Cast: John Gray, John Kahara, Beata Pilch, Carolyn Shoemaker, Nicole Wiesner and Carl Wisniewski.
Stanisław I. Witkiewicz is one of the most brilliant figures of the European avant-garde. He was a poet, painter, playwright, an expert on drugs, an early spokesman for a radically non-realistic theatre and an original philosopher and social critic of mass culture, post-industrial society, and the rise of totalitarianism. He was also a pioneer in serious experimentation with narcotics and prophetically recognized the growing importance that they would have on Western civilization. Politics, revolution, and even art were similar “drugs.” Witkiewicz committed suicide in September of 1939, days after Poland was invaded by both: Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. He is best known for his plays The Madman and the Nun, The Mother, The Water Hen, The Anonymous Work, and The Shoemakers.
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.
The Crazy Locomotive
Written by Stanisław I. Witkiewicz
Translated by Daniel C. Gerould
Directed by Beata Pilch
The Crazy Locomotive is a multi-media superparody – of the worship of the machine and of the new arts of technology: futurism and cinema.A band of degenerate criminals and artists commandeer an engine and seek to bring about God’s judgment by racing at apocalyptic speeds into an oncoming passenger train.This is your brain on Witkiewicz.
Witkiewicz nicely unplugged… few American theaters are willing to risk doing his work… it seems like Trap Door only has the guts.”
Chris Jones,The Chicago Tribune
It’s a buffoonish, perverse, assaultive, and exhilarating ride, just the kind Witkiewicz must have envisioned.”
Justin Hayford, The Chicago Reader
Assistant Director: Andrew Krukowski / Set Designer: Ewelina Dobiesz / Sound Design: Anna Czerwinski / Costume Designer: Beata Pilch / Lighting Designer: Richard Norwood / Film Design: Carrie Holt de Lama