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Archangels Don't Play Pinball

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Tiny is duped into marrying a beautiful blonde who is really a prostitute.  They fall in love.  Traveling to Washington, D.C., to secure his pension payments, he becomes trapped in a bureaucratic nightmare: first as a dog locked in a pound, then as slave to a magician, and finally as a senator.  In the end, Tiny realizes that it has all been a dream.

Credits

Creative team

by

Dario Fo

The Italian dramatist, actor, and theatrical activist Dario Fo was first invited by the American Repertory Theater to perform in 1986, occasioning his first visit to the United States.

For many years Fo's plays have been performed all over the world, perhaps more than any other contemporary dramatist's, and his influence has been considerable. The A.R.T. produced his We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! in 1999 and the American premiere of Archangels Don't Play Pinball in 1988. Other works in his extensive oeuvre include Mistero Buffo, Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Trumpets and Raspberries, and most recently The Devil with Boobs, a satiric comedy set in the Renaissance.

Fo's strength is in the creation of texts that simultaneously amuse, engage, and provide perspectives. As in commedia dell'arte, where he often draws inspiration, Fo's plays are open to creative additions and dislocations, encouraging improvisation and influencing the audience in remarkable ways. His works have employed topics taken from current news, such as the rise of the Italian workers' movement, revolt in Chile, and the Palestinian situation, and they often include a discussion between actors and audience. As a bridge between popular culture and radical intellectuals, Fo's collective theater occupies a central place in contemporary Italian culture.

In recent years, working with his actress–wife, Franca Rame, Fo has dealt with women's issues in several plays, and together they have established a worldwide reputation for their biting satire in their writing and performances. Corruption in the Catholic Church and the Italian government, police brutality, abuses in the prison system, violations of human rights, the Mafia, rape, the denial of Italian women's access to divorce and abortion: Fo and Rame have made these dangerous political issues the subject matter of their theater. Drawing on traditions ranging from the commedia dell'arte to puppetry, clowning, and storytelling, they have subjected every institution, political party, power broker, corrupt organization, and controversial law in Italy to their formidable satirical powers. Over the years, they have been censored, banned, rebuked, denied visas—and played to packed houses all over the world.

Dario Fo's many international awards and honors include the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, an honorary doctorate from the University of Westminster, and an Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

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Translated by

Ron Jenkins

Translated by

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins (translator and director of Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas) began his research on Dario Fo in Italy in 1985 with the support of a Sheldon Fellowship from Harvard University. He was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which will enable him to spend much of the next year translating, directing, and writing about Fo's works. Mr. Jenkins's translations of Fo's plays have been produced by the American Repertory Theater (We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!) and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. His book on Fo and Rame, entitled Dario Fo and Franca Rame: Artful Laughter, is being published this September by Aperture. The author of Subversive Laughter and Acrobats of the Soul, Mr. Jenkins has written about theater for the Village Voice, American Theatre, the Drama Review, and the New York Times. He has directed plays by Fo in Israel, Lithuania, and the U.S. He is professor, chair, and artistic director of Wesleyan University's theater department.

View full biography

Directed by

Dario Fo

Franca Rame

Directed by

Dario Fo

The Italian dramatist, actor, and theatrical activist Dario Fo was first invited by the American Repertory Theater to perform in 1986, occasioning his first visit to the United States.

For many years Fo's plays have been performed all over the world, perhaps more than any other contemporary dramatist's, and his influence has been considerable. The A.R.T. produced his We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! in 1999 and the American premiere of Archangels Don't Play Pinball in 1988. Other works in his extensive oeuvre include Mistero Buffo, Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Trumpets and Raspberries, and most recently The Devil with Boobs, a satiric comedy set in the Renaissance.

Fo's strength is in the creation of texts that simultaneously amuse, engage, and provide perspectives. As in commedia dell'arte, where he often draws inspiration, Fo's plays are open to creative additions and dislocations, encouraging improvisation and influencing the audience in remarkable ways. His works have employed topics taken from current news, such as the rise of the Italian workers' movement, revolt in Chile, and the Palestinian situation, and they often include a discussion between actors and audience. As a bridge between popular culture and radical intellectuals, Fo's collective theater occupies a central place in contemporary Italian culture.

In recent years, working with his actress–wife, Franca Rame, Fo has dealt with women's issues in several plays, and together they have established a worldwide reputation for their biting satire in their writing and performances. Corruption in the Catholic Church and the Italian government, police brutality, abuses in the prison system, violations of human rights, the Mafia, rape, the denial of Italian women's access to divorce and abortion: Fo and Rame have made these dangerous political issues the subject matter of their theater. Drawing on traditions ranging from the commedia dell'arte to puppetry, clowning, and storytelling, they have subjected every institution, political party, power broker, corrupt organization, and controversial law in Italy to their formidable satirical powers. Over the years, they have been censored, banned, rebuked, denied visas—and played to packed houses all over the world.

Dario Fo's many international awards and honors include the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, an honorary doctorate from the University of Westminster, and an Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

View full biography

Directed by

Franca Rame

Franca Rame, who performs and co-wrote Sex? Thanks, Don't Mind if I Do!, is the co-author of many dramatic works, including All Home, Bed, and Church (1977), The Open Couple (1983), Female Parts (1986), A Woman Alone and Other Plays (1989), and Seventh Commandment: Steal a Little Less (1992). An actress, dramatist, and lecturer of international renown, Ms. Rame was born to a family of puppeteers who have been practicing their art for several generations, and began her acting career at the age of eight. She joined Dario Fo in the theater in 1951 (and married him in 1954) and has since collaborated with him as stage performer, writer, and editor for dozens of plays and monologues.

Together Fo and Rame have established a worldwide reputation for biting satire in their writing and performances. The dangerous political issues that have been subjects of their theatre include corruption in the Catholic Church and the Italian government, police brutality, abuses in the prison system, violations of human rights, the Mafia, rape, and the denial of Italian women's access to divorce and abortion. Drawing on traditions ranging from the commedia dell'arte to puppetry, clowning, and storytelling, Fo and Rame have subjected every institution, political party, power broker, corrupt organization and controversial law in Italy to their formidable satirical powers. Over the years, they have been censored, banned, rebuked, denied visas - and played to packed houses all over the world.

View full biography

Set and costume design by

Dario Fo

Set and costume design by

Dario Fo

The Italian dramatist, actor, and theatrical activist Dario Fo was first invited by the American Repertory Theater to perform in 1986, occasioning his first visit to the United States.

For many years Fo's plays have been performed all over the world, perhaps more than any other contemporary dramatist's, and his influence has been considerable. The A.R.T. produced his We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! in 1999 and the American premiere of Archangels Don't Play Pinball in 1988. Other works in his extensive oeuvre include Mistero Buffo, Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, Trumpets and Raspberries, and most recently The Devil with Boobs, a satiric comedy set in the Renaissance.

Fo's strength is in the creation of texts that simultaneously amuse, engage, and provide perspectives. As in commedia dell'arte, where he often draws inspiration, Fo's plays are open to creative additions and dislocations, encouraging improvisation and influencing the audience in remarkable ways. His works have employed topics taken from current news, such as the rise of the Italian workers' movement, revolt in Chile, and the Palestinian situation, and they often include a discussion between actors and audience. As a bridge between popular culture and radical intellectuals, Fo's collective theater occupies a central place in contemporary Italian culture.

In recent years, working with his actress–wife, Franca Rame, Fo has dealt with women's issues in several plays, and together they have established a worldwide reputation for their biting satire in their writing and performances. Corruption in the Catholic Church and the Italian government, police brutality, abuses in the prison system, violations of human rights, the Mafia, rape, the denial of Italian women's access to divorce and abortion: Fo and Rame have made these dangerous political issues the subject matter of their theater. Drawing on traditions ranging from the commedia dell'arte to puppetry, clowning, and storytelling, they have subjected every institution, political party, power broker, corrupt organization, and controversial law in Italy to their formidable satirical powers. Over the years, they have been censored, banned, rebuked, denied visas—and played to packed houses all over the world.

Dario Fo's many international awards and honors include the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature, an honorary doctorate from the University of Westminster, and an Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre.

View full biography

Lighting design by

Robert M. Wierzel

Sound design by

Stephen D. Santomenna

Music composed by

Fiorenzo Carpi

Associate direction by

Arturo Corso

Assistant direction

Ron Jenkins

Assistant direction

Ron Jenkins

Ron Jenkins (translator and director of Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas) began his research on Dario Fo in Italy in 1985 with the support of a Sheldon Fellowship from Harvard University. He was recently awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship, which will enable him to spend much of the next year translating, directing, and writing about Fo's works. Mr. Jenkins's translations of Fo's plays have been produced by the American Repertory Theater (We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!) and Yale Repertory Theatre, among others. His book on Fo and Rame, entitled Dario Fo and Franca Rame: Artful Laughter, is being published this September by Aperture. The author of Subversive Laughter and Acrobats of the Soul, Mr. Jenkins has written about theater for the Village Voice, American Theatre, the Drama Review, and the New York Times. He has directed plays by Fo in Israel, Lithuania, and the U.S. He is professor, chair, and artistic director of Wesleyan University's theater department.

View full biography

Cast

Tiny/Sunny Weather

Geoff Hoyle

Tiny/Sunny Weather

Geoff Hoyle

First Friend/Clerk/Dog Pound Director/Mayor

Peter Gerety

First Friend/Clerk/Dog Pound Director/Mayor

Peter Gerety

Remo Airaldi

Second Friend/Clerk/Dogcatcher

Remo Airaldi

Remo Airaldi

Second Friend/Clerk/Dogcatcher

Remo Airaldi

A.R.T.: The Lily’s Revenge, Cabaret, Paradise Lost, Endgame, The Seagull, Oliver Twist, Island of Slaves, The Onion Cellar, The Communist Dracula Pageant, Cardenio, Julius Caesar, Amerika, The Miser, Henry IV and V, The Birthday Party, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, La Dispute, Uncle Vanya, Enrico IV, The Winter’s Tale, The Wild Duck, Buried Child, Tartuffe, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Waiting for Godot. Regional: Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company; Sweeney Todd, My Fair Lady, Lyric Stage Company; Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; The Poets’ Theater; Israeli Stage; Central Square Theater; New Repertory Theater; Hartford Stage.

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Third Friend/Clerk/Stationmaster

Benjamin Evett

Third Friend/Clerk/Stationmaster

Benjamin Evett

Benjamin Evett has appeared at the American Repertory Theater in La Dispute, as Ilya Ilych Telegin in Uncle Vanya, Kinesias in Lysistrata, Jacques Roux in Marat/Sade, Peter in Absolution, Cassio in Othello, Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk/Sir Stephen Scroope in Richard II, Burris in Animals and Plants, the General in Mother Courage, the Messenger in Antigone, Time in The Winter's Tale, Lvov in Ivanov, the Policeman in Charlie in the House of Rue, Babbybobby in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Hyppolytus in Phaedra, Clèante in The Imaginary Invalid, Tranio in The Taming of the Shrew, Pentheus in The Bacchae, Zalman Tippish/Chaim Rascal/Dopey Petzel in Shlemiel the First, the Dreamer in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Leandro in The King Stag, the Son in Six Characters in Search of an Author, Punch 2/Judy Bell/Taxi Judy in Punch and Judy Get Divorced, Bouggerslas in Ubu Rock, Vince in Buried Child, Ariel in The Tempest, Charles Filch/Walt Dreary/Beggar Joe in The Threepenny Opera, Bardolph/Montjoy in Henry V, Lucky in Waiting for Godot, Herald/Chorus/Pylades/Hermes in The Oresteia, Epihodov in The Cherry Orchard, Nicholas Beckett in What the Butler Saw, Pistol in Henry IV, Part 2, and as Sir Richard Vernon in Part 1, in 'Tis Pity She's a Whore, and in Platonov. He has also performed at the Missouri Repertory Theatre, where he played the title roles in Billy Bishop Goes to War and Amadeus, and at the Great Lakes Theatre Festival, where he played Swiss Cheese in Mother Courage. He is a graduate of Harvard University and the American Repertory Theater/Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Mr. Evett currently serves as artistic director of the Actors' Shakespeare Company in Boston.

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Fourth Friend/Jules/Illusionist/Bum

John Bottoms

Fourth Friend/Jules/Illusionist/Bum

John Bottoms

Fifth Friend/Doctor/Clerk/Conductor

Dean Norris

Fifth Friend/Doctor/Clerk/Conductor

Dean Norris

Pastry Cook/Coptic Priest/Inspector/General

Richard Grusin

Pastry Cook/Coptic Priest/Inspector/General

Richard Grusin

First Girlfriend/Clerk/Woman at Dog Pound

Sally Schwager

First Girlfriend/Clerk/Woman at Dog Pound

Sally Schwager

Second Girlfriend/Clerk/Dogcatcher

Alison Taylor

Second Girlfriend/Clerk/Dogcatcher

Alison Taylor

Third Girlfriend/Woman at Window

Bonnie Zimering

Third Girlfriend/Woman at Window

Bonnie Zimering

Fourth Girlfriend/Second Woman at Window

Rima Miller

Fourth Girlfriend/Second Woman at Window

Rima Miller