Princess Ivona Cast

Cast: Cat Evans, Bill Gordon, Joan Nahid, Laura Nelson, Manuela Rentea, Keith Surney, Gus Thomas, Kevin Webb, and Robert Wilson.


Witold Gombrowicz (1904-1969) was a Polish novelist, story writer and dramatist best known for his absurdist satires like his novel Ferdydurke (1937). Gombrowicz spent 24 years in voluntary exile in Argentine. He returned to Europe in 1963, only to settle down in Paris, France instead of his native Poland. During his life, Gombrowicz’s work was banned in turn by the Nazis, the Stalinists, and the Polish government. The main themes in Gombrowicz’s writing include human innate immaturity, our false knowledge, and the individual’s co- existence with others. Among his best-known works are his plays Ivona, Princess of Burgundia (1938), The Marriage (1953), Operetta (1966) and History (1975), the novels Trans-Atlantic (1953), Pornography (1960) and Cosmos (1965), and the three volumes of his Diary (1957-1966).


Jenny Beacraft (she, her, hers) is based in Barcelona, Spain where she has worked as a director, devisor and actress for the past 15 years. Her work has taken her to many cities around Europe in Catalan, Spanish, English and French. Luxembourg is her second artistic home where she most recently directed Footnotes at the National Theatre and Esch Theatre. She is a member of Teatre de l’Enjòlit, a Catalan theater company in Barcelona where she has participated in numerous projects, the most recent being a new piece about fascism in Spain called Con mi brazo en alto te saludo. Upcoming works this year include performing in The Writer (Téâtre des Capucins, Luxembourg) and later in Tots els dies arriben (Teatre Gaudi, Barcelona). Jenny has participated in several Trap Door international productions and is happy to return to Chicago, where she grew up, to work with the Trap Door Chicago team.

Princess Ivona


Written by Witold Gombrowicz

Translated by Krystyna Griffith-Jones & Catherine Robins

Directed by Guest Director from Spain Jenny Beacraft

January 12 – February 18, 2023

Runs: 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 90 minutes with no intermission.

Admission: $25, with two-for-one admission on Thursdays.

Where: Trap Door Theatre is located at 1655 W. Cortland St.

Ivona, a woman of few words, is forcibly entangled into the intrigues of a dysfunctional royal court when she becomes Prince Philip’s fiancée. Soon, Ivona becomes a royal spoiler revealing to each courtier their vices and blemishes.

Originally from Chicago, Jenny Beacraft returns from Spain to direct this Gombrowicz piece confronting ideas of personal identity, and the failure of existing value systems. Princess Ivona is a meditation on status, cruelty, and desire.


Chicago and Trap Door COVID-19 Protocol:


Set Designer: J. Michael Griggs / Lighting Design: Richard Norwood / Costume Design: Rachel Sypniewski / Sound Design: Przemyslaw Bosak / Make-Up Design: Zsófia Ötvös / Graphic Design: Michal Janicki / Dramaturg: Milan Pribisic / Stage Manager: James Napoleon Stone / Assistant Director: Micah Mabey / Swings: Emily Nichelson and Joseph Jenkins