Inspired by I Clown, a 1971 teleplay by the surrealist Italian director Federico Fellini, Old Clown Wanted premiered in Romania the year before the fall of Ceausescu's Communist regime. The scene opens on an Announcement of Auditions for an Old Clown posted on a door. Filippo and Niccolo arrive first, and there is much tension between them, for there is only one opening to be filled. Over time, however, the two realize that they trained together and were once close as brothers. Their camaraderie only carries them so far, however, before competition for the job takes over again. Now they are joined by Peppino, whom they are delighted to recognize as their old teacher and mentor. But again, joyful reunion is spoiled by the tensions inherent in their desperate circumstances. An approaching carnival sends the trio scrambling to the window. The passing parade sends the recruits into reverie and each begins to perform his best tricks, the ones he is sure will land him the clown job. Then Peppino perfectly executes a cruel joke. In gleeful triumph, he begins to mock the pair with unrelenting laughter, setting unexpected forces in motion.