VATICAN FALLS Premiere Cancelled Amidst Controversy and Threats

By: May. 14, 2011
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VATICAN FALLS (IL VATICANO CADE) a play written by NYC-area based playwright Frank J. Avella that challenges Pope Benedict's role in the Catholic sex abuse scandal as well as questions John Paul II's decisions involving the scandal--was cancelled the day before the first scheduled performance. After over two months of rehearsals and over eight months of preparation, the show, based on factual accounts and events, was officially shut down by Teatro Vascello right before the final dress rehearsal on May 9th, 2011.

Plagued by one problem after another including a producer (Francesca Scarano of Komiko Production) who disappeared midway through rehearsals as well as the Teatro Vascello cancelling the first week of performances claiming more funds were needed, VATICAN FALLS, was scheduled to finally open May 10th under the direction of Enrico Maria Lamanna with a cast of some of Italy's best and brightest stars of stage, screen and TV including Ludovico Fremont, Giorgia Wurth, Gian Piero Rotoli, Maria Rosaria Carli and Michele Cesari.

The show was officially announced to the press on September 23, 2010. Mr. Avella arrived in Rome on May 9th for the final dress rehearsal, only to find that his play had been cancelled.

From a statement made by Avella: "I was never given any official reason, no apology, nothing. They simply pulled the plug and left me, Enrico and the devoted cast and crew in a lurch. I'm still waiting for some real explanation about why my play--which had generated quite a bit of excitement--was unceremoniously dumped. Who exactly is behind the threats, the phone calls? And why has one producer vanished without having to answer for her role? I'm angry and I want answers."

VATICAN FALLS was originally workshopped in Cincinnati and NYC.