Organic Theater Company of Chicago returns to the Greenhouse Theater Center for the second play of its 2019 season with Václav Havel’s classic play, THE MEMO. The Organic is committed to staging bold, relevant productions of classic, contemporary, and adapted works with a permanent group of artists over a sustained period of time.
THE MEMO, Paul Wilson’s 21st century translation of Havel’s The Memorandum, an absurd story of shady, behind-the-scene office politics and ridiculous bureaucracy, has new relevance in our current bizarre political climate. Havel’s absurdist plays were highly critical of communism and were eventually banned in his home country of Czechoslovakia. This led to his political activism, which resulted in several stays in prison, and eventually landed him, almost unwillingly, the role of the final president of Czechoslovakia. A few years later, he was elected to be the first president of the newly created Czech Republic.
This Orwellian farce about language, bureaucracies, and surveillance takes place at the surprisingly real and relevant intersection of Monty Python, The Office, and 1984. THE MEMO follows Gross, the harassed managing director who unwittingly authorizes an experiment that will introduce an incomprehensible artificial language in an absurd attempt to increase efficiency. Playwright Václav Havel explores the self-deluding rationalizations and moral compromises that characterize life under a totalitarian political system, or everyday office life…
Directed by Bryan Wakefield, who directed last summer’s THE REVOLUTIONISTS and the previous summer’s EMILIE, THE MEMO features guest artist Tricia Rogers as the baffled managing director Gross who finds herself at a loss to understand how changes were made. Company Member Joel Moses, as the clever and never-at-a-loss-for-an-explanation Balas, is a great foil against her straightforwardness, a rare commodity in Havel’s crazy workplace, where workers are more invested in reassigning responsibility, running out to buy food or heading off to lunch than actually getting work done.
OPENS: Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 7:30 (Press Opening)
DATES: May 22 - June 16, 2019
TIMES: Wednesdays - Saturdays at 7:30 PM & Sundays at 2:30 PM
VENUE: The Greenhouse Theater Center - 2257 North Lincoln Avenue
Gross - Tricia Rogers
Balas - Joel Moses
Kubs/Suba – Subhash Thakrar
Director’s Assistant – Mary Mikva
J.V. Brown – Nick Bryant
Kalous – Stephanie Sullivan
Masat – Schanora Wimpie
Kunc – Kate Black-Spence
Talaura – Laura Sturm
Translation Assistant - Kris Downing
The Monitor – Colin Jackson
The Production team: Bryan Wakefield – Director, Nyssa Lowenstein - Assistant Director, Angela Kring - Stage Manager, Jeremy W. Floyd - Costume Designer, Tony Reimer - Sound Designer, Terrence McClellan - Scenic Designer, David Goodman-Edberg - Lighting Designer, Kevin Nedberg-Technical Director, Justin Torres – Props Designer
Purchase tickets online at www.organictheater.org or by calling Greenhouse at 773-404-7366.
Admission is $25 (Adults)---www.organictheater.org
our most recent top picks
Blue Man Group ★★★