Cast: Tiffany Bedwell, Dennis Bisto, Abby Blankenship, Halie Ecker, John Kahara, Emily Lotspeich, Ann Sonneville and Carl Wisniewski


Jean Racine was a French poet and playwright born in 1639. From age nine he was reared in a Jansenist convent and chose drama as a career in defiance of his upbringing. His fame rests on his neoclassical tragedies: Britannicus (1670), Bérénice (1671), Bajazet (1672) and Phèdre (1677) [known as Phaedra in English]. Through some odes and sonnets written to Louis XIV, he attracted the attention and interest of the King. In Paris he met Moliere, the great comic playwright and actor-manager, who staged in 1664 Racine’s first tragedy with mediocre success. His first great success came with Andromaque (first performed in 1667) which established Racine’s most appreciated theme, that of the tragic folly and blindness of most passionate, uncontrollable love. Phaedra, the most profound and poetic of his tragedies, uses Euripides as a source and inspiration. In 1672 Racine became the member of the French Academy and two years later obtained the office of treasurer of France, the position conferring nobility. Eight months after the premiere of Phaedra, Racine cut all links with the commercial stage, married a pious young woman and accepted with Nicholas Boileau, the high honor of writing the official history of the regime of Louis XIV. During the next twenty years, he wrote only two plays notable for the presence of choral interludes on the ancient Greek model. He died in 1699.

Assistant Directors: Gary Damico and Skye Fort/ Set Design: J. Michael Griggs/ Lighting Design: Richard Norwood/ Costume Design: Rachel Sypniewski/ Sound Design & Composer: Danny Rockett/ Make-up Design: Zsófia Ötvös/ Graphic Design: Michal Janicki/ Dramaturg: Milan Pribisic/ Stage Manager: Gary Damico



Written by Jean Racine

Adapted by Paul Schmidt

Directed by Nicole Wiesner

January 5 – February 11, 2016


Trap Door Theatre presents an adaptation of Jean Racine’s Phèdre. Physical evocations of the myths of ancient Greece, as well a critical eye towards societal conventions combine to create a modern take on this classic story of forbidden love.


Nicole Wiesner (she/her) joined the Trap ensemble in 1999 and currently serves as the Managing Director. Her directing credits for the company include Minna,The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Phèdre, Monsieur D’Eon is a Woman, The Old Woman Broods, and The White Plague. Some of her favorite Trap acting credits include First Ladies (dir. Zeljko Djukic, Joseph Jefferson Citation: “Outstanding Actress”); OVERWEIGHT, unimportant: MISSHAPE (dir. Yasen Peyankov); and the title roles in The Bitter Tears of Petra Von KantNana (dir. Beata Pilch) and Alice in Bed. (dir. Dado). Regionally, she has appeared at the Goodman Theatre in 2666, directed by Robert Falls and Seth Bockley; Shining City directed by Robert Falls; and Passion Play, directed by Mark Wing- Davy (After Dark Award, “Outstanding Performance”), at Steppenwolf Theatre in The Book Thief (dir. Hallie Gordon), South of Settling (dir. Adam Goldstein) and Dublin Carol (Dir. Amy Morton); as well as Lookingglass Theatre, Court Theatre, Next Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Epic Theatre.