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We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!

We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Dario Fo
Translated by: Ron Jenkins
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 79
Pub. Date: 2005
ISBN-10: 0573627746
ISBN-13: 9780573627743
Cast Size: 2 women, 3men

About the Play:

We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! is a full-length comedy by Dario Fo. With the price of groceries rising every day, what's a poor girl to do? Stuff bags of food up her sweater and pretend to be pregnant, of course! Laughs are on special when 1997 Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo, one of the leading figures in modern farce and political drama, opens the can on shoplifting. In a translation by Fo's close collaborator Ron Jenkins, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! is a side-splitting satire that will have your audience rolling in the (grocery) aisles.

We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! is a hilarious farce featuring a comic duo who experience escapades reminiscent of the Lucy and Ethel characters in "I Love Lucy." Using his own commedia dell'arte-inspired methods, Dario Fo tells the story of two women who find themselves tangled in a web of lies involving groceries and a fake pregnancy. A housewife comes home with groceries she has swiped as part of a spontaneous community riot protesting the high prices at a local grocery store where 300 women did the same. Oh boy, these two will have some real explaining to do. In her effort to keep her secret from her husband, she hides some of the groceries under her best friend's raincoat. Her husband and his friend, the accomplice's husband, notice the bulge, of course; but they believe the explanation that the accomplice is pregnant! Hilarity is piled upon hilarity as the characters try to extricate themselves from the mess they have gotten into. Eventually, they all unite to support the spontaneous resistance to eviction in their housing project.

We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! premiered in 1999 at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This translation, prepared by Ron Jenkins in consultation with Dario Fo and Franca Rhame (his wife and creative partner), was a success Off Broadway and across the US. The play is regularly performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 2 women, 3men.

What people say:

"Hilarious comedy... funnier than anything I've seen in 15 years." — The Village Voice

"The work of a social reformer with a fractured funny bone... Mr. Fo's manic farce should be obligatory viewing for anyone battling, i.e., succumbing to, the high cost of living." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Dario Fo (1926-2016) was a major figure in Twentieth Century Italian drama as an actor, director and author of over 60 plays. His dramatic work employs comedic methods of the ancient Italian commedia dell'arte, a theatrical style popular with the working classes. His work is characterized by criticism of organized crime, political corruption, political assassination, the doctrine of the Catholic Church and the conflict in the Middle East. The Nobel Prize in Literature 1997 was awarded to Dario Fo "who emulates the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden". It is also the first time that the Nobel for the literary arts has been awarded to an actor.

Ron Jenkins is Professor of Theater at Weslyn University, specializes in cross-cultural investigations of clowning. He is a recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and his translations of Dario Fo have been staged at the American Repertory Theatre and the Yale Repertory Theatre.

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