakum Pkwy, #1008, Alexandria VA 22304

As Ambassador Theater Friend, you will receive special invitation to our opening night and a reception.

We are looking forward to seeing you at our special evening of magic!

Thank you! 

Snow Child

Snow Child

Ambassador Theater presents a Family Show of

SNOW CHILD

By Stephen Garth; Music By Dimitar Naumoff

Featuring

JULIA TASHEVA

HANNA BONDAREWSKA 

 

Opened December 6, 2015 

PHOTOS

Special Touring Family show;

The Queen of the Snowflakes visits from the icy North, bringing with her this 

fairy tale of an old couple that yearns for a cild of their own to love and 

cherish.Through the magic of true love their wish brings a Snow Child to 

life.This charming winter story is told by multi talented ,puppeteer, 

actress, and artist Julia Tasheva who uses a variety of inventive puppets an 

is accompanied by original music and songs by Dimutar Naumoff

For ages 3 an up

To Order: E-mail: ambassadortheater@aticc.org

or Call (703) 475-4036

 

 

DFo_FRame_Non_si_paga[1]

A Video Message from DARIO FO about “They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!

GET YOUR TICKETS ONLINE: http://www.instantseats.com/index.cfm?r=D76A&fuseaction=home.venue&venueID=280

Per gentile concessione di archivio.francarame.it

Housewives Get Desperate in Dario Fo’s They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay by Eliza Anna Falk

“Our homeland is the whole world.                             Dario Fo

Our law is liberty. We have but one thought,

Revolution in our hearts” – Dario Fo                                                                                                                                

If Dario Fo were to cast a vote in the forthcoming US presidential election his choice no doubt would lie with the socialist democrat Bernie Sanders, the only candidate openly calling for a political revolution. When interviewed by the British Guardian in 1997 after receiving a Nobel Prize for Literature, Fo said that he had been born politicized, and culturally had always been part of the proletariat: “I lived side by side with the sons of glass blowers, fishermen and smugglers. The stories they told were satires about the hypocrisy of authority and the middle classes, the two-facedness of teachers and lawyers and politicians.” (Bohlen).

they_dont_pay640x480 (2)The playwright became the voice of the Italian working class in the 1960s and 70s when his fellow citizens seethed with resentment towards their incompetent governments. It was during the 1970s that he wrote his most popular farces: Accidental Death of an Anarchist (which made him one of the most produced playwrights in 20th century Europe) and They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay, encouraging the oppressed to take direct action when authority fails to protect them. The play, brought to DC by the Ambassador theatre in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute and co-directed by Joe Martin and Danny Rovin, has been played in over 40 countries and revised by the author several times to suit the changing times.  

Its working class characters and their plight are very much alive today, bringing to mind memories of the recent financial crisis and the VAL_4550 - Version 2withtextforecasts of more economic gloom.  The main protagonists – Antonia (Hanna Bondarewska), her husband Giovanni (Daren Marquardt), his best friend Luigi (Mitch Irzinski) and his wife and Antonia’s best friend Margherita (Moriah Whiteman) – could be found anywhere in today’s America. Fo’s messages, like the one spoken by Antonia, are as relevant now as they were in the 70s: “It’s the same in every economic crisis (…). Only now they call it a tsunami (…) destroying everything in its path. First the banks, then the corporations, governments, political parties. But the ones always hit first and hardest are the workers – and the people who scrimped and saved their whole lives.” (Fo, p 112).

To honor Fo’s wish that every production be relevant to its time and place, the play has been located in Newark, New Jersey. In the words of the co-Director, Joe Martin: “a mythical Newark, with its industry, its role as a transportation hub – much like Fo’s Milan – provided for us, a fitting American model. Italian place names and corporate institutions have been changed to American Equivalents. (…) The play is a tribute to the underclass created by the Great Recession, the bail-out of Wall Street, and even to our fellow “off-off” theatre companies working with little to create big artistic statement”.

Don’t be misled by the serious subject matter though, as Dario Fo, who “with comedy (…) can search for the profound”, is a master of a political theatre that makes people laugh. Drawing on traditions of Commedia Dell’Arte and its boulevard, grotesque style, as well as the Theatre of the Absurd, Fo delivers serious messages in a ridiculous, absurdist fashion. Recognizing the importance of the concept of ‘grotesque body’ in popular comedy, he uses it to bring down abstract, lofty ideals to the level of carnal world using physical comedy and slapstick, which abound in They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay.

HannaasAntoniabeingpregnantThe madness starts when Antonia, who during a food riot takes supplies from a supermarket, hides the groceries behind her friend’s coat when her law abiding spouse appears unexpectedly. Imagine the chaos, which ensues once Giovanni (who would rather starve than eat stolen food) and Luigi (convinced of his wife’s infertility) find out about Margherita’s pregnancy, and the authorities (Peter Orvetti) come searching for the food thieves.  The women’s clever lies and cheekiness create comedic mayhem of outrageous proportions, producing hilarious scenes involving the feign pregnancy ending in a birth with a bag of olives breaking instead of water; an unconscious cop hidden in a closet; saints, miracles and superstitions; coffin and undertakers.  

When the theatre is ironic, grotesque, it’s above all then that you have to defend it, because the theatre that makes people laugh is the theatre of Human reason” said the playwright in his speech of thanks at the Nobel Prize Banquet in 1997. In awarding him a Noble prize for literature (the first one bestowed on an actor-author) The Swedish Academy recognized him as a satirist who “emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden”. A jester and an “extremely serious satirist”, who “with a blend of laughter and gravity (…) opens our eyes to abuses and injustices in society” (Bohlen).

The author, who turns 90 this year, is a true Renaissance man and an active political and social activist. The actor, director, playwright, satirist, composer, painter, stage designer, assistant architect, teacher, lecturer and novelist has always believed in the interests of common people and devoted his life to improving their lot. His plays, many co-created with his actress wife and a closest professional collaborator, Franca Rame, have been written about people and for people. Both Fo and his wife (no longer with us), have always believed that “A theatre (…), an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance” (Dario Fo).

They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay is an excellent example of how Fo’s plays directly and sharply reflect the ills of his time, and how pertinent and relevant the issues remain to this day. The play’s characters say it all: “Policeman: People can’t go on like this. (…) These fat-cat pigs who starve, cheat, and rob us – they’re the real thieves” (Fo, pp 24-25). “Luigi: Things can’t keep on this way. Somebody’s gotta make a move. Forget waiting on government handouts – or for unions to muscle in, or the politicos to step up (…) We gotta make our own moves (…). We gotta shift gears – take control. Don’t you see? Everything’s changing – big time “ (Fo, p 51).

We can all feel it – everything is changing in our world, big time, so fast we are finding it difficult to adjust to the unstable present and embrace the unknown future. We need Theatre now more than ever, a magical place that has always been there for us, a place where we can reflect on ourselves and our times and forget about our worries and laugh. They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay has had audiences ‘in stiches’ since 1974, and continues to delight theatre goers with its physical humor, farcical plot, loveable, colourful characters and a contemporary message. A big ‘thank you’ to the Ambassador Theater and the Italian Cultural Institute for bringing this gem of a play to DC!

They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay plays March 1 – March 26,216 at Mead Theatre Lab at Flashpoint, 916 G Street NW, Washington DC. For 14yrs+ audiences.

Tickets: $20-$40 online: http://www.aticc.org/home/category/get-tickets

References
Fo, Dario. They Don’t Pay, We Won’t Pay. Translated by Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante.
Bohlen, Celestine. Italy’s Barbed Political Jester, Dario Fo, Wins Nobel Prize, 10 Oct 1997. Nytimes.com

ElizaFalk (2)Eliza Anna Falk is a Warsaw and Sydney Universities' graduate and a DCMTA writer, who joined the Ambassador Theater in 2012 as a Creative and Editorial Consultant. Since then she has been providing literary and editorial support, including press releases, promotional essays, blog entries and translations, to all ATICC's productions.

AmbassadorTheater2015recognizedcropped

Looking forward, Looking Back!

Dear Ambassador Theater friends and supporters!,

We are extremley thankful for all your friendship and support in making Ambassador Theater and its programs thrive!

Our 6th season is rolling on.  Our last shows have received a lot of great " 5 Star " reviews, and just recently

The Trap by Tadeusz Rozewicz, translated by Adam Czerniawski and Smartphones, A Pocket-Size Farce by Emilio Williams were honored by the unnamed-351-300x300Best2015DCMetroTheaterArts Staff’s for Best Plays in Professional Theaters in 2015 and Best Directors, Hanna Bondarewska for The Trap and Joe Banno for Smartphones, A Pocket-Size Farce, and Best Actress, Ariana Almajan for Smartphones, A Pocket-Size Farce!

We are planning a great season ahead! 

As you may know our next stop is ITALY as we are planning to celebrate the 90th Birthday of a Nobel Price Winner, DARIO FO in partnership of the Embassy of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute

International Artist Series will present

MARIO PIROVANO with his one man show, 

Johan Padan and the Discovery of America

By Dario Fo

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2016

at the Embassy of Italy

THEY DON'T PAY? WE WON'T PAY

By Dario Fo

Directed by Joe Martin

March 1 - March 26, 2016

At FLASHPOINT, 916 G SWtreet, NW

Washington DC 20001

TICKETS WILL BE ON SALE SOON!

We are also traveling to Israel!  

In Partnership of the Embassy of Israel, Ambassador Theater presents

LITERARY CAFE

WOMEN IN ARTS

March 8, 2016

At the Embassy of Israel

   FALL 2016

BALLADYNA

By Juliusz Slowacki ("Polish Shakespeare of Romantic Era")

 Directed by Kazimierz Braun and Hanna Bondarewska

Our plans are extensive and we have a great artistic team to work with but we do need your help to grow and pay the production expenses!  Please add your support to our online crowdfunding campaign and share with others.  Thanks to you and your friends, we will keep the arts and Ambassador Theater ALIVE!

Thank very much!

We wish you Happy Happy Holidays! Lots of happy moments with your family and friends, full of love and joy!

See you at our future events!,

Hanna Bondarewska and team of the Ambassador Theater 

 

HappyBirthdayDarioFo

“They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Play!” GoFundMe Campaign

Help Ambassador Theater, the Italian Embassy, and the Italian Cultural Institute in premiering Dario Fo's play "They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay!" this March.  

Thank you for your friendship and support!

celebrating_new2DarioFoupsmaller

Celebration of Dario Fo Feb 26 – March 26, 2016

Celebrating Dario Fo's 90th Birthday with They Don't Pay? We Won't Pay! at Ambassador Theater in Washington DC from aticc on Vimeo.

 

The Italian Cultural Institute and the Ambassador Theater celebrate 90th Birthday of Dario Fo, ItalyinUSItalian satirist, playwright, director, actor and composer, and Nobel Prize Winner with the following shows and events:

200x200 MarioPirovanopostdraftJOHAN PADAN AND THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
(Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe) By Dario Fo
Featuring Mario Pirovano 
Feb 26, 2016  MORE INFO to REGISTER will come soon! Do not call please! 
at the Embassy of Italy 

MASTER CLASS with MARIO PIROVANO 

Italian actor, storyteller, translator and interpreter of Dario Fo’s monologues.

MON, FEB 29, 2016 at 7 PM at FLASHPOINT, 916 G St., NW, Washington DC

 

They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!  TheyDon'tPayphotos
By Dario Fo
Translated by Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante
Produced By Hanna Bondarewska
Directed by Joe Martin
March 3-March 26, 2016
at FLASHPOINT, 916 G Street, NW, Washington DC 

JOIN OUR CIRCLE OF SUPPORTERS: https://www.gofundme.com/y8c72qp8
TICKETS ONLINE

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dario Fo Dario Fo, an Italian actor-author, can claim to be the most frequently performed living playwright in the world. Born on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy in 1926, he made his debut in theatre in 1952 and is still writing and performing. His work has gone through various phases, always in company with his actress wife Franca Rame. His stage career began with political cabaret, moved on to one-act farces, and then to satirical comedies in his so-called ‘bourgeois phase’ in the early 1960s when he became a celebrated figure on TV and in Italy’s major theatres. In 1968, he broke with conventional theatre to set up a co operative dedicated to producing politically committed work in what were then known as ‘alternative venues’. His best known work, including Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Mistero Buffo and Trumpets and Raspberries, dates from this period. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, and in the official citation the Swedish Royal Academy stated that he had ‘emulated the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.’

ABOUT MARIO PIROVANO

Mario Pirovano has been working closely with Dario Fo and Franca Rame from 1983 to 2013.    Dario Fo and Mario Pirovano

Actor in one man shows ‘Mistero Buffo’, ‘Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe’, ‘Lu Santo Jullare Françesco’, ‘Vorrei morire anche stasera se dovessi sapere che non è servitor a niente’, and ‘Ruzzante’ by Dario Fo ‘Le Jeu de obin et Marion’ by Adam de la Halle, and ‘Il Papa cowboy: vita, avventure, battaglie di Papa Giulio II’ by Marco Ghelardi

Performances and Workshops from 2003 to 2013 Italy, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, Palestine, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada, United States of America.

Translations by Mario Pirovano
‘Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe’ By Dario Fo:
‘Johan Padan and the Discovery of America’, ed. Tipografica Perugia
‘Lu Santo Jullare Françesco’ by Dario Fo:
‘Francis the Holy Jester’, published by Beautiful Books, London
‘Ruzzante’ by Dario Fo: ‘The Wonderful Ruzante’ (unpublished)
‘Mistero Buffo’ by Dario Fo:
‘Comic Mistery play’ (unpublished)

ABOUT JOHAN PADAN AND THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA

Let us state clearly that this is not the lamentable history of the massacres committed by the conquerors on the Indios.                            
This is not the story of the usual losers. It is rather the epos of the victory of a population of Indios.                                
There are two fundamental types of chronicles of the discovery and conquest of America. On the one hand the stories written by the scribes following the conquerors. On the other, the tales of the coprotagonists who do not count, the “lastagonists”, from the dirty ranks, who come to tell their adventures having lived very close, even often right in the middle of the conquered, as prisoners…and even slaves!
Johan Padan is one of these unlucky adventurers, a gallows-bird of the fifteenth century, who has found himself right in the middle of thee discovery of America.
Johan Padan is a real figure, maybe his name is not exactly Johan Padan, but his actions are real: indeed they come from dozens of true stories told by the very men who lived them, the extras from the rank-and-file coming from all countries of Europe. All desperate people who do not count for anything in the official history of the discovery, but who arrived in the Indies, came in contact with the local people and found that they could count for something, or even a lot!
Johan Padan, a man from the mountains, does not like to sail but is compelled in spite of himself to make the great voyage. He is kidnapped by cannibals who fatten him up with the intention of eating him. He is saved by a stroke of luck and he becomes shaman, chief-wizard, doctor and is called “son of the rising sun”. He ha also compelled to teach the stories of the Gospels to thousands of Indios. Apocryphal Gospel of course.
The simple seamen, the ranks of little worth who switched sides with the conquered were many more than we used to think. And we must be clear: they did not content themselves with surviving, but they worked as strategists and military trainers so that the Indios could resist for a period of time against the invasion of the Christians.
We know the names of some of them, the best known are: Guerrero, Altavilla, Cabeza de Vaca. Hans Staden. 
But today we offer the extraordinary chance to know in person and from his own voice the tale of the most renowned of all the renegade foot soldiers: Johan Padan, ‘son of the rising sun’. “ Dario Fo

ABOUT THEY DON'T PAY? WE WON'T PAY!

Desperate housewives take justice in their own hands in this Nobel prize winner's hilarious farce of civil disobedience. The empowering story in which direct democracy is the way to go when government fails to protect citizens' rights, was inspired by real life events of workers' uprising in 1974's Italy. Hugely popular and more relevant than ever, They don't pay? We won't pay! delivers a serious message in a ridiculous, absurdist fashion generating truckloads of laughter and delighting with its lovable and colorful characters.
Meet Antonia, who during a food riot takes supplies from a supermarket and hides them from her law abiding husband Giovanni behind a dress of her best friend Margherita. Follow the chaos, which ensues once Giovanni and his friend and Margherita's spouse Luigi are told about Margherita's miracle pregnancy and the police gets involved. Be prepared for this uproarious 'boulevard comedy' to keep you glued to your seat feeling entertained and inspired at the same time!

Though the piece has been called a “comedy of hunger,” it is also about the bigger financial farce that results if the victims of financial collapse—brought about by capitalism run-amok—are asked to pay for the disaster while the guilty parties are bailed out. This play by a master playwright and performer, is both physical comedy and a comedy of wit, sometimes in “boulevard” style. Fo has roots in Commedia dell’Arte, and the influence shows in this modern farce. In awarding him the Nobel Prize for Literature—there is no theatre category! —the Nobel committee remarked in 1997 that Dario Fo “emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.” His plays have been translated into 30 languages and performed across the world, including in US, Argentina, Chile, England, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, and Yugoslavia.

ABOUT THE TRANSLATORS

Jon Laskin

Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante are writers and theater translators who have co-translated several works of Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo, including “Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” “The Devil with Boobs,” and his classic political farce “They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!” Jon and Michael’s critically 

Michael Aquilante

acclaimed translations have been staged in many cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Anchorage, London, Dublin, Brisbane, Ottawa, and Toronto. “Anarchist” was honored with Toronto’s prestigious Dora Award, while “Boobs” received an L. A. Weekly Theater Award. 

Currently, the Laskin/Aquilante team is developing adapted translations of another Italian Nobel Prize winner, Luigi Pirandello: “The Truth About Truth,” set in today’s Washington, DC, is based on “It Is So If You Think So”; while “Willie the First” is Pirandello’s “Henry IV” in a modern Mafia context. In addition to Laskin/Aquilante’s theatrical endeavors, 2016 will see the publication of their graphic book, “Wings of Wax and Feathers,” an urban-savvy retelling of the Icarus myth.

FROM TRANSLATORS – Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante

THEY DON’T PAY? WE WON’T PAY!

Of the 7 billion people on earth, 99% seem to be very unhappy in these turbulent times of global economic meltdown. More and more alarmed citizens all over the world continue to demonstrate with dramatic protests and confrontations. They are unwilling to silently endure any longer the rampant injustice affecting their lives in critical ways.

Sadly, this is nothing new. The same conditions and the same reactions have occurred for centuries. Not so long ago in the 1960s and 1970s, such issues as civil rights, war, and economic inequality generated enormous social unrest. The activist response of ordinary people was expressed vigorously, sometimes even violently, in the streets and on campuses everywhere. But there were other activists—artists and writers—who used their creative voices to express the massive frustration and discontent.

Among them was Italian playwright, Dario Fo, who won a Nobel Prize in 1997 and continues his writing and fighting today. A lifelong political activist and fierce advocate for social justice, his provocative agitprop plays have been translated into countless languages and staged across the globe.

One play in particular speaks directly to the core economic problems still plaguing the world. Fo recently updated this farcical masterpiece to better reflect current global issues, retitled it “Sottopaga! Non si paga!” and asked his American translators, Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante, to render a sharp, colloquial script that would bring to life the essential argument of the play: The necessity and lasting value of popular revolt, presented through the eternal form of comedy, both high and low.

“They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!” lets today’s English-speaking audiences thoroughly enjoy Fo’s hilarious tale of working-class housewives revolting against soaring food prices by taking matters into their own hands… so to speak. As the anarchic housewife ANTONIA says in the play:

“You have the right to pay what’s fair. This is like a strike. No—it’s better than a strike. In a strike, our lost pay comes out of our own pockets. Finally, here’s a strike where the boss pays. Even better, he’s busted—flat as us. They don’t pay us what’s fair? Why should we pay their prices? They don’t pay? We won’t pay!”

Jon LaskinJon Laskin and Michael Aquilante are writers and theater translators who have co-translated several works of Nobel Prize-winning Italian playwright Dario Fo, including “Accidental Death of an Anarchist,” “The Devil with Boobs,” and his classic political farce “They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!” Jon and Michael’s critically acclaimed translations have been staged in many cities around the world, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Anchorage, London, Dublin, Brisbane, Ottawa, and Toronto. “Anarchist” was honored with Toronto’s prestig

Michael Aquilante

ious Dora Award, while “Boobs” received an L. A. Weekly Theater Award. 

Currently, the Laskin/Aquilante team is developing adapted translations of another Italian Nobel Prize winner, Luigi Pirandello: “The Truth About Truth,” set in today’s Washington, DC, is based on “It Is So If You Think So”; while “Willie the First” is Pirandello’s “Henry IV” in a modern Mafia context. In addition to Laskin/Aquilante’s theatrical endeavors, 2016 will see the publication of their graphic book, “Wings of Wax and Feathers,” an urban-savvy retelling of the Icarus myth.

Per gentile concessione di archivio.francarame.it

DARIO FO – The Jester of our times

Dario Fo

 Dario Fo, an Italian actor-author, can claim to be the most frequently performed living playwright in the world. Born on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy in 1926, he made his debut in theatre in 1952 and is still writing and performing. His work has gone through various phases, always in company with his actress wife Franca Rame. His stage career began with political cabaret, moved on to one-act farces, and then to satirical comedies in his so-called ‘bourgeois phase’ in the early 1960s when he became a celebrated figure on TV and in Italy’s major theatres. In 1968, he broke with conventional theatre to set up a co operative dedicated to producing politically committed work in what were then known as ‘alternative venues’. His best known work, including Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Mistero Buffo and Trumpets and Raspberries, dates from this period. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, and in the official citation the Swedish Royal Academy stated that he had ‘emulated the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.’

Photo CreditsDario Fo, Cesenatico, 2005
Per gentile concessione di archivio.francarame.it

Dario Fo, Cesenatico, 2005
Per gentile concessione di archivio.francarame.it

The Team of Ambassador Theater is thrilled to partner with the Italian Cultural Institute and celebrate 90th Birthday of Dario Fo with the presentation of an Italian actor, an inerpreter of Dario Fo's monologues, Mario Pirovano, in Johan Padan and the Discovery of America Feb 26, 2016 at 7 PM at the Embassy of Italy and a production of DC Premiere of They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! March 3-26, 2016 at FLASHPOINT, 916 G Street, NW, Washington DC.

They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay! is one of the greatest European comedies of the 20th Century, which caused the future Nobel Prize-winning playwright Dario Fo to be brought to trial for incitement. This working class farce set during a time of economic collapse, begins with an episode of mass shoplifting by working class women from food stores, due to price hikes. It soon converges with the shipping of cheap contraband food from Asia as well as work stoppages and strikes. As a result of the “liberation” of food from grocery stores, a peculiar number of pregnant-looking women in coats are being pursued by the authorities everywhere. One of these working class women, Antonia, must deal with her legalistic husband, Giovanni—a union member who plays by the rule-book. She must also explain the unexpected “pregnancy” of his best friend Luigi’s wife, Margherita, a fact that Giovanni in turn “reveals” to Margherita’s husband. But soon the raids by authorities seeking contraband food close in on their neighborhood, and chaos ensues.
 
Though the piece has been called a “comedy of hunger,” it is also about the bigger financial farce that results if the victims of financial collapse—brought about by capitalism run-amok—are asked to pay for the disaster while the guilty parties are bailed out. This play by a master playwright and performer, is both physical comedy and a comedy of wit, sometimes in “boulevard” style. Fo has roots in Commedia dell’Arte, and the influence shows in this modern farce. In awarding him the Nobel Prize for Literature—there is no theatre category!—the Nobel committee remarked in 1997 that Dario Fo “emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.”
 WHERE: Mead Theatre Lab at FLASHPOINT
     916 G Street NW, Washington DC
WHEN: March 3 – March 26, 2016; Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Matinees Sundays at 3:00 pm
Previews March 1, 2 at 7:30 pm;

Opening & Reception follows, March 3 at 7:30 pm 
Press Night: Sat, March 5, 7:30 pm; Special Q&A after the show with the Special Guest, Italian Actor, longtime collaborator of Dario Fo, Mario Pirovano, director, Joe Martin and actors 
TICKETS: $20 – $40 Online For 14 + Audiences

 

Mario Pirovano

Mario Pirovano in Washington DC

IIC-colore-washingtonLearnShareChallengeGrow_andAmbassadorTheater_1038x576_featured

The Italian Cultural Institute

with the partnership of the

Ambassador Theater 

Present

Dario Fo and Mario PirovanoMARIO PIROVANO

an Italian actor, storyteller, translator and interpreter of Dario Fo’s monologues. His performances contribue to spread the Fo’s art in the world. Mario has been working closely with Dario Fo and Franca rame from 1983 to 2013. He performed the one-man shows of Mistero Buffo, Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe, Lu Santo Jullare Françesco, Vorrei morire anche stasera se dovessi sapere che non è servito a niente, and Ruzzante in Italy, Belgium, France, England, Scotland, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Sweden, Norway, Australia, China, Palestine, Pakistan, Ethipia, Kenia, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Canada and the United States.  … I found him exceptional. Above all he didn’t take me off, he didn’t mimic me. He showed a vitality that was all his own, and the energetic inventiveness of a great story-teller. Dario Fo 

in

Johan Padan and the Discovery of America (Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe)

By Dario Fo Translated by Mario Pirovano

Friday, Feb 26, 2016  7:00 PM 

At the Embassy of Italy, 3000 Whitehaven St NW, Washington, DC 20008

By Invitation only!

MASTER CLASS with MARIO PIROVANO

MONDAY, FEB 29 at 7 PM

FLASHPOINT, 916 G Street, NW, Washinton DC 20001

FREE: REGISTER ONLINE Space is limited!

ABOUT DARIO FO

Dario Fo Dario Fo, an Italian actor-author, can claim to be the most frequently performed living playwright in the world. Born on Lake Maggiore in northern Italy in 1926, he made his debut in theatre in 1952 and is still writing and performing. His work has gone through various phases, always in company with his actress wife Franca Rame. His stage career began with political cabaret, moved on to one-act farces, and then to satirical comedies in his so-called ‘bourgeois phase’ in the early 1960s when he became a celebrated figure on TV and in Italy’s major theatres. In 1968, he broke with conventional theatre to set up a co operative dedicated to producing politically committed work in what were then known as ‘alternative venues’. His best known work, including Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Mistero Buffo and Trumpets and Raspberries, dates from this period. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997, and in the official citation the Swedish Royal Academy stated that he had ‘emulated the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden.’

Johan Padan and the Discovery of America -Johan Padan a la Descoverta de le Americhe 

“Let us state clearly that is not the lamentable history of the massacres committed by the conquerors on the Indios. This is not the story of the usual losers. It is rather the epos of the victory of a population of Indios.

There are two fundamental types of chronicles of the discovery and conquest of America. On the one hand the stories written by the scribes following the conquerors. On the other, the tales of the coprotagonists who do not count, the “lastagonists”, from the dirty ranks, who come to tell their adventures having lived very close, even often right in the middle of the conquered, as prisoners…and even slaves!

Johan Padan is one of these unlucky adventurers, a gallows-bird of the fifteenth century, who has found himself right in the middle of thee discovery of America.

Johan Padan is a real figure, maybe his name is not exactly Johan Padan, but his actions are real: indeed they come from dozens of true stories told by the very men who lived them, the extras from the rank-and-file coming from all countries of Europe. All desperate people who do not count for anything in the official history of the discovery, but who arrived in the Indies, came in contact with the local people and found that they could count for something, or even a lot!

Johan Padan, a man from the mountains, does not like to sail but is compelled in spite of himself to make the great voyage. He is kidnapped by cannibals who fatten him up with the intention of eating him. He is saved by a stroke of luck and he becomes shaman, chief-wizard, doctor and is called “son of the rising sun”. He ha also compelled to teach the stories of the Gospels to thousands of Indios. Apocryphal Gospel of course.

The simple seamen, the ranks of little worth who switched sides with the conquered were many more than we used to think. And we must be clear: they did not content themselves with surviving, but they worked as strategists and military trainers so that the Indios could resist for a period of time against the invasion of the Christians.

We know the names of some of them, the best known are: Guerrero, Altavilla, Cabeza de Vaca. Hans Staden. 

But today we offer the extraordinary chance to know in person and from his own voice the tale of the most renowned of all the renegade foot soldiers: Johan Padan, ‘son of the rising sun’." Dario Fo