Dario Fo
Overview
Dario Fo is an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 satirist
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

, theater director, actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

 and composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. His dramatic work employs comedic methods of the ancient Italian commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century, and was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The closest translation of the name is "comedy of craft"; it is shortened...

, a theatrical style popular with the working classes. He currently owns and operates a theatre company with his wife, actress Franca Rame
Franca Rame
Franca Rame is an Italian theatre actress and playwright. She is also the wife of Nobel Prize winning author Dario Fo and the mother of the writer Jacopo Fo.- Life :...

. He was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, with the committee highlighting him as a writer "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden".

Fo's works are characterised by criticisms of — among others — organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

, political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, political murders, Catholic policy on abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 and conflict in the Middle East.
Encyclopedia
Dario Fo is an Italian
Italian people
The Italian people are an ethnic group that share a common Italian culture, ancestry and speak the Italian language as a mother tongue. Within Italy, Italians are defined by citizenship, regardless of ancestry or country of residence , and are distinguished from people...

 satirist
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

, playwright
Playwright
A playwright, also called a dramatist, is a person who writes plays.The term is not a variant spelling of "playwrite", but something quite distinct: the word wright is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder...

, theater director, actor
Actor
An actor is a person who acts in a dramatic production and who works in film, television, theatre, or radio in that capacity...

 and composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

. His dramatic work employs comedic methods of the ancient Italian commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte
Commedia dell'arte is a form of theatre characterized by masked "types" which began in Italy in the 16th century, and was responsible for the advent of the actress and improvised performances based on sketches or scenarios. The closest translation of the name is "comedy of craft"; it is shortened...

, a theatrical style popular with the working classes. He currently owns and operates a theatre company with his wife, actress Franca Rame
Franca Rame
Franca Rame is an Italian theatre actress and playwright. She is also the wife of Nobel Prize winning author Dario Fo and the mother of the writer Jacopo Fo.- Life :...

. He was awarded the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

, with the committee highlighting him as a writer "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden".

Fo's works are characterised by criticisms of — among others — organized crime
Organized crime
Organized crime or criminal organizations are transnational, national, or local groupings of highly centralized enterprises run by criminals for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity, most commonly for monetary profit. Some criminal organizations, such as terrorist organizations, are...

, political corruption
Political corruption
Political corruption is the use of legislated powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Misuse of government power for other purposes, such as repression of political opponents and general police brutality, is not considered political corruption. Neither are illegal acts by...

, political murders, Catholic policy on abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 and conflict in the Middle East. His plays often depend on improvisation, commedia dell'arte style. His plays — especially Mistero Buffo — have been translated to 30 languages and when they are performed outside Italy, they are often modified to reflect local political and other issues. Fo encourages directors and translators to modify his plays as they see fit, as he finds this in accordance to the commedia dell'arte tradition of on-stage improvisation.

Fo campaigned for mayor of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 in 2006, finishing in second place.

Early years

Fo was born in Sangiano
Sangiano
Sangiano is a comune in the Province of Varese in the Italian region Lombardy, located about 60 km northwest of Milan and about 15 km northwest of Varese. As of 31 December 2004, it had a population of 1,345 and an area of 2.2 km².Sangiano borders the following municipalities:...

, in the province of Varese
Province of Varese
The Province of Varese is a province in the Lombardy region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Varese but its largest city is Busto Arsizio....

, near the eastern shore of Lago Maggiore. His father Felice was a stationmaster for the Italian state railway, and the family frequently moved when Felice was transferred to new postings. Felice was also an amateur actor and a socialist
Italian Socialist Party
The Italian Socialist Party was a socialist and later social-democratic political party in Italy founded in Genoa in 1892.Once the dominant leftist party in Italy, it was eclipsed in status by the Italian Communist Party following World War II...

. Fo learned storytelling from his maternal grandfather and Lombard
Lombardy
Lombardy is one of the 20 regions of Italy. The capital is Milan. One-sixth of Italy's population lives in Lombardy and about one fifth of Italy's GDP is produced in this region, making it the most populous and richest region in the country and one of the richest in the whole of Europe...

 fishers and glassblowers
Glassblowing
Glassblowing is a glassforming technique that involves inflating molten glass into a bubble, or parison, with the aid of a blowpipe, or blow tube...

.

In 1940 Fo moved to Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 to study architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

 at the Brera Academy
Brera Academy
The Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, also known as Brera Academy is a public academic institution located in Milan, Italy. It was founded in 1776 by HIM Maria Theresa of Austria.- Overview :...

, but World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 intervened. His family was active in the anti-fascist Resistance and reputedly he helped his father to smuggle refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s and Allied soldiers to Switzerland
Switzerland
Switzerland name of one of the Swiss cantons. ; ; ; or ), in its full name the Swiss Confederation , is a federal republic consisting of 26 cantons, with Bern as the seat of the federal authorities. The country is situated in Western Europe,Or Central Europe depending on the definition....

. His father also helped smuggle Jewish scientists into Switzerland. Near the end of the war, Fo was a volunteer in the paratroopers of the Republic of Salò
Italian Social Republic
The Italian Social Republic was a puppet state of Nazi Germany led by the "Duce of the Nation" and "Minister of Foreign Affairs" Benito Mussolini and his Republican Fascist Party. The RSI exercised nominal sovereignty in northern Italy but was largely dependent on the Wehrmacht to maintain control...

. Fo escaped Mussolini's conscription and hid in an attic.

After the war Fo continued his architectural studies in Milan. Initially he commuted from Lago Maggiore, but soon his family moved to Milan. There Fo became involved in the piccoli teatri (small theatres) movement, in which he began to present improvised monologue
Monologue
In theatre, a monologue is a speech presented by a single character, most often to express their thoughts aloud, though sometimes also to directly address another character or the audience. Monologues are common across the range of dramatic media...

s. In 1950 he began to work for Franco Parenti's theatre company, and gradually abandoned his work as an assistant architect.

Relationship with Franca Rame

In 1951 Fo met Franca Rame
Franca Rame
Franca Rame is an Italian theatre actress and playwright. She is also the wife of Nobel Prize winning author Dario Fo and the mother of the writer Jacopo Fo.- Life :...

, daughter of a theatrical family, when they were working in the revue Sette giorni a Milano, and they eventually became engaged. In 1951 he was invited to perform a radio play Cocorico on RAI
RAI
RAI — Radiotelevisione italiana S.p.A. known until 1954 as Radio Audizioni Italiane, is the Italian state owned public service broadcaster controlled by the Ministry of Economic Development. Rai is the biggest television company in Italy...

 (Italian national radio). He made 18 satirical monologues where he adapted biblical tales as political satire
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

. Scandalized authorities cancelled the show.

In 1953 Fo wrote and directed a satirical play Il dito nell'occhio. After initial success both government
Government
Government refers to the legislators, administrators, and arbitrators in the administrative bureaucracy who control a state at a given time, and to the system of government by which they are organized...

 and Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 authorities censored his work and the theater company had trouble finding theaters in which to perform it. The public did appreciate the show.

Franca Rame and Dario Fo were married on June 24, 1954. They had a son, Jacopo Fo (born 31 March 1955), who became a writer.

Fo worked in the Piccolo Teatro in Milan but his satires suffered more censure, although they remained popular.

In 1955 Fo and Rame worked in movie production in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. Fo became a screenwriter
Screenwriter
Screenwriters or scriptwriters or scenario writers are people who write/create the short or feature-length screenplays from which mass media such as films, television programs, Comics or video games are based.-Profession:...

 and worked for many productions, including those of Dino De Laurentiis
Dino De Laurentiis
Agostino "Dino" De Laurentiis was an Italian film producer.-Early life:He was born at Torre Annunziata in the province of Naples, and grew up selling spaghetti produced by his father...

. Rame worked in Teatro Stabile of Bolzano. In 1956 Fo and Rame were together in the Carlo Lizzani's film Lo svitato. Other movies followed.

In 1959 Fo and Rame returned to Milan and founded the Compagnia Dario Fo-Franca Rame. Fo wrote scripts, acted, directed, and designed costumes and stage paraphernalia. Rame took care of the administration. The company débuted in Piccolo Teatro and then initiated its first annual nationwide tour.

1960s (Rise to success)

In 1960 Fo and Rame gained national recognition with Gli arcangeli non giocano a flipper ("Archangels Don't Play Pinball") in Milan's Teatro Odeon
Teatro Odeón
The Teatro Odeón was a theater in Buenos Aires, Argentina. It was built by Don Emilio Bieckert in the end of the 19th century. In July 1896, it hosted the first ever film screening in Argentina. It was demolished in 1991 in order to make space for the construction of a parking lot....

. Other successes followed. In 1961 Fo's plays began to play in Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

 and Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

.

In 1962 Fo wrote and directed a game show
Game show
A game show is a type of radio or television program in which members of the public, television personalities or celebrities, sometimes as part of a team, play a game which involves answering questions or solving puzzles usually for money and/or prizes...

, Canzonissima, for RAI. He used the show to depict the lives of ordinary people and it was a great success. However, an episode about a journalist
Journalist
A journalist collects and distributes news and other information. A journalist's work is referred to as journalism.A reporter is a type of journalist who researchs, writes, and reports on information to be presented in mass media, including print media , electronic media , and digital media A...

 who was killed by the Mafia
Mafia
The Mafia is a criminal syndicate that emerged in the mid-nineteenth century in Sicily, Italy. It is a loose association of criminal groups that share a common organizational structure and code of conduct, and whose common enterprise is protection racketeering...

 annoyed politicians, and Fo and Franca Rame received death threats and were placed under police protection. They left the show when RAI made more cuts to the program. The Italian Actors' Union told its members to refuse to become their replacements. Fo and Rame were effectively banned from RAI for the next 15 years. They continued their work in Teatro Odeon.

In 1962 Fo's play about Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was an explorer, colonizer, and navigator, born in the Republic of Genoa, in northwestern Italy. Under the auspices of the Catholic Monarchs of Spain, he completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean that led to general European awareness of the American continents in the...

, Isabella, Three Tall Ships, and a Con Man was subject to violent attacks by fascist
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 groups in Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

. On this occasion it was the Italian Communist Party
Italian Communist Party
The Italian Communist Party was a communist political party in Italy.The PCI was founded as Communist Party of Italy on 21 January 1921 in Livorno, by seceding from the Italian Socialist Party . Amadeo Bordiga and Antonio Gramsci led the split. Outlawed during the Fascist regime, the party played...

 which provided security for Fo and Rame. Fo recounted this event in the prologue of Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas
Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas
Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas is a one-man play written by Nobel Prize winning playwright, Dario Fo. It is narrated by Johan Padan, a fugitive from the Inquisition who accompanies Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World.-Prologue:Fo tells the story of being...

.

La Signora è da buttare (1967) made topical comments on the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

, Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald
Lee Harvey Oswald was, according to four government investigations,These were investigations by: the Federal Bureau of Investigation , the Warren Commission , the House Select Committee on Assassinations , and the Dallas Police Department. the sniper who assassinated John F...

, and the assassination of John F. Kennedy
John F. Kennedy assassination
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the thirty-fifth President of the United States, was assassinated at 12:30 p.m. Central Standard Time on Friday, November 22, 1963, in Dealey Plaza, Dallas, Texas...

. The US government saw it as being disrespectful to President Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

, and Fo was denied a US visa
Visa (document)
A visa is a document showing that a person is authorized to enter the territory for which it was issued, subject to permission of an immigration official at the time of actual entry. The authorization may be a document, but more commonly it is a stamp endorsed in the applicant's passport...

 for years afterwards under the McCarran-Walter Act.

Fo gained international fame with "Archangels Don't Play Pinball" when it was performed in Zagreb
Zagreb
Zagreb is the capital and the largest city of the Republic of Croatia. It is in the northwest of the country, along the Sava river, at the southern slopes of the Medvednica mountain. Zagreb lies at an elevation of approximately above sea level. According to the last official census, Zagreb's city...

, Yugoslavia.

In 1968 Fo and Rame founded Associazione Nuova Scena theatre collective with movable stages. It toured in Italy. In Milan it turned an abandoned factory into a theatre. It became the home of another new company, Il Capannone di Via Colletta. The collective had links to the Italian Communist Party, but Fo also openly criticized their methods and policies in his plays. Soon the Communist press disliked him as much as the Catholics
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

, and many performances were cancelled. Fo had never been a member but the conflict made Rame resign her Party membership.

Fo withdrew all rights to perform his plays in Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

 in protest after Warsaw Pact
Warsaw Pact
The Warsaw Treaty Organization of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance , or more commonly referred to as the Warsaw Pact, was a mutual defense treaty subscribed to by eight communist states in Eastern Europe...

 forces crushed the Prague Spring
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

 in 1968, and refused to accept cuts demanded by Soviet censors. Productions of his plays in the Eastern Bloc
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 ended.

In 1969 Fo presented for the first time Mistero Buffo ("Comic Mystery"), a play of monologues based on a mix of medieval plays and topical issues. It was popular and had 5000 performances – some even in sports arenas. Mistero Buffo influenced many young actors and authors: it can be considered the formative moment of what Italians used to call teatro di narrazione
Teatro di narrazione
Teatro di narrazione is a style of theatre, developed in Italy in the later decades of the 20th century, in which there are no actors or action, but only a "narrattore" who tells the story in narrative form.During the show, the narrattore often sits on a chair without moving...

, a kind of theatre in which there are no characters playing a dramatic role, similar to popular storytelling.

1970s

In 1970 Fo and Rame left Associazione Nuova Scena due to political differences. They began their third theatre group, Collettivo Teatrale La Comune. It produced plays based on improvisation about contemporary issues. Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Accidental Death of an Anarchist
Accidental Death of an Anarchist is perhaps the best-known play by the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo.- About the play :...

(1970) criticized abuse of forces of law and order; he wrote it after a terrorist attack on the Banca Nazionale dell'Agricoltura in Milan. Fedayin (1971) was about a volatile situation in Palestine
Palestinian territories
The Palestinian territories comprise the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Since the Palestinian Declaration of Independence in 1988, the region is today recognized by three-quarters of the world's countries as the State of Palestine or simply Palestine, although this status is not recognized by the...

 and performers included genuine PLO members. From 1971 to 1985, the group donated part of its income to support strikes of Italian labor organizations.

In 1973 the company moved to Rossini Cinema in Milan. When Fo criticized police in one of his plays, police raids and censorship increased. On March 8, a fascist group, commissioned by high ranking officials in Milan's Carabinieri
Carabinieri
The Carabinieri is the national gendarmerie of Italy, policing both military and civilian populations, and is a branch of the armed forces.-Early history:...

, the Italian federal police, kidnapped Franca Rame
Franca Rame
Franca Rame is an Italian theatre actress and playwright. She is also the wife of Nobel Prize winning author Dario Fo and the mother of the writer Jacopo Fo.- Life :...

, torturing and raping her. Rame returned to the stage after two months with new anti-fascist monologues.

Later in that year, the company occupied an abandoned market building in Central Milan and dubbed it the Palazzina Liberty. They opened in September with Guerra di popolo in Cile, about a rebellion against Chilean military government. It had been written because of the murder of Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende
Salvador Allende Gossens was a Chilean physician and politician who is generally considered the first democratically elected Marxist to become president of a country in Latin America....

. Fo was arrested when he tried to prevent police from stopping the play. The 1974 play Can't Pay? Won't Pay! was a farce about the self-reduction movement where women (and men) would take what they wanted from markets, only paying what they could afford. In 1975 Fo wrote Fanfani rapito in support of a referendum
Referendum
A referendum is a direct vote in which an entire electorate is asked to either accept or reject a particular proposal. This may result in the adoption of a new constitution, a constitutional amendment, a law, the recall of an elected official or simply a specific government policy. It is a form of...

 for the legalization of abortion
Abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

. In the same year they visited China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. Fo was also nominated for the Nobel Prize for the first time.

In 1976 the new director of RAI2, Massimo Fichera, invited Fo to make a new program, Il teatro di Dario (Dario's Theatre). However, when the second edition of Mistero Buffo was shown on TV in 1977, the Vatican
Holy See
The Holy See is the episcopal jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Rome, in which its Bishop is commonly known as the Pope. It is the preeminent episcopal see of the Catholic Church, forming the central government of the Church. As such, diplomatically, and in other spheres the Holy See acts and...

 described it as "blasphemous" and the Italian Right complained. Nevertheless, Franca Rame was awarded an IDI prize for best TV actress.

In 1978 Fo made the third version of Mistero Buffo. He also rewrote and directed La storia di un soldato (Story of a Soldier), based on Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

's opera. It was a success. Later he adapted operas from Rossini
Gioacchino Rossini
Gioachino Antonio Rossini was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces...

. He also wrote a play about the murder of Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro
Aldo Moro was an Italian politician and the 39th Prime Minister of Italy, from 1963 to 1968, and then from 1974 to 1976. He was one of Italy's longest-serving post-war Prime Ministers, holding power for a combined total of more than six years....

, but it has not been performed in public.

1980s

In 1980 Fo and family founded a retreat, the Libera Università di Alcatraz, in the hills near Gubbio
Gubbio
Gubbio is a town and comune in the far northeastern part of the Italian province of Perugia . It is located on the lowest slope of Mt. Ingino, a small mountain of the Apennines. See also Mount Ingino Christmas Tree.-History:...

 and Perugia
Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area....

. They bought the valley bit by bit. The retreat is currently run by Jacopo Fo.

In 1981 Cambridge's American Repertory Theater invited Fo to perform in the Italian Theatre Festival in New York. The United States Department of State
United States Department of State
The United States Department of State , is the United States federal executive department responsible for international relations of the United States, equivalent to the foreign ministries of other countries...

 initially refused to grant Fo a visa but agreed to issue a six-day visa in 1984 after various US writers protested the ruling. In 1985 he received another visa and performed at Harvard University
Harvard University
Harvard University is a private Ivy League university located in Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States, established in 1636 by the Massachusetts legislature. Harvard is the oldest institution of higher learning in the United States and the first corporation chartered in the country...

, Repertory Theater, the Yale Repertory Theater, Washington's Kennedy Center, Baltimore's Theatre of Nations
Theatre of Nations
Federal Department of Culture'sState Theater of NationsOfficial Site: * On December 18, 2006, Yevgeny Mironov became Artistic Director of the State Theater of Nations. The artistic director is the organizer of the Theater's entire suite of creative and production activities, responsible for its...

 and New York's Joyce Theatre.

Despite the acclaim, Fo continued to experience problems. In 1983 Italian censors rated Coppia Aperta forbidden to anyone under 18. During a performance in Argentina
Argentina
Argentina , officially the Argentine Republic , is the second largest country in South America by land area, after Brazil. It is constituted as a federation of 23 provinces and an autonomous city, Buenos Aires...

, a saboteur threw a tear gas grenade
Grenade
A grenade is a small explosive device that is projected a safe distance away by its user. Soldiers called grenadiers specialize in the use of grenades. The term hand grenade refers any grenade designed to be hand thrown. Grenade Launchers are firearms designed to fire explosive projectile grenades...

, and performances were disturbed by youths who threw stones at the windows. Catholics picketed the performance with large religious pictures.

In 1989 Fo wrote Lettera dalla Cina to protest the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

In 1981 Fo received a Sonning Prize
Sonning Prize
The Sonning Prize is awarded biennially for outstanding contributions to European culture. A committee headed by the rector of the University of Copenhagen decides among candidates proposed by European universities. The prize amounts to 1 mio DKK . The prize award ceremony is held on April 19 at...

 from Copenhagen University; in 1985 a Premio Eduardo Award; in 1986 the Obie Award
Obie Award
The Obie Awards or Off-Broadway Theater Awards are annual awards given by The Village Voice newspaper to theatre artists and groups in New York City...

 in New York; in 1987 the Agro Dolce Prize.

1990s (Nobel Prize for Literature)

On July 17, 1995, Fo suffered a stroke
Stroke
A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

 and lost most of his sight; Rame subsequently took his place in productions for awhile. Fo recovered almost fully within a year.

On October 9, 1997 he was announced as that year's Nobel Prize in Literature
Nobel Prize in Literature
Since 1901, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been awarded annually to an author from any country who has, in the words from the will of Alfred Nobel, produced "in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction"...

 laureate. He also received an honorary doctorate from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium).

2000s (Bid for mayor)

In 2006 Fo made an attempt to run for mayor of Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

, the most economically important city of Italy, finishing second in the primary election
Primary elections in Italy
The mechanism of primary elections was used for the first time in Italy by Lega Nord in 1995, but was scarcely used until before the 2005 regional elections, for which the centre-left The Union coalition delegated its potential electors to select candidates for office as President of the Regions of...

 held by the centre-left The Union
The Union (political coalition)
The Union was an centre-left coalition of political parties in Italy. It was led by Romano Prodi, Prime Minister of Italy from April 2006 to April 2008, and former President of the European Commission.-Parties:...

. Fo, who obtained over 20 percent of votes, was supported by the Communist Refoundation Party.

Franca Rame was elected as senator for the Italy of Values
Italy of Values
Italy of Values is a centrist, populist and anti-corruption political party in Italy. The party, which is affiliated to the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party , is headed by former Mani pulite prosecutor Antonio Di Pietro, who entered politics in 1996.The party aims to gather and give...

 party in the 2006 Italian general election
Italian general election, 2006
In the Italian general election, 2006 for the renewal of the two Chambers of the Parliament of Italy held on April 9 and April 10, 2006 the incumbent prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, leader of the center-right House of Freedoms, was narrowly defeated by Romano Prodi, leader of the center-left The...

 held on April 9 and 10. As of 2010 Fo and Rame are independent members of the Communist Refoundation Party
Communist Refoundation Party
The Communist Refoundation Party is a communist Italian political party. Its current secretary is Paolo Ferrero....

 (PRC – Partito della Rifondazione Comunista). He remains an active participant and campaigner on various political, social and cultural issues.

Fo questions the official account of the September 11 attacks and the collapse of the World Trade Center
World Trade Center
The original World Trade Center was a complex with seven buildings featuring landmark twin towers in Lower Manhattan, New York City, United States. The complex opened on April 4, 1973, and was destroyed in 2001 during the September 11 attacks. The site is currently being rebuilt with five new...

 buildings in the movie Zero.

Selected works

Note: These are the English names of the works.
  • Archangels Don't Play Pinball (1959)
  • He Had Two Pistols with White and Black Eyes (1960)
  • He Who Steals a Foot is Lucky in Love (1961)
  • Isabella, Three Tall Ships, and a Con Man (1963)
  • Mistero Buffo (Comic Mystery, 1969)
  • The Worker Knows 300 Words, the Boss 1000, That's Why He's the Boss (1969)
  • Accidental Death of an Anarchist
    Accidental Death of an Anarchist
    Accidental Death of an Anarchist is perhaps the best-known play by the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo.- About the play :...

    (1970)
  • Fedayin (1971)
  • We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! (Non Si Paga! Non Si Paga!) (aka Can't Pay? Won't Pay!) (1974)
  • Mama's Marijuana is the Best (1976)
  • All House, Bed, and Church (1977)
  • The Tale of a Tiger (1978)
  • Trumpets and Raspberries
    Trumpets and Raspberries
    Trumpets and Raspberries is a satirical play by Dario Fo. It was first performed in 1981, under its original Italian title, Clacson, Trombette e Pernacchi ....

    (1981)
  • The Open Couple (1983)
  • Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman
    Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman
    Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman is a play by the Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo.The play takes place in the boudoir of Queen Elizabeth I of England. In the midst of political upheaval aging Elizabeth is eagerly awaiting the arrival of her lover, the Earl of Essex, who is involved in an attempted...

    (1984)
  • One was Nude and One wore Tails (1985)
  • Abducting Diana (1986) – Adapted to English in 1996 by Stephen Stenning
    Stephen Stenning
    Stephen Stenning is Director of Edinburgh Mela. He previously was Senior Producer at UZ Ltd. delivering festivals such as "Big in Falkirk" , "The Merchant City Festival" and working directly with artists and companies...

  • The Tricks of the Trade (Manuale minimo dell'attore) [1987] (1991)
  • The Zeedonk and the Shoe (1988)
  • The Pope and the Witch
    The Pope and the Witch
    The Pope and the Witch is a satire play written by Dario Fo in 1989. It depicts the Pope as a paranoid, drug-addled idiot and the Vatican as corrupt.-The author:Dario Fo is an Italian actor and playwright who won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1997...

    (1989)
  • A Woman Alone (1991)
  • Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas
    Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas
    Johan Padan and the Discovery of the Americas is a one-man play written by Nobel Prize winning playwright, Dario Fo. It is narrated by Johan Padan, a fugitive from the Inquisition who accompanies Christopher Columbus on his fourth voyage to the New World.-Prologue:Fo tells the story of being...

    (1992)
  • The Devil with Boobs (1997)
  • The First Miracle of the Infant Jesus
  • Orgasmo Adulto Escapes from the Zoo
  • About Face
  • The Virtuous Burglar
  • Francis The Holy Jester (2009)

English translations

A number of Fo's plays have been translated into the English language, including Abducting Diana and St Francis – The Holy Jester which is on a 2009 tour of southern England. St Francis- The Holy Jester was published by Beautiful Books Limited (UK) in May 2009.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK