2012/13 season > Fallaci
Known around the world for his essays in The New Yorker and his bestselling books about al Qaeda and Scientology, Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright also pens provocative plays. Now he turns the spotlight on a fellow reporter and her fascinating contradictions with the debut of Fallaci at Berkeley Rep. Legendary Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci gained fame by grilling Kissinger, Castro, Khomeini, Qaddafi and other public figures who squirmed under her ferocious questioning. In this world premiere, a young woman interviews the fiery author at the end of her life, when she became a darling of the right. What begins as a discussion of journalism ends with two women exchanging life-changing lessons about destiny and empathy. Don’t miss this sizzling new play staged by renowned director Oskar Eustis.
Please note: Fallaci includes haze effects and herbal cigarettes. If you have questions about the show’s content, please contact the box office.
“Fascinating…Compelling…The subject is Oriana Fallaci, whose confrontational interviews made her the most famous—and, in many ways, influential—journalist of her era. The playwright is a longtime, award-winning staff writer for The New Yorker and author of eight books, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Looming Tower (about radical Islam) and the much-in-the-news Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief. He’s also no stranger to drama; Wright has written four other plays, two of them solos that he’s performed. He’s set up this play, not surprisingly given the topic, as an interview…a verbal tango sharply and often seductively executed by [Concetta] Tomei and [Marjan] Neshat…It’s a good format for exploring Fallaci’s personal life—from teenage World War II anti-Fascist resistance fighter alongside her father, on through her prejudices and early celebrity as a dogged war correspondent—and for highlighting some of her most famous interviews (Fidel Castro, Henry Kissinger, Moammar Khadafy et al).”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Fascinating…Provocative…Oriana Fallaci basks in the limelight once more in the new play Fallaci, now in its world premiere at Berkeley Rep…As astutely portrayed by the formidable Concetta Tomei, Fallaci comes across as half warrior, half diva.”—San Jose Mercury News / Bay Area News Group
“Gripping…Fallaci fascinates at Berkeley Rep…Oriana Fallaci was a fascinating, riveting person in real life, a crusading, eviscerating journalist whose intensity often made her part of the story. In journalist and playwright Lawrence Wright’s world-premiere play Fallaci at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Fallaci lives again, and true to form, she’s a compelling personality whose intelligence, drive and complicated emotional life provide an abundance of drama.”—Theater Dogs
“The journalist Lawrence Wright possesses a knack for clarifying complicated problems. Obviously this comes in handy in his regular line of work, but it is just as useful in his secondary vocation, as a public raconteur trying to elucidate thorny topical issues from the unlikely pulpit of an Off Broadway stage.”—New York Times
“Like that cool professor whose courses always fill up first, Wright is the kind of conveyer of wisdom who doesn’t so much lecture as seduce.”—Washington Post
“Wright has established himself as a lyrical truth-teller about the most divisive subject of our time: radical Islam and the West’s confrontation with it.” —GQ
“Fallaci became a journalist at the age of 16 to help pay her way through medical school, but ill health forced her to give up her studies, and the day job developed into a dazzling career. Aside from the star-style interviews which made her name, she was an accomplished war reporter—in Vietnam, Latin America, the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. In 1968, she was shot and seriously wounded in the student riots before the Mexico City Olympics. She distilled her experiences into several bestselling books, such as Inshallah, a novel about Italian troops stationed in Lebanon in 1983.”—London Guardian
PRINT: Mercury News goes behind the scenes
Read a fascinating feature about Oriana Fallaci and the people behind this show.
AUDIO: Hear Lawrence Wright on Forum
NPR’s Michael Krasny interviews the author about his new play and his bestselling book.
PRINT: Remembering Fallaci’s life
Fallaci’s obituary in the London Guardian.
PRINT: The Art of the Interview
Christopher Hitchens discusses Fallaci’s interviewing style in this Vanity Fair article.
PRINT: Meet Lawrence Wright
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author talks to the New York Times about Scientology, Fallaci, binders and donkeys…
VIDEO: The Colbert Report? Wright On!
See the author talk with Stephen Colbert about his book on Scientology.