I directed Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist as one of my M.F.A. projects at the University of Alberta in 2006.
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by Dario Fo
translated by Richard Nelson
from a literal translation by Suzanne Cowan
The Maniac: David Horak*
Inspector Bertuzzi: Ryland Alexander
Constable: Chelsea Thompson
Inspector Pisani: Annette Christie
Superintendent: Mark Stubbings
Anna-Maria Feletti: Patricia Darbasie*
*appearing courtesy of the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association
Director: Ian Leung
Stage Manager: Kerry Johnson
Assistant Stage Manager: Anna Wood
Set Design: Shauna Breslawksi
Costume Design: Maya Jarvis
Lighting Design: Snezana Pesic
Sound Design: Ping Li
Original Piano Segments: Paul Ley
Fight Choreography: Ryland Alexander
Lighting Technician: Tamara Smith
Sound Technician: Ping Lu
Scenic Carpenter: Brett Henry
Stage Carpenter: Malina Parmar
Gun Wrangers: Aliya Rozenberg
Dresser: Avia Moore
Running Crew: Hanna Chow, Tully Johnson
Andrew McLeod Orthopedic Solutions Inc., Julien Arnold, Andrea Boyd, Joyce Belanger, Michael Caron, Stefan Dzeparoski, Mel Geary, Tawny Lehan, Joanna Johnston, Meredith Kenzie, John Raymond, The Citadel Theatre, Values Fixtures
*And Very Special Apologies to anyone who should be on this list and isn’t!
Besides being tremendously entertaining and informative, Fo’s play is also a critique of social democracy’s tendency to appear open while still managing to resist change. How? In essence: through a form of song and dance. Fo sees scandal as a safety valve through which public pressure – pressure that could be better applied toward effecting real change – can be diverted. Progress is frustrated by a repeated ritual of revelation, followed by public outrage, government “correction”, and public satisfaction. After the dust settles, the public feels it has finally got something done, the government has given the appearance of having done something without having really changed anything, and everybody goes home happy. Each time the play is revived it is adapted to address the topical issues of both the day the country in which it is being produced. In the 80’s it was Iran-Contra in the States, in the 90’s it was the Birmingham Six in Britain, and always and anywhere, American interference and imperialism. As for Canada in 2005? Well, 9/11 goes without saying – and, progress notwithstanding, we are home to what is perhaps one of the smuggest, most blithely comfortable social democracies in the world.
Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist was my choice for a directing project that was meant to be an exercise in realism. Anyone who knows anything about the play will surely laugh when I say that this was the show on which I learned I wasn’t generally attracted to realism, even if at that point, I thought I was. Lesson learned.
March 4-5, 2006
7:30 pm Saturday and Sunday
2:00 pm matinée Sunday
Media Room (Bleviss Laboratory Theatre)
Fine Arts Building, University of Alberta
88th Avenue NW & 112th Street NW