Francesco Bressani

The First Italian Jesuit in North America

By Frank Spezzano

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About the Playwright

Frank SpezzanoActor, Director, Playwright and Teacher, Frank Spezzano wrote his first play, Something Wrong, in 1973. Between 1970 and 1973, Frank was Producer of the only professional bilingual Italian theatre company in Canada, the Italian Edu-Art Services , which performed 486 times for communities across Ontario. In 1974 he took up studies at York University where he met Michael Gregory and worked under his direction in the Dramatic Arts Program at Glendon College, studying Shakespeare and Contemporary Drama obtaining a B.A. degree in Drama and English in 1978. In addition at the Faculty of Education of the University of Toronto, he earned his B. Ed; later he received a Master of Science in Education at Niagara University in the U.S.A in 1990. He was Principal for three years at Brebeuf College in the Con. Ed. Program and most recently was Drama Coordinator at St. Mary's Catholic Secondary School for the Toronto Catholic District School Board.

Over the years, Frank has directed many of the theatre world's most important plays, including Voices of Desire, Through A Glass Darkly, Julius Caesar, A View from the Bridge, A Curious Accident, Sicilian Limes, These Phantoms, Right You Are, Man Beast and Virtue, The Venetian Twins, The Family of the Antiquary, The Imaginary Invalid, Twelfth Night, Naked, Marriage Italian Style, Maria Biasi Loved the German Soldiers, The Gondoliers, The Sound of Music, Tosca, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi amongst others. In addition, Frank was founding member and Artistic Director of The Pirandello Theatre Society from 1991-2001.

As leading actor he has appeared in numerous productions such as Dear Brutus,A View From the ridge, The Shrike, A Curious Accident, The Liar, Riel, Tartuffe, The Venetian Twins, King Lear, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night and Six Characters in Search of An Author to name but a few.

Herbert Whittaker, while reviewingThe Liar for the Globe and Mail in 1973,said “…in the great role of Arlecchino he brings to it the right ebullience, nimbleness and projection.”

In addition to his first play, Something Wrong, he has also written Brief Relation, Mr. Coat and Mr. Shirt and The Squeal. Bressani is his first publication.

Frank lives in Toronto with his family and is concentrating on developing more Canadian plays.


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