Creative Arts, School of Liberal Arts

A timely comedy about inflation and workers’ rights is next up for Siena’s Stage III.

Can't Pay? Won't Pay! by Nobel Prize winner Dario Fo will open April 5 in Foy Hall’s Beaudoin Theatre. The play is a 1970s comedy that reads like a mash-up of Saturday Night Live and I Love Lucy, with hints of Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, and Groucho Marx, according to director Sandy Boynton. 

She said the parallels between today and the era in which the play is set are remarkable.

“Art and life seem to be chasing each other’s tales/tails, and as Fo shows us, humor, caustic though it may need to be, is the civilized method of awakening the conscience."

Dominic DiCaprio '22 is serving as assistant director for the production. He said what makes Can't Pay? Won't Pay! such an amazing piece is “how larger than life the characters are, and how at the end of the day we connect to each other, both in fiction and reality.” 

“One of our main inspirations came from the classic sitcom I Love Lucy. In both Lucy and Can't Pay? the situations the characters are put in are similar to our own life experiences. Miscommunication, family life, and modern-day society are the pillars that stand these shows up, but it’s the absurdity of their reactions that become where the comedy comes through. What makes these shows so important, though, is not so much the comedy but how at the end of the day we laugh at ourselves and our situations through the eyes of another.”

Performances are April 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at 8 PM; and April 9 and 10 at 3 PM. Tickets will be available shortly HERE.

“I have often despaired that society is forever moving two steps forward and one step back. The playwright, however, said in his Nobel acceptance speech that our task is to show young people what is happening around us. ‘They have to be able to tell their own story,’ he said. ‘A theatre, a literature, an artistic expression that does not speak for its own time has no relevance.’”

Sandy Boynton, director