Thursday, April 12, through Sunday, April 15
Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center, 3750 Seventh Avenue, Rock Island IL
A riotous farce and classic of 20th Century theatre that has been performed in more than 40 countries, Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo's Accidental Death of an Anarchist will enjoy an area staging at Augustana College April 12 through 15, with director Keenan Odenkirk and his cast exploring this revered work in which, according to the New York Times, “political corruption and the oafishness of officialdom are ridiculed with wit and incivility.”
A 1970 comedy by Italian playwright/activist Fo, and one based on true events, Accidental Death of an Anarchist opens with an inspector interrogating a certified madman – one referred to only as the Maniac – about a series of frauds. Unfortunately for the cop, the Maniac is far more quick-witted than he is, spotting an opportunity to evade the consequences of his crimes and wreak havoc on the police force in the process. But after outsmarting the inspector, the Maniac goes on to impersonate a judge, who is investigating the death of an anarchist who accidentally fell to his death (or perhaps “jumped accidentally”) from the fourth-story window of a police station. As the Maniac begins to unravel the police station’s attempted coverup of the death, he affects various other personas that help expose the officers' incompetence and corruption, resulting in a work The Independent called “a canvas on which any age can write its own story.”
Augustana senior Odenkirk also directed last spring's studio-theatre production of Politicalamity, and has appeared on-stage in Augustana's The Madwoman of Chaillot, the Mississippi Bend Players' Zombie Prom, and the QC Theatre Workshop's Broken. Tristan Odenkirk plays Fo's Maniac, with the rest of the ensemble composed of Collin Schopp as the Inspector, Brandon Smith as the Superintendent, Sophia Rose Brown as the Journalist, Peter Alfano as the Constable, and Jarod Kovach as the doomed Anarchist.
Accidental Death of an Anarchist will be staged in the Brunner Theatre Center's Honkamp Myhre Black Box Theatre, with performances at 7:30 Thursday through Saturday and at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $3-5, and more information and reservations are available by calling (309)794-7306 or visiting Augustana.edu.