Mario Pirovano in Washington DC


The Italian Cultural Institute

with the partnership of the

Ambassador Theater 


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 


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!


MONDAY, FEB 29 at 7 PM

FLASHPOINT, 916 G Street, NW, Washinton DC 20001

FREE: REGISTER ONLINE Space is limited!


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