Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Strawberry Theatre Workshop
explores justice in a time of terror in
"Accidental Death of an Anarchist"
Nobel Prize laureate Dario Fo's chaotic satire probes the death of a railway worker in police custody in "Accidental Death of an Anarchist", opening September 9 for a limited run at the Richard Hugo House in Seattle. Rooted in Italian traditions of farce and commedia dell'arte, "Anarchist" is a ballet of clowning, buffoonery, wit, and scathing criticism set in a corrupt police headquarters and led by a heroic madman.
Strawberry Theatre Workshop (Strawshop) returns for 2005 by again putting its resources into an ensemble of actors, directors, and designers trained for physical play. Gabriel Baron, fresh off his leading role in Fo's "Archangels Don't Play Pinball" at Capitol Hill Arts Center, directs. Baron assembles a cast of Seattle comic favorites including Darragh Kennan as the Maniac, and Rhonda J. Soikowski as the Reporter. The police interrogators are M.J. Sieber, Michael Patten, Gavin Cummins, and David Goldstein.
When speaking of the play, Gabriel Baron says, "I feel like there is a large percentage of the American population that needs an awakening slap in the face. Not only do they need--they want--a slap in the face, as long as that slap is accompanied by a cheesecake. In the case of Dario Fo's 'Accidental Death of an Anarchist', the slap in the face is a good hard look at a very tragic, very real event perpetrated by the same powers meant to protect us from harm and seek out justice for harm-doers, while the cheesecake is a madcap, roller-coaster of laughs and fun."
Strawshop has a mission to open up conversation about the most controversial issues through expertly crafted plays. Dario Fo joins a list of vital, activist writers embraced by the company that already includes musician Woody Guthrie ("This Land", September 2004) and novelist Charles Dickens ("Fellow Passengers", December 2004).
Fo is one of the world's great living playwrights, and yet remains obscure in the U.S. because he does not write in English, and his comic language and timing is challenging to translate. His strength is in the creation of texts that are always open for creative additions and dislocations, continually encouraging the actors to improvise, which means that the audience is activated in a remarkable way. The Strawshop production of "Anarchist" includes several historical additions and updates, where the author has encouraged them.
Fo's springboard for "Accidental Death of an Anarchist" were real events and real characters. At the story's core is a bombing at the Agricultural Bank in Milan in 1969, which killed seventeen people and wounded more than 100. After the attack, fascists in the Italian Social Movement distributed leaflets denouncing the 'red terror' and police in Milan went into action, swee
Richard Hugo House (View)
1634 11th Av
Seattle, WA 98112
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