Based on the texts of Madman and the Nun
by Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz
Translated by Daniel Gerould
Adapted and Directed by Andrzej Dziuk
(Guest artist from The Teatr Witkacy in Zakopane, Poland)
September 25 – October 25, 2014
John Doe is the kind of head-scratching drama that sends shivers down your spine and hesitant laughter out of your gaping mouth. Highly Recommended! - Stage and Cinema
I’m recommending you go see it, if you think you can endure it. Recommended! - New City
Dziuk’s staging is funny, frightening, and—thanks to Wesley Walker’s Walpurg and Holly Thomas Cerney’s Anna—unexpectedly beautiful. Recommended! - The Chicago Reader
Trap Door once again reminds us of its unique ability to translate vital but underproduced (in the U.S., anyway) European masterworks with visceral intelligence and scorching wit. *** (3 stars) - The Chicago Tribune
The Trap Door Theatre is honored to collaborate with Andrzej Dziuk, Artistic Director of the Witkacy Theatre in Poland on this evening celebrating the macabre characters from Witkiewicz’ most vibrant works. Based on the text of Stanislaw Witkiewicz’s Madman and the Nun, “John Doe” tragically follows how the beauty in madness is poisoned by the toxic remedy of normalization.
Cast: Featuring Holly Thomas Cerney, Michael Garvey, Johnny Graff, John Gray, Mike Steele, Beata Pilch and Wesley Walker
Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz (1885–1939) is one the most brilliant figures of the European avant-garde, Witkiewicz was a poet, painter, playwright, an expert on drugs, an early spokesman for a radically non-realistic theatre and an original philosopher and social critic of mass culture, post-industrial society, and the rise of totalitarianism. He was also a pioneer in serious experimentation with narcotics and prophetically recognized the growing importance that they would have on Western civilization. Politics, revolution, and even art were similar “drugs.” Witkiewicz committed suicide shortly after the outbreak of War in September of 1939. He is best known for his plays The Madman and the Nun, The Mother, The Water Hen, The Anonymous Work, and The Shoemakers.
Andrzej Dziuk (Director)holds a degree in polish linguistics from the University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland. After a year of studying Philosophy at the Christian Theology Academy in Warszawa, he began his studies at the Ludwik Solski Academy for the Dramatic Arts, where he majored in directing and graduated with honors in 1984. At the beginning of his professional career, he collaborated with Teatr Stary in Kraków, where he realized his thesis project. Mr. Dziuk is a founding member and the artistic director of St.I. Witkiewicz Theatre in Zakopane. Each season, he creates and directs the majority of their shows. Dziuks’ work is continuously inspired by the writings of St. I. Witkiewicz: “Pragmatists”, “Authoparody”, “Sonata b”, “OL 12-7 Steg, Wien” based on “The Crazy Locomotive”, “The Madman and the Nun”, “The Water Hen”, “Witkacy – Appendix” based on “Niemyte dusze” (“Narkotics” being a partial translation of it into English), “Good Morning – Witkacy” based on “The Anonymous Work: Four Acts of a Rather Nasty Nightmare”, “CCY-Witkac-y” based on “Juwenilia” but he also directed classical and modern dramas such as “Doctor Faustus” by Charles Marlowe, “Cabaret Voltaire”, “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, “Nothing” by F. Mitterer, “Caligula” and “The Plague” by A. Camus, “The Magic Mountain” by T. Mann, “Na przeleczy” based on St. Witkiewicz and W. Eljasz’s work, “Ball in the Opera” by J. Tuwim, “Barabas” by P. Lagerkwist and “What you Pretend Has Become Real” by Lope de Vega.
Assistant Director Krzysztof Wnuk / Choreographer Anita Podkowa / Sound Designer Andrzej Dziuk / Lighting Design Richard Norwood / Set and Costume Design Marek Mikulski / Assistant Costume Design / Jolanta Solska / Stage Manager Gary Damico /