Cast: Dennis Bisto, Abby Blankenship, Holly Cerney, Logan Hulick, Michael Mejia, Laura Nelson, Kevin Webb.
Eugene Ionesco was born in 1909 (or in 1912, according to some sources) in Slatina, Romania. His father was Romanian and his mother French-Romanian and he spent his early years both in his native land and in France. During WW2 he moved to France and lived there until his death in 1994. During his long career he published essays, books for children, and a novel, but he is best known as a playwright and one of the major forces, alongside Beckett, Genet and Adamov, behind the Theatre of the Absurd in France. His first play, The Bold Soprano (1950) inaugurated a series of short, antilogical anti-plays (The Lesson , The Chairs , The New Tenant ) in which many of his themes, such as the cliches of thought and language, the irrationality of materialist values and the loneliness and isolation of the individual, first appeared. Later, full-length plays, such as The Killer (1959), Rhinoceros (1960), Exit the King (1960) and Macbett (1972) offered somewhat more positive protagonists who hold out against the conformity but lack any rational explanation for their actions. His characters tend to be unthinking automatons unaware of their own mechanical behavior. All of Ionesco’s plays deal with a human situation from which the element of rationality (and of rational language) is absent; more specifically, all Ionesco’s drama is a satire upon a middle class, its speech, its manners, and its morals. Ionesco is a master of partial communication. A speaks, B listens, B then replies as if A has not relayed any information whatsoever. In 1970 Ionesco was elected to the Acadamie Francaise. He died in 1994 in Paris, France.
Set designer Nicholas Schwartz/ Costume designer Rachel Sypniewski/ Makeup design Zsófia Ötvös/ Sound design Matt Test and Sam Clapp/ Lighting designer Richard Norwood/ Choreographer Jesse Hoisington/ Graphic designer Michal Janicki/ Dramaturg David Lovejoy/ Assistant director Skye Fort
Written by Eugene Ionesco
Translated by Donald Watson
Directed by Mike Steele
May 30 – July 13, 2019
A conscientious citizen finds himself in a radiantly beautiful city. There is only one problem in Utopia – it is marred by the presence of an unknown and relentless killer. This dark absurdist comedy is a study of pure evil and an indifferent society that allows it to flourish.
The Killer is… emblematic of what Trap Door continues to do so well.
Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
…the staging, choreography and performances are very good.
Nancy Bishop, Third Coast Review
.. a murderer’s row of fine performers, who know how to negotiate both the highly physicalized style of this production and the verbal interplay…this production rests mostly on Bisto’s shoulders, and his performance alone is reason enough for fans of Ionesco (or the Ionesco-curious) to check it out.
Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
Bisto is amazing in the lead role…
Karen Topham,Chicago On Stage
Mike Steele is a director, performer, writer and proud member of Trap Door Theatre currently residing in Austin, Texas. Recent directing credits include poolboy00 by Sam Mayer (UT Austin), OCD by Hee-Won Kim (UT Austin), The Killer by Ionesco (Trap Door Theatre), Sad Happy Sucker by Lee Kirk (Trap Door Theatre), and The Capillaries (Links Hall). Mike is also the former founding Artistic Director of The Island Theatre of Chicago. With The Island he led the creation of several original theatrical events including Tourist Trap and The Glass Inward. Recently, Mike has been developing an immersive performance piece titled High Strangeness dealing with belief, aliens, spirituality, mischief and fakery. Also an actor, Mike has performed with numerous companies both in Chicago and regionally. He plays trumpet sometimes with The Garvey train and is currently pursuing an MFA in directing at The University of Texas at Austin.