The Shoemakers

Written by Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz

Translated by Daniel C. Gerould
Directed by Beata Pilch and Sean Marlow

Opened October 2001


“Directors Beata Pilch and Sean Marlow have the style, as well as the viciously disturbing yet delicious imagery down. The cast brings Witkacy’s dead creatures to marvelous life.”
-Kate Zambreno, The New City Review 

“Trap Door’s staging is dense, surreal, slyly self-referentail, and gleefully bizarre.”
-Kelly Kleiman, The Chicago Reader

CAST: Beata Pilch, Sean Marlow, Nicole Wiesner, Wesley Walker, Michael McEvoy, Derek Brummet, Carl Wisniewski, Christina Elias and Garrett Prejean
LIGHTING DESIGN: Richard Norwood
COSTUME DESIGN: Beata Pilch, Imma Curl
SET DESIGN: Sean Marlow


Stanislaw I. Witkiewicz: One of the most brilliant figures of European avant-garde, poet, painter, playwright, and an expert on drugs, Witkiewicz was an original philosopher and social critic of mass culture, post industrial society, and the rise of totalitarianism, as well as an early spokesman for a radically non-realistic theatre. He was also a pioneer in serious experimentation with narcotics. Witkiewicz first used drugs in Russia immediately before the revolution and prophetically recognized the growing importance which they would have in Western civilization. He saw the cult of narcotics as part of a desperate attempt to find meaning in a world that has lost all its color and strangeness and was growing more and more mechanized and inhuman. Politics, revolution, and even art were for Witkacy similar “drugs” offering modern man only temporary escape from the horror of existence. He killed himself shortly after the outbreak of war in September, 1939. Witkiewicz is known for other works such as: The Mother, The Madman and the Nun, The Crazy Locomotive, The Metaphysics of a Two-Headed Calf, The Cuttlefish, The Water Hen, and The Anonymous Work.