The Artistic Home's summer late night production of Jean Genet’s THE MAIDS has been extended one week - adding performances Friday, July 21 and Saturday, July 22. Genet’s subversive drama in which two maids fantasize killing their mistress was inspired by a real-life murder committed by two sisters working as maids who killed their employer and her daughter. In the play, the maids construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away. The focus of their role-playing is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying both sides of the power divide.
The Artistic Home’s production, directed by Michael Conroy, is performed with drag artists Patience Darling and Hinkypunk as the maids Claire and Solange. Artistic Home ensemble member Brookelyn Hébert has the role of the play’s third character, Madame. The play, Genet’s most popular, premiered in 1947 and has been performed continually ever since on several continents and in many languages. Conroy says, “we will respond to the play's history of gender nonconforming casting by embracing its latent queer themes and honoring Genet's gay identity and activism."
The production is playing at The Artistic Home’s theatre at 1376 W. Grand Avenue through Saturday, July 21. Tickets can be ordered by phone at 866-811-4111 or online at www.theartistichome.org.\
Michael Conroy (Director) Michael is a Chicago based director. He is excited to return to The Artistic Home after directing ALPHA ZULU for Cut to the Chase and working as the dramaturg for THE SEAGULL. Recently, he worked at Raven Theatre as the assistant director for THE ASSEMBLED PARTIES. His other assistant directing experiences include HANSEL AND GRETEL and A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS at Emerald City Theatre and ZIPPED AND PELTED at Chicago Fringe Festival. Michael is a graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University where he directed JUICY AND DELICIOUS as a part of The Lab Series and assistant directed the Chicago premier of A FREE MAN OF COLOR.
Jean Genet (Playwright) was a French criminal and social outcast turned writer who, as a novelist, transformed erotic and often obscene subject matter into a poetic vision of the universe and, as a dramatist, became a leading figure in the avant-garde theatre, especially the Theatre of the Absurd.
After writing three novels, NOTRE-DAME DES FLEURS (1943; OUR LADY OF THE FLOWERS), POMPES FUNÈBRES (1947; FUNERAL RITES) and QUERELLE DE BREST (1947; QUERELLE OF BREST, filmed 1982), Genet began to experiment with drama. His early attempts, by their compact, neoclassical, one-act structure, reveal the strong influence of Sartre. HAUTE SURVEILLANCE (1949; DEATHWATCH) continues his prison-world themes. LES BONNES (1947; THE MAIDS), however, begins to explore the complex problems of identity that were soon to preoccupy other avant-garde dramatists such as Samuel Beckett and Eugène Ionesco. With this play Genet was established as an outstanding figure in the Theatre of the Absurd.
His subsequent plays, LE BALCON (1956; THE BALCONY), LES NÈGRES (1958; THE BLACKS), and LES PARAVENTS (1961; THE SCREENS), are large-scale, stylized dramas in the Expressionist manner, designed to shock and implicate an audience by revealing its hypocrisy and complicity. This “Theatre of Hatred” attempts to wrest the maximum dramatic power from a social or political situation without necessarily endorsing the political platitudesof either the right or the left.
Patience Darling (Claire) has a BA in Theater Arts from Illinois Wesleyan University and out of drag, works around the city as a costume designer and an actor with companies including Eclipse Theater Company, Something Marvelous, and The Artistic Home. She performs regularly around the city of Chicago as a drag artist and also crafts garments for her fellow queer bombshells.
Hinkypunk (Solange) is a mystical bog beast turned body-snatching parasite. She is a transfemme non-binary Chicago drag performer with a B.A. in Theater from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Hinkypunk is a resident performer at FABITAT at Beauty Bar, a frequent performer in the Chicago drag scene, and has performed at DePaul University, Columbia University, Wayne State University, University of Iowa, and Harold Washington University.
Brookelyn Hebert (Madame) has been in The Artistic Home productions of THE SCHOOL FOR LIES, MACBETH and THE SEAGULL for which she was nominated for a Jeff Award (Best Supporting Actress) for her portrayal of Nina. Other theatre credits include THE SEAGULL (Eclectic Full Contact), STEEL MAGNOLIAS (The Arc), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (Oak Park Festival) and the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s I’M GOING TO STOP PRETENDING I DIDN’T BREAK YOUR HEART. She has also appeared in NBC’s CHICAGO MED (ep. “Timing”). She is a recent graduate of Chicago College of the Performing Arts, Roosevelt and previously studied at Idyllwild Arts Academy (CA).
ABOUT THE ARTISTIC HOME
The Artistic Home is noted for their innovative and intimate presentations of rarely-produced classics as well developing new works. Audiences may know The Artistic Home best from its current production of HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE 2017’s WEDDING BAND, BY THE BOG OF CATS and THE SCHOOL FOR LIES, their Jeff-nominated productions of THE SEAGULL, WATCH ON THE RHINE, MACBETH and THE LATE HENRY MOSS; or their 2013 Jeff Award-winner THE GODDESS. Other Artistic Home productions include the Jeff-Award-winning production of JUNO AND THE PAYCOCK, which also received three After Dark Awards, the Jeff-Nominated SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH, THE TALLEST MAN, LANDSCAPE OF THE BODY, NATURAL AFFECTION, FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS, AFTER THE FALL and PEER GYNT (which also received an After Dark award for Direction).
For more than 19 years, The Artistic Home has consistently produced compelling theatre in Chicago. First formed in 1998 with the belief that the actor is at the heart of great theater, the company strives to give birth to unforgettable moments; to touch audiences who are increasingly distanced from human contact; to readdress the classics and explore new works with passion.
By Jean Genet
Directed by Michael Conroy
Assistant Directed by Jill Perez
June 22 – July 21, 2018
Fridays and Saturdays at 9:00 pm
Ticket prices: $25.00
The Artistic Home Theatre
1376 W. Grand Avenue, Chicago 60642
Tickets: 866/811-4111 or go to http://www.theartistichome.org/
Accessible via the CTA #65 Grand bus and the Blue Line.
Solange and Claire are two housemaids who construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away. The focus of their role-playing is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying both sides of the power divide.
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