MARIO FRATTI playwright
Mario Fratti playwright, poet, writer, essayist and critic, was born in L'Aquila on July 5, 1927.
He graduated in Foreign Languages and Literature at the University Ca 'Foscari of Venice.
In 1959, thanks to his first radio drama "The tape", he won the RAI prize, but It was never radioed.
With his first comedies represented in Italy "La Gabbia" (Milan) and "La partita", "Il ponte", "L’amico cinese" he won three editions of the Prize "Ruggeri" in Pistoia.
But the real turning point came in 1962 at the Spoleto Festival, with its opera titled "Suicidio", directed by Giancarlo Menotti, among the audience there was Lee Strasberg, who immediately invited him at the Actor's Studio in New York. Success was immediate and the playwright decides to stay in New York, where he still lives and he is still much appreciated by the press and where his lyrics are regularly represented. Parallel to the work as a playwright he began to teach at the Columbia University and then at Hunter College, where he have been teaching until a few years ago.
Mario Fratti has written around 90 works, translated into 20 languages and performed in theaters around the world, he is the most performed dramatist in the world after Edoardo de Filippo and Dario Fo.
Fratti is famously known as the author of the musical "Nine", a play written in 1981 based on the film 8½ by Federico Fellini. “Nine” immediately becomes a hit musical, with over two thousand replies. The latest version, with Antonio Banderas as interpreter, remained for many months at the Teatro "Eugene O 'Neil," on Broadway. In the USA there have been 36 productions of "Nine", one in London, one in Paris and one in Tokyo.
The musical "Nine" also became an award-winning film, directed by Rob Marshall, with a first class cast (Nicole Kidman, Penelope Cruz, Judy D'Enoch, Sophie Loren, Marion Costellar, Daniel Day-Lewis ...).
We recall some of the countless awards the playwright has received along his long career: the Award O 'Neil, Richard Rogers, Outer Critics, Heritage and Culture, eight Drama Desk Awards and eight Tony Award.
In 2009 two anthologies regarding his plays have been published. The first was published in Italian by the publisher BE @ A @ Bernard Entertainment Art and titled “The unpredictable theater - 22 plays and satires”; the second, titled “Unpredictable Plays”, was published in English by New York Theatre Experience, Inc. in a collection of 28 works.
MAIN WORKS for theater
Suicidio, La gabbia, Il campanello, Actors, La vittima, L’amico cinese, La menzogna, Chile 1973, Porno, Il rifiuto, AIDS, L’Accademia, La partita, I frigoriferi, Che Guevara, Attori, La figlia del Papa, Il ponte, L’ospite romano, Sei donne appassionate, Sete, Mafia, Amanti, Amiche, Madri e Figlie, Quartet, Actors, Piggy Banks, Candida e i suoi amici, Eleonora Duse, Anniversario, Dina e Alba, Cecità, I seduttori, La vedova bianca, Terrorista, Missionari, Garibaldi, La famiglia.
Nine, Paganini, Puccini, Marilyn Monroe (radio dramma).
International Press Reviews
"Fratti, unlike Brecht and Sartre, writes from within the American culture with the same skill and authority with which he have interpreted his native Italy.
Fratti proves that his talent is suitable for both cultures: the European and the American. Gaining support with its American-written comedies, Fratti has been able to do what Brecht and Sartre were unwilling or unable to do, that is, assume the values of American society and consider them in their range.
(Paul T. Nolan, critic, essayist, New play by Fratti).
"Mario Fratti has elements of a new trend. Yes, he is a Pirandello of our time. But he has something else; an underground voltage. He is a doctor of the light, an investigator of darkness. He has deeply investigated in the psychosis of life after the war, making cuts in the living fabric of our consciousness. His characters are alive with the need of demons and angels ".
(Owen Dodson, The Washingtonian).
"His comedies are strong, convincing and firmly compact. They bring out the unique gift of choosing a particular dramatic situation keeping it alive with a sharp dialogue, drawing unequivocal and guiding people to the point. "(Richard L. Coe, The Washington Post)
"Its most obvious qualities remain the actuality, the sensitivity for the document and the record, the ability to build for the theater and to arouse surprises, the ability to interpret and discuss the era of today, the supranationality that allows him to stay above the American world or the Italian, to express, with knowledge of the theatrical means, its own world, far from obvious and old, with dryness, measure, simplicity and emotional charge. An author, therefore, to be examined with interest and respect, considering a complex work, calibrated, robust and of a success than just few Italian authors can register with the same geographical size.
(Mario Verdone, Audiovisual Rome)
"In the world of today many wounds must be healed. Fratti, in his powerful plays that remind of Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Pirandello and Betti, is a careful, precise, meticulous witness of our times when describing the heart of the 'cyclone' America.
(Jean servato, American Theatre Thersites Edition)
"Fratti is fascinated by life as theater. Excited in an unknowable universe, in a social system beyond his control, he becomes an actor wearing an infinite clothing of public and private masks as survival tools. In this kind of world deceit, betrayal and violence are commonplace. While this theme is explored by other modern writers, Fratti is the only embracing clearly rather than obscurely, for the theater, convinced that a playwright should be the "quintessence of clarity" both for the actor and for the audience. Otherwise he is only "a hysterical poet who speaks of himself in the mirror." The rich imagination of Fratti and impeccable mastery of the craft ensure clarity.(James Vinson, Contemporary dramatists, St. James Press, London).
Almost all Fratti’s comedies begin with a grotesque dramatic situation. Then he develops them and uses them in countless ways, but its purpose is always to introduce from distortions of reality to a greater understanding of it. Fratti is not afraid to look at reality, and believes that one of the main features of his theater is to provide a direct comparison with it.
(Robert W. Corrigan, Masterpieces of the modern italian theater, New York, Collier Macmillan).
Fratti is clearly a remarkable playwright. His comedies crackle with a type of dialogue that indicates him as a writer for the stage.
(Emerson Beauchamp, The Evening Star, Washington).
As a playwright, Fratti avoids the obscure and enigmatic. Main defender of sincerity and immediate communication in the theater ... the Fratti comedies are controlled by a sophisticated and solid creative hand.
(Stanley Richards, Best short plays of the world theater, Philadelphia Chilton, 1968)
A quality writing is back in Off- Broadway with the appearance of Mario Fratti on the scene. The thing that makes Fratti an interesting playwright is his thinking so modern, as some of the current so-called avant-garde writers, but his comedies also have form and substance (...).
(Will Little, The Swinger, New York City).
"(...) relentless mirror which reveals the comparison of the man with its intriguing and greedy ways."
(George L. George, Back-Stage, New York)
"Repeated discoveries and direct overthrows to obtain a continuous excitement, and the final is always an amazing thing. His comedies never disappoint. "
(Nishan Parlakian, Three new plays by Fratti, New York).
"No one who knows the work of Fratti can doubt: his is a realistic drama, intense, psychological, deliberately confrontational, ironic and above all alive and fresh (...). The truth is that the Fratti’s theater surprises and captures. His characters are so alive in the pages that we can not stop reading. The reactions are unpredictable in most of the situations”.
(Espinos Joaquin Carbonell, Theatrical Art, Valencia, Spain)
"Every comedy written by Fratti takes a high speed, it stops with a witty performance, and ends with a violent blow".
(Nina Da Vinci Nichols, The way of the world according to Functional Mario Fratti, Modern theater).
Fratti asks the man to be free and informed. Free from his own greed, with his ideals and aware of the "human condition" that everyone can see around in the streets. These plays show that condition, without retreats, without finding special pretexts; also they suggest that humanity is worth the fight. Fratti believes in man "despite the man."
(P.T.N. Enact. About Duse and Races).
"Where misanthropy and pessimism of Pirandello make his plays somber portraits of the absurdity and falsity of life, the fundamental optimism of Fratti and his belief that people deceive each other because they have to, gives his characters the extraordinary complexity and moral ambiguity that so many critics have noted and praised (...) In addition, the Fratti theater is based on the expression with gestures, on the silent provocation. Looking at the world with a cold eye and warm heart, he writes plays that move and shock us, but they never leave us as the same as we were before.”
(Jane F. Bonin, Twayne biografies, Fratti volume, 136 pp., Boston).
"In Fratti comedies situations create ambivalence between laughts and tears, between comic and tragic, because the conditions in each character are trapped and lead to deception (...) the knowledge and critical skills of Fratti derive from the theatricality of comedies, from their lively action, scenic ingenuity, thin humor, biting satire, spontaneous dialogue (...) ".
(Mario Mignone, Players, New York City).
"Mario Fratti, in his work as a playwright, is constantly evolving and he 'picks', universalizes and carries in the present the themes that inspire his work. Fratti reaches a surprising fusion of classicism and modernity because, not to mention the vast and rich experiences of theatrical culture, find new formulas and always thinking to the realization of the opera he will write tomorrow".
(Enrique Guitart, Piezas de garde, Madrid).