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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.


In Partnership with Italian Cultural Institute 

Ambassador Theater Presents

The Washington DC Premiere of

By Dario Fo

Translated by Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante

Produced by Hanna Bondarewska

Directed by Joe Martin and Danny Rovin

Featuring: Hanna Bondarewska, Moriah Whiteman, Darren Marquardt, Mitch Irzinski and Peter Orvetti

March 3 – March 26, 2016 

Wednesdays – Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Matinees Sundays at 3:00 pm

Mead Theatre Lab at FLASHPOINT
916 G Street NW, Washington DC

Previews (Open Dress Rehearsals) March 1, 2 at 7:30 pm; 

March 3 at 7:30 pm, VIP Opening & Reception follows

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




Ambassador Theater is thrilled to celebrate 90th Birthday of Dario Fo, Italian satirist, playwright, director, actor and composer, and present a DC Premiere of 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.


DarioFoDario Fo has written over 70 plays, coauthoring some of them with his wife, the great comic actress Franca Rame.  Among his most popular plays are Morte accidentale di un anarchico (1974; Accidental Death of an Anarchist) and Non si paga, non si paga! (Originally titled in English We Can’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!). As a performer, Fo is best known for his solo tour de force Mistero Buffo (1973; “Comic Mystery”), which he toured world-wide, based on medieval mystery plays and jongleur performance pieces: in the spirit of the medieval jongleurs the shows changed with each audience, always remaining fresh and relevant. At age 90 he has published the novel, The Pope’s Daughter: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia.


Antonia—Hanna Bondarewska
Giovanni–Darren Marquardt
Margherita—Moriah Whiteman
Luigi— Mitch Irzinski
Policeman/Federal Agent/Undertaker/Giovanni's Father—Peter Orvetti

Director-Joe Martin and Danny Rovin
Assistant Director – Xandra Weaver
Music/Sound – Noor Che'Ree
Set Designer – Rachael Knoblauch
Set/Artist Painter – Julia Tasheva
Ligthing Designer – E-hui Woo
Costume Designer – Sigridur Johannesdottir
Literary Director – Eliza Anna Falk
Stage Manager – Xandra Weaver
House Box Office Manager – Anders Hilton da Silva and Mari Davis