Morning in America grows dark as Homeland Security invades the heartland, in the hysterically dystopian world premiere of…

Cookie Play

Written by Ken Prestininzi

Directed by Kate Hendrickson

January 8 – February 21st, 2015

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Read the community response to Cookie Play!

Playwright Ken Prestininzi has penned an edgy satire. Heartbreakingly tender… [with] unexpected slapstick moments that lighten the very heavy subject matter.                                 – Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh

Cookie Play sports shades of a twisted thriller, a black comedy and a surrealist poem. It is wrapped in enthralling suspense, engaged in an ideological debate and afloat in a sea of imagined sequences and metaphors, often in rapid succession. Prestininzi and Hendrickson play loosely with genre in a deliberate way, keeping the audience from ever getting comfortable with their own concept of what the play is or isn’t. -Steven Chaitman, Windy City Times

This dark comedy offers a potent metaphor for the cruelty we countenance in the name of homeland security. -Zac Thompson, Chicago Reader
The most brave and original show currently being performed in Chicago
-Emilio Williams, playwright/director

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Photo by Michal Janicki

The cast includes Lyndsay Rose Kane, Chris Popio, Mike Steele, Gage Wallace, and Carl Wisniewski.

In Cookie Play, a mother from the heartland, fearing her son may be the next Edward Snowden, agrees to hold him captive in her basement to save both son and country. What happens next upends everyone’s moral equilibrium in this twisted, offbeat satire. The truth of black sites, whistle-blowing and sanctioned torture intrudes upon one family’s belief in a life as optimistic and sweet as a TV situation comedy or favorite bedtime story.

Director Kate Hendrickson and playwright Ken Prestininzi are longtime collaborators whose critically acclaimed productions at Trap Door Theatre have garnered several awards including a Jeff Award for Best New Work. They’ve sustained their collaborative relationship for over 20 years and, under the auspices of Trap Door, it is thriving. Hendrickson and Prestininzi spark each other to make precise leaps of imagination, while they interrogate and embrace what’s both dangerous and tender in human connections. Together they form a director/playwright team of shared reverie, theatrical vision, and the belief in the persuasion of intimacy and commitment.

Kate Hendrickson is a resident director at Trap Door Theatre where her particular focus is on premiering new plays by radical American playwrights. She has developed and sustained long-term collaborative relationships with several playwrights, steering multiple world premiere productions to critical and popular success. Together with Margraff and the Trap Door ensemble, Hendrickson 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, Chaste and Beholder (Jeff Award for Best New Work, After Dark Award for Best Original Music), by Ken Prestininzi. Chaste received “Best of the Year” nods in the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Stage Review, and the Huffington Post. Kate also directed Midwest premieres of Prestininzi’s AmeriKafka, Howard Zinn’s Emma (After Dark Award for Best Ensemble), and  12 Ophelias by Caridad Svich.

Stage Manager Meg Eaton / Graphic Design Michal Janicki / Assistant Director John Kahara/ Fight Choreography Mathias Maloff/ Set Design Mike Mroch/ Lighting Design Richard Norwood/ Makeup Design Zsófia Ötvös/ Sound Design Danny Rockett/ Costume Design Rachel Sypniewski

This project is supported with a grant from the Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

Harriet & Tommy
Photo by Michal Janicki