From Library Journal
The Nobel prize-winning 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. Jenkins's joint study is a much-needed critical review of their work. As Fo's official American translator, Jenkins has worked closely with the texts and the artists for several years. In this book, he communicates his deep commitment to and appreciation of their work, covering their biographies, artistic development, and philosophy and surveying many major works. With its extensive text samples, performance photographs, and reproductions of Fo's paintings, this book is both comprehensive and thoughtful. An anthology of plays, We Won't Pay! is the first volume in the collected works by this translator. The four plays collected here date from 1959 to 1986. In addition to the title play, the book includes "About Face," "Elizabeth: Almost by Chance a Woman," and "Archangels Don't Play Pinball." As translations, they are funny and agile and will be more accessible to Americans than earlier Fo translations, which were geared toward British audiences. Of course, since Fo is such an improviser, his actual performances may differ widely from one occasion to another and from what is presented here. These books belong together in public and academic theater collections. Thomas E. Luddy, Salem State Coll., MA
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Dario Fo, Italy's leading contemporary performer. playwright, and director, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1997. His works have been translated and performed throughout the world.
Ron Jenkins is now the new director of Wesleyan's theater program. He holds a doctorate from Harvard and a Master's of Buffonery from the Ringling Brothere College for Clowns.