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Press Release

Barbara Laskin

Macalester College Theatre and Dance Department Presents “Accidental Death of an Anarchist”
April 14–18, 2010

April 6, 2010 – St. Paul, Minn.– The Macalester College Theatre and Dance Department presents Dario Fo’s Accidental Death of an Anarchist in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Main Stage Theater, 1600 Grand Ave., St. Paul. Tickets are free to all students with a student ID; they are $7 general admission and $5 for seniors and groups of six or more. The opening night performance, Wednesday, April 14, is a “pay as able” event, with all proceeds going to Partners in Health for Haitian Earthquake Relief. Performances are at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday–Saturday, April 14-17 and at 2 p.m. Sunday, April 18. For ticket information, call 651-696-6359.

Written in 1970, Accidental Death of an Anarchist is Nobel Prize-winner Dario Fo’s best-known play, having been produced and adapted continuously worldwide since its Italian premiere. A political farce drawing on Fo’s own virtuosic talents as a commedia performer and clown, Accidental Death is based on the events of the “Hot Autumn” of 1969 in Italy, where workers and students agitated against crackdowns and unfair labor practices. The play refers directly to the tragic death of Giuseppe Pinelli, an activist railway worker who was rounded up in the aftermath of a deadly bombing at the Milan train station, and supposedly fell to his death from a Milan police barracks window. Was it an accident or murder? The clown who investigates in Fo’s play is determined to find out.  

Director Beth Cleary
has been on the faculty at Macalester for 17 years. Her other notable productions include Caryll Churchill’s Far Away, Carson Kreitzer’s The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and her Children, and Naomi Wallace’s In the Heart of America. Four recent Macalester graduates are also working on this production: Andrea Heilman ’02, Brandeis M.F.A. ’06, is the set designer; Amber Brown ’03, currently on staff at the Guthrie Theater, is designing costumes; Isabel Nelson ’04, a recent graduate of the London International School of the Performing Arts (LISPA), has taught physical theater and clown techniques to the cast; and Michael A. Allen ’09 has provided video and sound editing.

Macalester College, founded in 1874, is a national liberal arts college with a full-time enrollment of 1,958 students. Macalester is nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to academic excellence, internationalism, multiculturalism and civic engagement.