Cast: David Bettino, Kevin Cox, Gary Damico, Géraldine Dulex, Noah Durham, Jen Ellison, Carolyn Hoerdeman, Jason Huysman, John Kahara and Beata Pilch.
Howard Zinn was an American historian, playwright, and socialist. Zinn described himself as “something of an anarchist, something of a socialist”. He is most famous for his book A People’s History of the United States. He has written such plays as Emma and Marx in Soho.
Matei Vişniec playwright, poet and journalist, was born in Romania, and now lives in Paris. He began writing for the theatre in 1977. Early in his career Vişniec’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, Vişniec became one of the most performed playwrights in the country. Vişniec 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 Vişniec’s work has been produced in France, Germany, United States, Denmark, Austria, Poland, Finland, Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Romania, and Moldavia. Most recently, by a decree signed by French President Emmanuel Macron, Matei Vişniec became a Knight of the National Order of Merit.
Set Design: Ewelina Dobiesz / Costume Design: Beata Pilch / Lighting Design: Richard Norwood / Graphic Design: Michal Janicki
Written by Howard Zinn
Directed by Kate Hendrickson
October 18 – December 1, 2007
A fascinating look at the life of Emma Goldman, the anarchist, feminist, and free-spirited thinker who was exiled from the United States because of her outspoken views. In honor of the life, spirit and work of Emma Goldman, Trap Door Theatre donated all the proceeds from our October 26 performance of Emma to Chicago Area Planned Parenthood.
A fervently committed ensemble, a crackling pace and an Emma who radiates power and charisma combine to create a rip-roaring, balls-to-the-the-walls production.”
Step outside of the political comfort zone of complacency and the entertainment comfort zone of escapism and enter the aesthetically vital zone of confrontational creativity and contemporary consequence. Trap Door’s beguiling production of Emma proves that historical eye and ear candy can be emotionally delicious as well as fundamentally nutritious. This is one of those “here’s something you’ve been missing” experiences that will inspire you to look at the topic and your world with a greater degree of scrutiny and passion. Do not miss this critically compelling theatrical triumph. (****)
Gay Chicago Magazine
Trap Door Theatre’s interpretation of Emma, Howard Zinn’s portrayal of a captivating radical, succeeds phenomenally in the company’s mission statement of bringing life to difficult stage text… beautifully choreographed, fast-paced scenes, ingenious use of props and space, well-chosen music by the Sex Pistols, Gil Scott- Heron and Jewel, and a DIY black-box ethos that informs the message and elevates it, even frees it, from the script. Vibrant, even electrifying acting across the board, with a particularly dazzling Beata Pilch as Emma.
Resident Director Kate Hendrikson specializes in premiering new plays by radical American playwrights, and has been a Trap Door company member since 2005. Kate is a Chicago native and a graduate of Bennington College. In addition to her work with Trap Door Kate has directed for Chicago Dramatists, Red Tape, Link’s Hall Physical Fest, Pivot Arts, and the International Voices Project. She is also a teaching artist with Urban Gateways.