Cast: Venice Averyheart, Jenny Beacraft, Anarosa Butler, Carl Chambers, Dermot Flanagan, Neema Lahon, Aida Llop, Emily Lotspeich, Leslie Lund, Malcolm McCarthy Herrera, Robin Minkens, Emily Nichelson, Cristina Pronzati, Ann Sonneville, Keith Surney and Irvine van der Merwe.

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Matei Vişniec – poet and journalist, was born in Romania, and now lives in Paris. He began writing for the theatre in 1977. Early in his career Visniec’s plays were banned by the Romanian censors. In 1987 he was invited to France by a literary foundation. While there, he asked for and received political asylum. After the fall of communism in Romania, in 1989, Visniec became one of the most performed playwrights in the country. Visniec gained international attention in 1992, with productions of Horses at the Window in France, and Old Clown Wanted at the “Bonner Biennale”. Since then, Matei Visniec’s work has been produced in France, Germany, United States, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Romania, and Moldavia. Most recently, his play the word progress on my mother’s lips doesn’t ring true was the winner of the “Best Play in the Off-Section” at the Avignon Festival in 2009.


Michael Mejia (they, them, theirs) is excited to be making their directing debut with Trap Door Theatre. They studied acting and music performance at Indiana University before coming to Chicago. Mejia is the company manager for Trap Door Theatre, where they are also a proud ensemble member. Their actor credits include The White Plague, Love and Information, The Killer, The Old Woman Broods Waiter; Monsieur Deon is a Woman at Trap Door Theatre; Proxy at Underscore Theatre; Kingdom at Broken Nose Theatre; Little Shop of Horrors at Stoughton Village Players; Hair at Harper Ensemble Theatre. Mejia is also a musician who writes and plays guitar and piano. They would like to thank Trap Door Theatre and this amazing cast for allowing them to take this beautiful journey. 


a fragment from Matei Vişniec’s Cabaret of Words


Written by: Matei Vişniec

Translated by: Daniela Şilindean

Directed by: Michael Mejia

July 31 – September 24, 2020


ALAS is the story of a utopia and the struggle for liberty. As a group of citizens begin to realize their perfect world requires sacrifices, they grapple with the nature of complicity and privilege. Forced to confront the precariousness of their world, they must decide if inconvenient truths are worth forgetting to preserve the society they’ve built.

In ALAS, Michael Mejia explores a surreal approach to our modern-day complacency, questioning who we are and what controls us.

Video Editing: Michael Mejia / Sound Design: Michael Mejia / Costume Design & Makeup Design: The Ensemble