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Lecture: “Laughter will Bury you All”: The Political Life and Work of Dario Fo and Franca Rame



Lecture: “Laughter will Bury you All”: The Political Life and Work of Dario Fo and Franca Rame

On the occasion of the upcoming theatrical performances by Mario Pirovano of "Francis the Holy Jester", celebrating the 19th Edition of the Week of Italian Language in the World, Prof. Donato Santeramo will present the lecture titled: “Laughter will Bury you All”: The Political Life and Work of Dario Fo and Franca Rame.

Dario Fo and Franca Rame’s essential element of dramaturgy is ideology, actually it is political, as theater is considered to be a thorough investigation of society. In fact, for Fo, its primary function is to scrutinize the powerful and, thus, subvert official culture. He pursued this objective through his performative texts with his own idiosyncratic use of voice, oral language (grammelot) and body language and by the unique and courageous production politics he adopted over the years while relying heavily on the Commedia dell’Arte tradition. Dr. Santeramo’s talk will explore the intrinsic connections of his work and life and the essential contributions made by his companion, Franca Rame, to his opus.

Dario Fo, together with Franca Rame, is conceivably one of the most performed playwrights in the world. The 1997 Nobel Prize recipient wrote dozens of successful plays, theoretical and literary texts. He was also a world-renowned painter. However, more than anything else, he thought of himself as an actor/playwright. This said, Fo cannot be fitted into any of the contemporary existing artistic categories as he belonged to a theatrical “counter tradition”. In fact, the essential element of his dramaturgy is ideological. The talk will take a close look at the intertwining of Fo’s work with his life and times while emphasizing the international breadth of his opus and the major role Rame played in the transcription/elaboration of the plays.

BIO Prof. Donato Santeramo

Donato Santeramo is Head of the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Queen’s University. He has published extensively on theatre and literature. His most recent endeavors include a monograph Il laboratorio teatrale pubblico di Edward Gordon Craig (2018), a co-edition with Marisa Pizza and Donatella Gavrilovich, Franca Rame: Una vita mille Avventure (2016), Pirandello e la fede: Tra immanenza e mito (2019) and Gordon Craig: Carlo Goldoni e la scomparsa dell’attore creativo (2019). In 2017, Prof. Santeramo was commissioned by the Stratford Festival to write a literal translation of Edoardo DeFilippo's Napoli milionaria!, which was staged as part of Stratford's 2018 season. He is presently working on Twentieth-Century Italian Filmmakers, with Manuela Gieri (3 volumes).

The lecture will be presented in English.


Date: Monday, October 28, 2019

Time: From 6:30 pm To 7:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

Entrance : Free


Istituto Italiano di Cultura | 496 Huron Street, Toronto


Donato Santeramo