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Illustration by Tomie dePaola.

The Clown of God

Tomie dePaola, author
Thomas W. Olson, playwright
Steven Rydberg, composer


58 pgs. 7 female, 15 male
Audience Recommendation: All Ages


Giovanni is an orphan who leaves his village of Sorrento to join the commedia dell’arte, a travelling acting troupe. At first he is only an errand boy, but as he matures and perfects his art, he becomes the star. He sets out on his own, soon to become the finest juggler in Italy. For many years he travels throughout the country gaining wealth and fame. But the later years are cruel to the juggler and he can no longer perform the beautiful spectacles of his earlier days. He returns to Sorrento, where he is inspired to give the most magnificent performance of his life. In the end he is an old man who finally finds peace when all that he had to offer, a simple gift of his art, is acknowledged as precious and is valued above all else.

“Giovanni and his ‘family’ of Commedia players come alive as characters, relating to each other beyond caricature.” -Minneapolis Star and Tribune

Classroom Reading Fee: $50 per classroom, per semester
Amateur/Educational Royalty Fee: $100 per performance
Professional Royalty Fee: please inquire for a quote
The royalty fee includes permission to make copies of the perusal script for your cast.

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