They Don’t Pay? We Won’t Pay!

Translated by Jon Laskin and Michael Aquilante

Prices are rising and wages are falling—what’s a girl to do? Go shopping for free without letting your husband (or the police) know. Classic commedia dell’arte meets the Honeymooners! At the heart of all the high jinks is a basic human need—hunger—and the very human desire to satisfy that need with one’s dignity intact. This playful romp ultimately illuminates the buoyancy and resilience of the human spirit as it comes up against everyday life in this side-splitting satire.

The Artistic Perspective Discussion will feature Jeffrey Selinger, Assistant Professor of Government and Legal Studies at Bowdoin College.

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Playwright

Dario Fo

Dario Fo is a winner of The Nobel prize for Literature.  An Italian dramatist, Fo, and his frequent collaborator, Franca Rame, have been eliciting laughter and thought for almost half a century both as writers and as actors. They are modern commedia dell’arte entertainers with a social, political, and historical conscience.  Many were surprised when Fo, a mere writer and clownish performer of rather buffoonish comedies, won the Nobel Prize in 1997. He was just an entertainer!  Also known as We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay! this play is a Feydeau-like farce triggered by a food riot.  The madness in Fo in itself carries a political message; many plays revel in the life-giving anarchism that results when the stultifying status quo breaks down.  Fo’s strength is in the creation of texts that simultaneously amuse, engage and provide perspectives.

Cast & Artists