Fall Play at PTHS - Raucous Comedy
The Accidental Death of an Anarchist, an Italian satire by Dario Fo, will be the fall play at Port Townsend High School this year. The play is a farce based on the real-life events surrounding Italian railway-man and anarchist Giuseppe Pinelli, who fell - or was thrown - to his death from the fourth floor window of a Milan police station in 1969. Pinelli was accused of bombing a bank but was later cleared of the charge. The government said it was an accident but there was wide-spread public outcry. Dario Fo wrote, directed and starred in the original production in Italy, which opened soon after the incident and played to packed houses for many weeks. The show continued amid bomb threats and police intimidation.
Considered a classic of twentieth-century theater, it has been performed across the world in more than 40 countries and is the most internationally recognized play by Dario Fo, recipient of the 1997 Nobel Prize in Literature. Director Jennifer Nielsen says she chose the play for the comedy but also because, "great literature is always relevant and there are certainly connections one can make to our current political situation." One prominent feature of this play is "breaking the fourth wall" or addressing the audience directly.
In the play the police superintendent and inspector, who were the ones interrogating the anarchist when he "jumped", are awaiting the arrival of an investigating judge but get more than they bargained for when a lunatic escapes and impersonates him. In the PTHS production, Cece Nielsen will play the Maniac and newcomer Jackson Wilke portrays the police superintendent - a former concentration camp commandant. The role of the chief investigator, Pissani, will be played by Keagan Nordstrom and Max Stewart will play the bumbling Constable. Inspector Bertozzo, the department's bomb and ballistics expert, will be played by Jim Guthrie. An inquisitive newspaper reporter, Maria Feletti, will be played by Katherine Eldridge. For this production, the crew includes Rosalyn Salmon, Sorina Johnston, David Smith, Audrey Drake, Violet Moell, and Tyler Nelson. Set construction has been coordinated by former PTHS teacher Jim Guthrie and the lighting design is by Bellingham resident, Steve Arbuckle. Hair and make-up design is by Michele Soderstrom and costumes by Karen Forbes.
The play opens on Friday November 10th at 7:00 pm in the PTHS auditorium. The performances continue on Nov. 11th, 17th and 18th at 7:00 pm and Sunday, Nov. 12th at 2:30 pm. Admission is $10.00 for adults, $5.00 for senior citizens and students and $3.00 for children under 12. While the show is recommended for all audiences, very small children will probably not understand or enjoy the humor. Full of Marx Brothers' style physical comedy, this show will be a wild ride.