Written by: Slawomir Mrozek
Translated by: Ralph Manheim
Directed by: Beata Pilch
Thursday, April 24 – Saturday, May 24 ~ 2014
“In director Beata Pilch’s playful, fast-paced, and sardonic production, it all unspools like a funhouse ”Candide.” - *** (3) Stars! Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
“…presented in a stylish production by director Beata Pilch for this most valuable Chicago troupe.” – *** (3) Stars! David Zak, Chicago Stage Standard
“Presented full throttle by director Beata Pilch…” – Tony Adler, Chicago Reader
Cast: Trap Door ensemble members John Gray, Ann Sonneville, Holly Thomas Cerney; with Associate ensemble members Johnny Graff, Eddy Karch, Mike Mazzocca, Leslie Ruettiger, J. Keegan Siebken, Mike Steele
Mrozek’s Vatzlav is a spoof of the rights of humankind or a manual on what NOT to do with your freedom!
Mrozek’s Vatzlav welcomes the audience to an enchanted island of enTRAPment wherein a genius professor pimps his own daughter, Justice, and where the generous job-creating entrepreneurs are blood-sucking vampires and an old, blind guardian of the law, named Oedipus, proclaims that “In the dark, good is indistinguishable from evil.”
Slawomir Mrozek—recognized in Poland, a country rich with great poets and playwrights, as one of its greatest dramatists, Mrozek was born in 1930 in a small town near Kraków. He was a consistent critic of state communism from his earliest years as a journalist and cartoonist, and had to emigrate to France after he condemned Poland’s part in the Warsaw Pact’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. He also lived in Italy and Mexico and became a French citizen in the late 1970s. He moved back to Poland in the 1990s and returned to France at the beginning of the 21st century and died there, in Nice, France in August of 2013. His most famous play Tango (1965) had its world premiere in Belgrade, Yugoslavia. In 1965 a Polish critic Jan Kott observed that while Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Witold Gombrowicz, Mrozek dramatic predecessors, were ahead of their time, Mrozek has arrived right on time both in Poland and in the West. Mro?ek, not unlike Václav Havel in Czechoslovakia, wrote political, critical allegories cloaked in absurdist comedy. Some perceived Mrozek as a kind of “Polish Ionesco.” His plays poke fun at contemporary mores and life in 20th century communist-dominated Poland. Periodically banned in Poland, his plays were performed in cities around the world including New York City where they were produced several times Off Broadway and at La MaMa Theatre Club.
Beata Pilch (Director) born in the Polish district of Chicago, holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Acting from the United States International University in San Diego, California, and a Master’s Degree in Acting from the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Pilch founded Chicago’s Trap Door Theatre in 1990 and still presides as its Artistic Director. She cultivated her life-long fascination with the avant-garde and obscure as a graduate student at the California Institute of the Arts. A Chicago native and frequent European traveler, she felt that a company that combined bold and physical European acting technique with rich European theatrical literature would provide Chicago’s entertainment scene with a unique and vibrant voice. Beata remains true to her original mission and continues to travel abroad every year to research up-and-coming directors, playwrights and stage technique in Berlin, Budapest, Krakow, Zakopane, Paris and other continental cities.
Assistant Director Gary Damico / Dramaturge Milan Pribisic / Lighting Design Richard Norwood / Sound Design Przemyslaw Bosak / Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski / Make-up Design / Zsofia Otvos / Stage Manager Meg Eaton / Fight Choreography Mathias Maloff / Graphic Design Michal Janicki /