Dario Fo

A popular and controversial playwright, actor and director, Dario Fo has earned international acclaim for his political satires and farces. Often considered the rightful heir of Aristophanes, Fo has led the field in political satire in Europe for over thirty years. The main targets of his ideologically inspired attacks have been capitalism, imperialism and corruption in the Italian government. For performances outside of Italy, his comedies are frequently adapted to reflect local political conditions.

Born in 1926, the son of a railroad worker, Fo began his career as a performer in satirical cabaret-style revues. Later, he wrote, produced and directed a string of successful "bourgeois comedies" (so called because they were performed mainly for middle class audiences). He has also written for and performed in several films and his one foray into television was as writer, director and co-star of Italy's most popular television series, "Canzonissima", which was ultimately removed from the airwaves by the Italian government after Fo portrayed a 12th century Pope who was known for being particularly cruel and hanging monks by their tongues from the church doors when they didn't agree with him.

Fo was refused a visa to enter the United States during the 1970's and 80's under the McClaren Act. It was not until Robert Brustein and the American Reportory Theater invited him to perform in 1986 that he was finally granted entry. At the time of this appearance, he made a point to thank Ronald Reagan for all the publicity that had been generated by keeping him out of the country.

Since 1954, Fo has been married to Franca Rame, his chief collaborator and co-star. His best known plays include Accidental Death of an Anarchist, We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay!, and Orgasmo Adulto Escapes from the Zoo. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1997 for "emulating the jesters of the Middle Ages in scourging authority and upholding the dignity of the downtrodden."

Fo's Plays  |  Other Works  |  Biographies/Studies


Fo's Plays

Other Works


Related Sites

Italian Theatre Index

Related Playwrights


Luigi Pirandello

Moonstruck Drama Bookstore  |  Theatre News  |  Theatre Links  |  Email Us