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We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! (2012)

Written by Dario Fo

Directed by Jeffrey Salerno

We Won't Pay is the story of two family's as they struggle to afford to buy groceries. When there is a food riot Antonia takes part, but has to hide the fact from her straight laced husband, Giovanni.

For We Won't Pay! We Won't Pay! my concept was to draw people into the comedic, political world of the play. I also wanted to give a nod towards the Italian culture that Dario Fo based this play originally in. Even though for this production, the location was Detroit and not Italy, the characters had elements of Commedia  Dell'arte and the Italian culture. To produce this effect my pre show, intermission and post show music was all stereotypical italian dinner restaurant music primarily using an accordion. For internal cues I wanted to have slightly out of date sound effects to show the poverty of this world. My ambulance sound effect for example does not match 2013 ambulances. In addition, I needed to find a way to transition between street scenes and domestic scenes in the second act. I achieved this by using a busy intersection effect and a toilet flush respectively. The show was also accompanied by numerous live sound effects by stage hands such as door knocks and murmuring and shouted directions.

Preshow Intermission and Postshow


To help set the audience up for the commedia dell'arte style I used "Italian music". I wanted something to light to make the audience feel at ease and like they could be a part of the conversation in the show.

Dated Police and Ambulance Sirens


In an effort to express the poverty of the world and not just the families, I wanted the city's facilities to be dated as well. I expressed this by choosing sound effects of older models of police cars and ambulances. 



Towards the end of the show, people take to the streets to rise up against the police suppression. With a cast of five people and two stage hands it is difficult to mimic the sounds of a riot so that scene was accompanied by this sound effect.

Transitions: Toilet and City

The show takes place in both the city streets and the apartment. In order to help demonstrate that transition each scene was capped by either a city or toilet flush sound effect to indicate what location we would be in for the next scene.

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