Cast: Holly (Thomas) Cerney, Carissa Diest, Cheryl Golemo, John Kahara, Kim McKean, Sarah McMaster, Bethany Perkins, Beata Pilch, Carolyn Shoemaker, Wesley Walker, Carl Wisniewski and Virginia Worley.
Fernando Arrabal was born in Melilla (Spanish Morocco) on August 11, 1932, shortly before the war was to tear his country apart. His father, an officer of the Spanish army, was sentenced to death at the beginning of the war for being opposed to the military coup. He was imprisoned by Franco, and escaped on November 4, 1941 and disappeared forever. Fernando Arrabal was brought up by his mother in a rigidly Catholic atmosphere. Now a voluntary exile from Spain, he has lived in Paris since 1955 and, writing in French, he has emerged as one of Europe’s front-rank dramatists. He has published 12 novels, nearly 70 plays, and epistles. He has directed 7 full-length films and founded the Panic Movement in 1962. His work reflects his abhorrence of political repression, bourgeois complacency and war. His plays are often abstract and savagely ironic, employing sadism or blasphemy to shock the senses. Although he is one of the most controversial writers of his time, he has received many international prizes and distinctions.
Assistant Director: Nicole Wiesner Set Design: Ewelina Dobiesz / Music Composition: Sean Griffin / Lighting Design: Richard Norwood /
Sound Design: Bob Rokos / Video Design: Carrie Holt de Lama
The Garden of Delights
Written by Fernando Arrabal
Translated by Tom and Helen Gary Bishop
Directed by Beata Pilch
Presented with support from the Etant Donnes: The French American Fund for the Performing Arts and The Association Beaumarchais.
The Garden of Delights depicts the fascinating story of a famous actress and her schizophrenic journey to self discovery. Through fantastical interactions with animals she keeps locked in cages and memories of people from her childhood, The Garden of Delights explores the lesbian tendencies of strong adolescent attachments and the sadomasochistic experience of adult love.
Director Beata Pilch and her Trap Door collaborators give themselves over to the task with a sense of no-holds-barred exorcism.”
Hedy Weiss, The Chicago Sun Times
No other theater can consistently suspend reality to create overwhelming and oftentimes-otherworldly atmosphere, usually before the action or dialogue even begins, like Trap Door Theatre. To say that they are the foremost purveyors avant-garde theater in Chicago is to understate this portal to alternate realms. Hidden down a narrow walkway, next to a bar, behind a restaurant, on a side street in Bucktown is a black trap door that opens into the extremes of theatrical imagination. You could drive by it and easily miss this purgatorial paradise of the sublime surreal.
Venus Zarris, Gay Chicago Magazine
Beata Pilch founded Trap Door Theatre in 1994. Originally from Chicago, she holds a BFA in Acting from the United States International University in San Diego and a MFA in Acting from California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, CA. She had the honor to graduate as a magna cum laude from both universities and was later awarded the Prestigious Alumni award from CalArts. Pilch found Chicago’s Trap Door Theatre in 1994 and still presides as its Artistic Director. She has directed and performed in over 80 Trap Door productions and has toured abroad annually with the company to France, Romania, Hungary, Poland and was the first US theatre company ever to perform in the Republic of Moldova. In 2015, Beata created a sister company, Trap Door International, which produces out of Barcelona, Spain.