The Emigrants | Greenhouse Theater Center | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

The Emigrants Recommended The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through July 5 2013

Organic Theater is performing Caligula in rotating repertory with The Emigrants (1974), a bleak and often bitterly funny play by the Polish dramatist Slawomir Mrozek. It's not an obvious pairing, but it's an ingenious one. Both plays explore themes of power and freedom from the perspective of characters who have found that "men die; and they are not happy." The difference is that while Caligula enjoys the view from the penthouse, Mrozek's pair of penniless emigres are stuck in the basement. Their unnamed country of origin is some godforsaken place controlled by a brutal regime that rules by fear, suspicion, and sham justice. Known only as AA and XX, the two men now find themselves living in a shabby underground apartment in a large, ostensibly free capital of commerce like New York or London. Terrence McClellan's concrete-walled set is lined with clanking sewage and heating pipes, reinforcing AA's assertion that the anonymous duo are like microbes in the bowels of the metropolis. Continue reading >>

Price: $19


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