Mary Baldwin Theatre Department Presents Accidental Death of an Anarchist

March 28, 2000

Todd Ristau, adjunct assistant professor of theatre, will make his directing debut at Mary Baldwin University with Accidental Death of an Anarchist, by Dario Fo. Performances will be held in the Fletcher Collins Theatre in Deming Hall on Wednesday, March 29 through Sunday, April 2. Wednesday through Saturday performances begin at 8:00 p.m., and the Sunday performance begins at 2:00 p.m.

Accidental Death, is based upon the scandal surrounding the bombing of the Agricultural Bank in Milan on December 12, 1969. An anarchist, Giovanni Pinelli, was arrested for the crime and while under interrogation, flung himself out of a fourth floor window. Pinelli’s death was classified as suicide.

The play was written using pieces of the original documents from the case: transcripts, police reports, etc. In Fo’s description, “rooted in tragedy, the play became a farce – the farce of power.”

“In a world where the brutality of our protectors is commonplace and suspicion of those in power is par for the course, Fo’s play is powerfully relevant. A farce is the best way to examine these issues; if we didn’t laugh we’d be too busy crying to do anything about them,” said Todd Ristau.

The cast features long-time favorites Bonnie Morrison as the Maniac and Frank Southerington, professor of English, as Miss Feletti. Mary Baldwin students Lizz McVey, Lauren Stafford, Stacey Horn, and Randy Vaughan play the roles of the police officers.

The play does contain strong language and is recommended for mature audiences.

Ticket prices are $4 for students and senior citizens and $6 for adults. For ticket information and credit card reservations, call (540) 887-7189, Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Space is limited and advance reservations arc strongly recommended.