Into The Empty Sky
Devised and Directed by Monica Payne
Inspired by the poetry of Wislawa Szymborska
Translated by Clare Cavanagh and Stanislaw Baranczak
Scenic Design – Eleanor Kahn
Costume Design – Rachel Sypniewski
Lighting Design – Rich Norwood
Sound Design/Composer – Mike Mazzocca
Makeup Design – Zsofia Otvos
Stage Management – Kristin Davis
Dramaturg – Milan Pribisic
Assistant Director – Brenna Conroy
Featuring: Maryam Abdi, Tiffany Addison, Marzena Bukowska, Rashida Curtis, Halie Ecker, Mike Mazzocca, and Kelsey Shipley.
Produced by Trap Door Theatre (Chicago), May 11th – June 17th, 2017.
Nominated for Jeff Awards for BEST ENSEMBLE and BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC IN A PLAY.
“Mundanity and profundity weave together in both Szymborska’s verse and in Payne’s cunning staging.” – Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune
“…this show casts a spell which lingers long after one leaves that bare, woebegone room.” – Dimitry Samarov, Chicago Reader
“…six women with suitcases circle-up on-stage to begin a series of bizarre, repetitive gestures suggesting their emotional and psychological personae. That’s just the first minute—and where it goes from there is an experience only unmediated witness can maintain: the marriage of poetry, sound, lighting, physical expression, and acting bears no second-hand account.” – August Lys, ChicagoCritic.com
“Payne’s selections and direction make tangible the confusing experience of lurching between normality and horror. I was struck many times by the actresses’ sometimes frantic, but always fluid, ways of expressing how one hardens in response to desperate circumstances to a point of not knowing oneself.” – Jacob Davis, Around the Town Chicago
“…the most successful moments of the show are those of aggressive, spectacular hope that Szymborska’s poetry suggests, in defiance of the wanderer’s tragedy: an apple is a wish come true and a door to a parking lot is the whole world, the whole sky.” – Jay Van Ort, NewCity Stage