BY: Fernando Arrabal
TRANSLATED BY: Tom and Helen Gary Bishop
DIRECTED BY: Beata Pilch

Opened October 2004

“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

Garden of Delights

CAST: Carissa Diest, Cheryl Golemo, John Kahara, Kim McKean, Sarah McMaster, Bethany Perkins, Beata Pilch, Carolyn Shoemaker, Holly Thomas, Wesley Walker, Carl Wisniewski and Virginia Worley

SET DESIGN: Ewelina Dobiesz
LIGHTING DESIGN: Richard Norwood
VIDEO DESIGN: Carrie Holt de Lama

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.


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.


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.

This production was partially sponsored by Etant Donnes: The French American Fund for the Performing Arts and The Association Beaumarchais.