Trap Door Theatre Presents: Nana

Cast: Maryam Abdi, Dan Cobbler, Beck Damron, Caleb Lee Jenkins, Eddy Karch, Emily Lotspeich, David Lovejoy, Emily Nichelson, Tia Pinson, and Amber Washington. Understudies: Genevieve Corkery, Isabella Moran, and Jacqui Touchet.


Olwen Wymark (1932-2013) was an American-born writer, who has written for the stage, television, radio and film. Her theatre productions include Find Me and Best Friends, Loved, Please Shine Down on Me and many more. Olwen also adapted for the stage Julia Voznenskaya’s The Women’s Decameron. She has written many original radio plays, including the Giles Cooper Award-winning The Child. Her television work includes original single plays and she has contributed episodes to a number of series. She adapted Edith Wharton’s The Reef for BBC TV, and was also commissioned by the BBC to write British Slaves. Her film work includes All Men Are Mortal with Stephen Rea and Irene Jacob.

Novel Author

Emile Zola was born in Paris in 1840. Despite his scientific pretensions Zola was really an emotional writer with rare gifts for evoking vast crowd scenes and for giving life to such great symbols of modern civilizations as factories and mines. Zola’s first important novel, Therese Raquin, was published in 1867.

That same year he began work on a series of novels intended to follow out scientifically the effects of heredity and environment on one family: Les Rougon-Macquart. The work contains twenty novels, and is the chief monument of the French naturalist movement. On completion of this series he began a new cycle of novels, Les Trois Villes: Lourdes, Rome, Paris (1894-8), a violent attack on the Church of Rome, which led to another cycle, Les Quartes Evangilies. He died in 1902 while working on the fourth of these.


Miguel Long (Director) (he/him) joined the Trap Door ensemble in 2018. Miguel is a Chicago native theater artist and recently directed The Buttcracker: A Nutcracker Burlesque and Sex and the Windy City: A parody musical. He is honored and excited to be collaborating with Nicole Wiesner again, having last collaborated directing and choreographing The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey. Trap Door acting credits include Bowie in Warsaw (dir. Paweł Swiatek), Medea Material (dir. Max Truax), The Old Woman Broods and Monsieur d’Eon is a Woman (dir. Nicole Wiesner), and And Away We Stared (dir. Skye Fort and Mike Steel). Music Video choreography credits include: Weight (dir. Dave Holcombe). Trap Door Choreography credits include: The White Plague, Joan and the Fire, Medea Material, and Lipstick Lobotomy.



Written by Olwen Wymark

Based on the Novel by Emile Zola

Directed by Miguel Long and Nicole Wiesner

April 11– May 25th


Olwen Wymark’s splendid dramatization of Zola’s Nana is a story of sexual and financial greed in nineteenth-century Parisian society, depicting the rise and tragic downfall of a young courtesan.

Managing Director Nicole Wiesner and Resident Choreographer Miguel Long team up again to direct this reimagination, first produced at Trap Door in 2002.

Stage Manager: Kayci Johnston / Scenic Design: Merje Veski / Lighting Design: Richard Norwood / Costume Design: Rachel Sypniewski / Music Composer & Sound Design: Danny Rockett / Make Up Design: Zsófia Ötvös / Dramaturg: Ember Sappington / Graphic Design: Michal Janicki & Genevieve Corkery

Nicole Wiesner (Director) (she/her) joined the Trap ensemble in 1999, and currently serves as the Managing Director. Directing credits for the company: Minna, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Phedre, Monsieur D’eon is a Woman, The Old Woman Broods, The White Plague, Decomposed Theatre Episode 5, The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey and Joan and the Fire. Some of her favorite Trap acting credits include First Ladies (dir. Zeljko Djukic, Joseph Jefferson Citation: Outstanding Actress); OVERWEIGHT, unimportant: MISSHAPE (dir. Yasen Peyankov); and the title roles in The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant; Nana (dir. Beata Pilch) and Alice in Bed. (Director Dado). Regionally, she has appeared at the Goodman Theatre in 2666, directed by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley; Shining City directed by Robert Falls; and Passion Play, directed by Mark Wing-Davy (After Dark Award, Outstanding Performance). Other credits include Shining City at the Huntington Theatre in Boston; Passion Play at Yale Repertory Theatre and Epic Theatre NYC; The Book Thief (dir. Hallie Gordon), South of Settling (dir. Adam Goldstein) and Dublin Carol (Dir. Amy Morton) at Steppenwolf Theatre; Dying City (dir. Jason Loewith) at Next Theatre, Great Men of Science (dir. Tracy Letts) at Lookingglass Theatre; and Phedre (dir. JoAnn Akalitis) at The Court Theater.