Cast: Venice Averyheart, Dennis Bisto, Natara Easter, Matty Robinson, Keith Surney, Bob Wilson, and Carl Wisneiwski.

Playwright

Sɫawomir Mrożek (Playwright) was a Polish playwright born in 1930 in a small town near Kraków.  He started his professional career as a cartoonist and journalist, and later on wrote many grotesque stories.  His first play, The Police (1958) is a Kafkaesque parable, and was followed by a series of political, critical allegories cloaked in absurdist comedy such as Out at Sea (1961), Striptease (1961) and The Party (1963).  His most famous play from this period is Tango which had its world premiere in Belgrade, Yugoslavia in January 1965. That same year a famous Polish critic Jan Kott observed that while Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz and Witold Gombrowicz, Mrożek’s dramatic predecessors, were ahead of their time, Mrożek has arrived right on time both in Poland and in the West. Some perceived Mrożek as a kind of “Polish Ionesco” as his plays poke absurdist fun at contemporary mores and life in the 20th century communist-dominated Poland. Mrożek emigrated to France in 1963 and lived in Italy and Mexico before returning to Poland after the fall of communism. While his plays were periodically banned in Poland, they were performed in the cities around the world including New York City where they were produced several times off Broadway and at La MaMa Theatre Club. Among other plays written by Mrożek are Vatzlav (1972—produced at Trap Door Theatre in 2014), The Emigrés (1974), The Ambassador (1981), Alpha (1984) and Love in the Crimea (1994). Mrożek died in France in 2013.

Lighting Designer: Richard Norwood / Set Designer: Michael Griggs / Costume Designer: Rachel Sypniewski / Original Music and Sound Design: Danny Rockett / Make-up Designer: Zsofia Otvos / Graphic Designer: Michal Janicki / Understudy/Swing: David Lovejoy / Stage Manager: Anna Klos

The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey

 

Written by Sławomir Mrożek

Adapted and Directed by Nicole Wiesner

Associate Direction and Choreography by Miguel Long

February 3 – March 26, 2022

Copresented with the Polish Cultural Institute New York.

Director Nicole Wiesner brings her signature Trap Door style to adapt and direct this obscure Mrożek farce. One of Poland’s most celebrated playwrights, Sławomir Mrożek wrote this absurdist piece as a subtle critique of the political system of the time. In The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey, a family’s home life turns upside down when a tiger suddenly appears in their bathroom. As more and more absurd characters invade their home (a Scientist, a Government Official, a Circus Manager, and more), the family must decide whether or not to give in and join the circus. 

Director

Nicole Wiesner (she/her) joined the Trap ensemble in 1999, and currently serves as the Managing Director. Directing credits for the company: Minna, The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Phedre, Monsieur D’eon is a Woman, The Old Woman Broods, The White Plague, and Decomposed Theatre Episode 5. 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 Kant; Nana (dir. Beata Pilch) and Alice in Bed. (Director 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). Other credits include Shining City at the Huntington Theatre in Boston; Passion Play at Yale Repertory Theatre and Epic Theatre NYC; The Book Thief (dir. Hallie Gordon), South of Settling (dir. Adam Goldstein) and Dublin Carol (Dir. Amy Morton) at Steppenwolf Theatre; Dying City (dir. Jason Loewith) at Next Theatre, Great Men of Science (dir. Tracy Letts) at Lookingglass Theatre; and Phedre (dir. JoAnn Akalitis) at The Court Theater.