Cast: Dennis Bisto, Anna Klos, Miguel Long, David Lovejoy, Michael Mejia, Emily Nichelson, Manuela Rentea, Keith Surney and Carl Wisniewski.
Tadeusz Różewicz was a Polish poet and playwright born in 1921 in Radomsko. His work combines elements of the Polish avant-garde and the Theater of the Absurd. He developed an interest in writing and publishing his writings early on. He joined the Polish resistance against the Nazis under a partisan name Satyr and made use of his wartime experiences in his first two volumes of poems, Anxiety (1947) and The Red Glove (1948). In the 1960s, he began writing plays including The Card Index (1961), The Witnesses, or Our Little Stabilization (1962) and The Old Woman Broods (1969). In the 1970s and 1980s, his plays changed course. They deal with a strange evolution of the 20th century focusing on powerful historical figures, such as Franz Kafka. These plays still use fragmentation and collage as in his earlier plays, but they also see the stage as a public arena and workplace of provocation and controversy. The best-known titles of this period include Dead and Buried (1972), White Wedding (1975), The Hunger Artist Departs (1976) and The Trap (1982). Różewicz also wrote novels, short stories, and works of nonfiction. He died in 2014 at the age of 93.
The Old Woman Broods
Written by Tadeusz Różewicz
Translated by Chris Rzonca and Krystyna Illakowicz
Directed by Nicole Wiesner
December 13, 2018 – January 26, 2019
The landscape has disappeared, garbage falls like snow, beach goers still come to bask in the sun, and wars break out in this farce packed with terror and hope.
Written in 1969 by one of Poland’s most revolutionary and prophetic playwrights, The Old Woman Broods is a dark satiric look at one woman’s grotesque struggle against an unchecked power that is leading the world to disaster.
… brilliantly directed and performed. Trap Door once again proves itself to be the best place in town to see avant-garde theatre.
Karen Topham, Chicago OnStage
The entire production is tightly blocked and choreographed by director Nicole Wiesner.
Nancy Bishop, Third Coast Review
…if you’re a fan of this theater’s work, director Nicole Wiesner’s staging will hit the spot.
Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
…Manuela Rentea commands the room in the role of the Old Woman…
Mary Shen Barnidge, Windy City Times
Nicole Wiesner (she/her) joined the Trap ensemble in 1999 and currently serves as the Managing Director. Her directing credits for the company include Minna,The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, Phèdre, Monsieur D’Eon is a Woman, The Old Woman Broods, and The White Plague. 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. (dir. 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”), at Steppenwolf Theatre in The Book Thief (dir. Hallie Gordon), South of Settling (dir. Adam Goldstein) and Dublin Carol (Dir. Amy Morton); as well as Lookingglass Theatre, Court Theatre, Next Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Epic Theatre.
Assistant Director Skye Fort/ Set Designer J. Michael Griggs/ Original Music and Sound Design Danny Rockett/ Costume Designer Rachel Sypniewski/ Lighting Designer Richard Norwood/ Makeup Design Zsofia Otvos/ Graphic Designer Michal Janicki/ Dramaturge Milan Pribisic/ Choreographer Miguel Long/ Stage Manager Shannon Rourke