12 Ophelias: A Play With Broken Songs

by Caridad Svich
Directed by Kate Hendrickson

September 24th 2009 – October 31, 2009

Shakespeare’s Ophelia rises up out of the water dreaming of Pop Tarts and other sweet things. She finds herself in a half-remembered land where Gertrude runs a brothel, Hamlet is called Rude Boy, and nothing is what it seems. In this mirrored world of word scraps and cold sex, Ophelia cuts a new path for herself.

Combining original music with poetic and colloquial language, 12 Ophelias is a theatre song-poem about being broken by society and love, being lost and finding yourself again.

12  Ophelias“Ophelia comes back to life in Caridad Svich’s intriguing play “12 Ophelias: A Play With Broken Songs,” now in director Kate Hendrickson’s fiercely sexual and expressionistic production at Trap Door Theatre, one of Chicago’s most radical dramatic outposts. Far more surreal and twisted than Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” “12 Ophelias” is a reminder of just how morphable and mysterious Shakespeare’s original remains. Recommended!

-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

“Extraordinary brilliance… aesthetically beguiling and emotionally ravaging. Trap Door Theatre consistently creates worlds that exist outside of the matrix of conventional and practical thought but still manage to evoke emotional and visceral reactions that profoundly connect to our human experience, thereby challenging the boundaries of perceived impossibility. 12 Ophelias: A Play With Broken Songs is one such extraordinary paradigm shift that should not be missed.”
-Venus Zarris, Chicago Stage Review

A “Verbally kaledidoscopic, bluegrass-infused reimagining of Hamlet’s spurned lover. In Svich’s dreamscape adaptation, Ophelia doesn’t conveniently vanish under a pond after Hamlet dumps her: She tells the moody Dane to go F himself. The she seduces him, cheered on by a chorus of singing sister Ophelias.”
-Catey Sullivan, Chicago Magazine

“Set in an erotic dreamscape, Caridad Svich’s imaginative reworking of Ophelia’s story follows the doomed girl as she rises out of a pool of water and seems to repeat her tragic romance with Hamlet, now called Rude Boy. Mildred Marie Langford’s earthy, anguished take on Ophelia meshes well with the wry compassion of Jen Ellison and Casey Chapman… the Appalachian-inflected songs, played by an ensemble of white-clad women, adds a heavenly-chorus aspect to this intriguing… portrait of a woman scorned and reborn.
-Kerry Reid, Chicago Reader

“Recommended. Atonal and hauntingly subdued pop/folk songs [underscore] the dark moods of the piece… throughout this strangely intoxicating 90 minute one-act. Raw emotions and vivid sensuality erupts once Ophelia rises from her watery grave to fulfill her carnal desires. Mildred Marie Langford, as Ophelia and Kevin Lucero Less anchor the piece with their powerfully manic performances laced with sensuality and lust. The sheer emotional depth and theatricality of the play grabs us and holds us throughout.” –Tom Williams, chicagocritic.com

CARIDAD SVICH (Playwright) is a US Latina playwright, translator, songwriter and editor whose works have been profiled in the July/August 2009 issue of American Theatre. Her play The House of the Spirits (based on Isabel Allende’s novel) premiered this February at Spanish Repertory/NY under Jose Zayas’ direction and is still in repertory (www.repertorio.org) and her play Instructions for Breathing premiered at Passage Theatre/NY in April under Daniella Topol’s direction, and Wreckage at Crowded Fire Theatre/CA in May under Erin Gilley’s direction. Among other key works: Any Place But Here, Alchemy of Desire/Dead-Man’s Blues, Fugitive Pieces, Iphigenia…a rave fable, The Tropic of X, The Labyrinth of Desire and The Booth Variations. In Chicago area her work has been at TUTA Theatre, Latino Chicago, Caffeine Theatre, and Northwestern University. She has edited several books on theatre andperformance including Trans-Global Readings (Manchester University Press) and Divine Fire (BackStage Books). She has translated nearly all of Federico Garcia Lorca’s plays as well as contemporary works from Argentina, Spain, Mexico and Cuba. She is alumna playwright of New Dramatists, founder of NoPassport theatre alliance & press, associate editor of Routledge’s ContemporaryTheatre Review and contributing editor of TheatreForum. Her works are published by TCG, Playscripts, Smith & Kraus and more. She is member of PEN American Center, The Dramatists Guild and is featured in the Oxford Encyclopedia of Latino History. She holds an MFA from UCSD. Website: www.caridadsvich.com

Cast: Casey Chapman, Géraldine Dulex, Noah Durham, Jen Ellison, Joslyn Jones, Nikki Klix, Mildred Marie Langford, Kevin Lucero Less, Emily Lotspiech, Judy Loyd, Alyson Lyon, Pamela Maurer

Assistant Director: John Kahara
Choreographer: Camille Kuthrell
Composer – Arranger: Allison Chesley
Music Director/Composer: Nicholas Tonozzi
Makeup Designer: Zsófia Ötvös
Lighting Designer: Gina Patterson
Set Designer: Joseph Riley
Stage Manager: Dianna Driscoll
Fight Choreographer: Mathias Moloff
Graphic Design/photos: Michal Janicki
Trap Door Artistic Director: Beata Pilch

Chicago Reader names Trap Door Theatre as runner up for Best Off Loop Theatre Company! Best of Chicago 2018

Time Out Chicago recognizes Trap Door as one of the best storefront theatres in the city!

Trap Door welcomes
New Resident Director: Monica Payne
and New Resident Sound Designer: Danny Rockett

Email Mailing List