Cast: Robert Blonski, Chris Demaria, Kristie Hassinger, Sean Marlow, Ellen Mills, Matt Pavich, Beata Pilch, Su Sazama, Dan Slyman, and Sarah Taylor.
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.
Stage Managers: Elizabeth J. Bobbe & Cynthia Childs / Lighting Design: Richard Norwood / Set Design: Sean Marlow & Beata Pilch / Costume Design: Sean Marlow & Beata Pilch / Sound Design: Bob Rokos
Written by Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz
Translated by Daniel C. Gerould
Directed by Sean Marlow and Beata Pilch
April 13 – May 15, 1998
The Mother is a portrayal of a sick bourgeois world whose most shameful and hidden secrets are mercilessly exposed. The close relationship between mother and son, the dead father who haunts the family from beyond the grave, the revelation of the shameful truth about the father, and the discovery of the hidden kinship between father and son. The whole society is a society of bloodsuckers, who cannot even find sustenance by drinking others’ blood.
With “The Mother”, Trap Door has reached a new level of stylistic maturity, conquering one of the modern era’s most difficult plays without reducing its complexity, ugliness, or tedium. This is an especially impressive feat considering the paucity of resources the Trap Door folks have at their disposal.
Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader
Beata Pilch founded Chicago’s Trap Door Theatre in 1994 and still presides as its Artistic Director. 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. 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.
Sean Marlow was the co-founder of the Trap Door Theatre. Originally from Atlanta, GA, he received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting from U.S. International University in San Diego, CA. and continued with his graduate studies at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In the early years of Trap Door, he has acted, directed and designed over a dozen shows.