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:

(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 


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


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.’


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)


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


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.


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.