Into The Empty Sky

Into The Empty Sky

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,

“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

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