Theatre is Life – Mario Pirovano at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

The Drama Studies Program hosts revered actor at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre

By Nick Ward
Photos by Fangliang Xu

Celebrated Italian actor and storyteller, Mario Pirovano, felt it was his duty to translate Lu Santo Jullare Francesco from Italian to English. This play was written by his mentor and theatre legend, Dario Fo, winner of the Nobel Prize in literature (1997).

First published in English by Pirovano as Francis the Holy Jester in 2009, and then republished as Holy Jester! The Saint Francis Tales, Fo’s play tells the story of the misunderstood life of Francis, the 13th Century Saint of Assisi. Fo relied upon historical texts and documented folklore written in Old Italian dialects to tell the tale of Saint. Francis of Assisi is represented as a jester, not because he was a comedian or prankster, but because he was able to alarm and enrage the rich and powerful with his gift to enliven the poor, powerless masses.

Through an extraordinary one person performance without props or scenery that took place at the Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Centre (CDCC), Carleton’s recently acquired downtown arts centre, Pirovano used his veteran acting and theatre experience to bring Fo’s story of Francis to life.
Keep reading here…