Zoltán Balázs directing in Chicago

The rehearsals of Matei Vișniec's play How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients directed by Zoltán Balázs have begun at Chicago's Trap Door Theater. The artistic director of Maladype Theatre is visiting the Windy City upon the invitation of the American workshop's founding director, Beata Pilch.

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The relations between Maladype and the US theatrical life became closer during the Hungarian Showcase of Spring 2013 where Zoltán Balázs's direction of King Ubu earned a major success. The smashing performance was followed by an American tour in 2014: the company celebrated the 100th anniversary of King Ubu at Touchstone Theatre in Bethlehem, PA, while the also “globe-trotting” EggsHell was staged at Trap Door Theatre in Chicago.

The director met the Romanian-born playwright, who now lives in France, in 2011 at the SIBFEST International Theatre Festival where Maladype performed Büchner`s Leonce and Lena, a play with scenes of multiple variations. During the Matei Vișniec-days organized at the Maladype Base on Mikszáth Square in December 2013, the world-renowned artist traveled to Budapest to meet with Hungarian audiences and to see The Story of The Panda Bears Told By a Saxophonist Who Has a Girlfriend in Frankfurt performed by Maladype actors inspired by works of fine art. The idea of staging the playwright`s visionary absurdist play Dada Cabaret penned on the centenary of Dadaism in international collaboration in the 100th year of the movement was born during this visit. Co-produced with Gábriel Gábor Farkas and his orchestra, the play is set to have its premiere in Fall 2016, featuring the author himself in many of the scenes.

About Trap Door Theatre:
Beata Pilch's main mission is to present contemporary European works. Her theater is characterized by the combination of old traditions and modern tools to illustrate the absurdities in today`s modern society. The theater company established its permanent home in Chicago in 1994, where American audiences have since enjoyed more than seventy of their performances.

About the play:
The young Soviet writer Yuri Petrovsky receives the State Prize, directly from Glorious Comrade Stalin himself, for his short stories on building socialism. The Writers' Union picks him out for a special task: they mandate him to give ideological training to the insane. So, he explains the story of communism through a series of short narratives to the patients of a mental institution. His commanders` instructions were: “Use all of your talent and patriotism so that our mentally ill can also feed on the hope that the Great October Socialist Revolution kindled in the hearts of workers of the world..."

The performance opens on March 16, 2016, at the Trap Door Theatre.