Written by Heiner Müller
Translated by Carl Weber
Directed by Max Truax
January – February 2011
“No theater company in Chicago can combine madness and conceptualism better than Trap Door, and Hamletmachine is a near-perfect vehicle to showcase their genius.” – Monica Westin, New City
“No one calculates chaos and masters madness with more purpose, conviction, theatrical artistry and artistic integrity than Trap Door Theatre.” – Venus Zarris, Chicago Stage Review
“Truax makes Trap Door Theatre’s HAMLETMACHINE a well-oiled deadly sexy fantasy.” – Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh
“Recommended!” – Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times
Cast: Antonio Brunetti, Lyndsay Rose Kane, Rich Logan, Sadie Rogers, Tiffany Joy Ross, David Steiger
There’s something rotten in Denmark. This is the basis for Hamletmachine, Heiner Muller’s seminal postmodernist meditation on the decay of an individual’s national pride. Hamlet’s conflict arises not out of familial betrayal, but out of a festering disappointment, he feels toward a country he once loved. What happens to the individual’s sense of self when his country betrays him? In this world, Hamlet becomes fragmented, and his relationships with others come to embody various aspects of his national identity – he feels betrayed by the Denmark that has been at one time or another his mother, his father, his friend, his lover and his self. When Hamlet engages these living metaphors directly, the consequences are as harrowing as they are cathartic.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT:
Heiner Müller is one of the foremost German dramatists of the 20th century. Described as the theatre’s greatest living poet since Samuel Beckett, Müller was a dramatist, poet, writer, essayist and theatre director. Written in 1977, Hamletmachine is loosely based on Hamlet by William Shakespeare. The script is approximately 9 pages long, and wide open to interpretation. Müller himself once staged a 7 hour production of Hamletmachine.
ABOUT THE DIRECTOR:
Max Truax has been a Resident Director at Trap Door since 2008. For Trap Door, he has directed six critically acclaimed productions, including an operatic interpretation of Heiner Muller’s Hamletmachine with original music by long-time collaborator Jonathan Guillen. Max also directed Trap Door’s production of A Couple of Poor Polish-Speaking Romanians at the Fun Underground Festival in Arad, Romania and at the Bagatela Theatre in Krakow, Poland. Max served as the Artistic Director of Oracle Productions from 2011 to 2016, where he directed several shows, including No Beast So Fierce, The Mother, Woyzeck, The Ghost Sonata, and Termen Vox Machina. His production of The Mother received 7 Jeff Awards, including awards for Best Production, Best Adaptation, and Best Ensemble. In addition to Chicago, Max has directed for multiple stages in Los Angeles and at the Krannert Center at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Max studied visual art, performance art, and choreography at Oberlin College, where he founded the site-specific performance company \twelv\ and devised the multi-venue opera BEING NOT NOTHING. Max received his MFA in theatre directing from California Institute of the Arts, where he studied with Travis Preston, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Kevin Kulke. Max currently serves as Artistic Director for Red Tape Theatre, where he has directed Round Heads and Pointed Heads, Yerma, and A Hedda Gabler.
Music Composer & Sound Designer: Jonathan Guillen / Production Designer: Richard Norwood / Stage Manager: Barry Branfrod / Costume Designer: Nevena Todorovic / Graphic and Video Designer: Michal Janicki / Production Manager: Caitlin Boylan / Makeup Design: Zsófia Ötvös