Rome, Italy

By Taylor, Nicole Estvanik | American Theatre, April 2011 | Go to article overview

Rome, Italy


Taylor, Nicole Estvanik, American Theatre


IL VATIC ANO CADE: The English title of this play by American writer Frank J. Avella is Vatican Falls, but the first audiences to see a full production will hear it in an Italian translation by Eveline lacobone. Avella's play was commissioned by Know Theatre of Cincinnati and has been workshopped in New York, but so far no U.S. premiere has been locked down. Meanwhile, surprisingly--for a play about sex-offender priests--an Italian company in walking distance of the Vatican, Teatro Vascello, agreed to mount the play. Here you'll find none of John Patrick Shanley's Doubt; the clerics in Vatican Falls are inarguably guilty of child abuse. The play's moral pivot point has more to do with how far its fictional survivors will go in their quest for justice. Avella took inspiration from real-life protests by groups formed in the wake of the Catholic Church's sexual-abuse scandal, SNAP and Voice of the Faithful, but moved the play squarely into fictional thriller territory with a beautiful Vatican spy, a handsome and conflicted singer-songwriter, and a terrorist plot for revenge.

There's a moment in the play when a Roman native joins the singer and his fellow American ex-pats, all abuse victims, in their violent plotting. …

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