Cast: Antonio Brunetti, John Kahara, Sara Tolan Mee, and Tiffany Joy Ross.


Ken Prestininzi is an American playwright, director, and dramaturg. He is Associate Artistic Director of the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre. His existential extravaganza play, AmeriKafka, was produced by Trap Door Theatre. He is also the author of the musicals Favorite of the King, Pe’er Flynt, and Ariadne as well as the plays The Burger Girl Jingle, The Hole, and Kept. Prestininzi began working with Hendrickson in the early 1990s when Hendrickson commissioned Prestininzi to write The Hole, a new play inspired by Dostoevsky’s Notes From Underground. They’ve sustained their collaborative relationship for over 15 years, and under the auspices of Trap Door Theatre, it is thriving. In their work, Hendrickson and Prestininzi spark each other to make precise leaps of imagination, intellect and emotion in order to invite and instigate palpable human connections with the theatrical choices they make. Together they form a director/playwright team of shared reverie, theatrical vision and the belief in the persuasion of intimacy and commitment.

Assistant Director: Jen Ellison / Sound Designers: Jason Meyer & Shane Oman / Lighting Designer: Gina Patterson / Set Designer: Joseph Riley / Stage Manager: Gary Damico / Costume Designer: Nevena Todorovic / Makeup Designer: Zsófia Ötvös / Graphic Designer: Michal Janicki

Chaste: An Awful Comedy


Written by Ken Prestininzi

Directed by Kate Hendrickson

May 13 – June 26, 2012


Recognized as “Best of 2010” from Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post

Chaste is the third in a series of Prestininzi plays (all premiered at Trap Door under Hendrickson’s direction) taking inspiration from the lives of German-speaking thinkers and artists: Franz Kafka in AmeriKafka, Rainer Maria Rilke & Paula Modersohn-Becker in Beholder, and now Friedrich Nietzsche in Chaste. In 1882 Paul Ree introduced his friend Nietzsche to a young Russian woman named Lou Salome (a novelist, essayist, and thinker who would later become a muse and colleague to both Rilke and Freud). The three formed a plan to live together as a chaste trio dedicated to a life of the mind. Calling up and distorting this history, Chaste wildly imagines what would have happened if they had realized their dream. In this chaste ménage a trios, Nietzsche bets the triumph of his will against the incomparable desires of a virginal girl. Despite their promises to bring out the most brilliant in each other, a primal battle for love and domination begins. Their unchecked ambition and reckless intimacy surprises all three. Pygmalion never had it so bad, nor Red Riding Hood so good, as they do in this perverse comedy of their own devising.


Kate Hendrickson is a resident director at Trap Door and has developed and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with several playwrights, steering multiple world premiere productions to critical and popular success. Together with Ruth Margraff and the Trap Door ensemble, she created ANGER/FLY which was recognized in the Chicago Reader “Best Of” edition as part of a Trap Door season presenting the “best string of theatrical stunners.” Other Trap Door credits include Cookie Play and Chaste and Beholder (Jeff Award for “Best New Work”, After Dark Award for “Best Original Music”). Chaste received “Best of the Year” nods in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Stage Review, and the Huffington Post. Hendrickson also directed Midwest premieres of Prestininzi’s AmeriKafka, Howard Zinn’s Emma (After Dark Award for “Best Ensemble”), and 12 Ophelias by Caridad Svich.