Translated by Michael Roloff
Directed by MaxTruax
At Trap Door Theatre, Chicago
Intense performance convey Hanke’s attack on large corporations
In keeping with their tradition of mounting avant-garde European theatre works, Trap Door taps Austrian playwright Pater Handke’s They Are Dying Out – a blistering attack on the power and foibles of CEO’s of large international corporations.
This is an intense, wordy, and, at times difficult to understand diatribe about a weird CEO, Hermann Quitt (a emotionally taunt Kevin Cox) who moves from collaboration to sabotaging his relations with other heads of large corporations. We see these business leaders meeting, plotting and maneuvering to get their corporations to the head of the pack. The satire runs deep; the absurdity is overwhelming; and the seer intensity is hypnotic.
They Are Dying Out is an exercise in acting acumen. The eight person cast, led by the powerful work of Kevin Cox, deftly wonders through maze of rapid-fire monologues and wordy personal and philosophical attacks on society, advertising, and corporate greed. Filled with screaming and theatricality, this two hour absudists work is tedious and taxing. It is intended for those who love avante-garde styled European theatre. One can’t help but be impressed with the deep commitment of the players to the work. They fully engage their character’s foibles and zaniness and they deliver their dense speeches with ferocity and wit.
The press notes state: ” Riddled with absurdity and farce, Handke’s They Are Dying Out is an epic meditation on the corporate mindset and how it infects the souls of those who engage it. Business mogul Hermann Quitt knows that it is impossible for him to live up to his own ideal image. This knowledge makes him an amoral monster who humiliates his wife and mistress, breaks agreements and contracts, betrays and ruins his business associates, and leads him to commit the ultimate crime.”
I’m not sure if they production conveys the above character deterioration since I got lost in a some of the long, rambling speeches. But for those loving highly theatrical and intense satire, Trap Door’s They Are Dying Out will give them an intensity fix.
Talk Theatre in Chicago podcast
Date Reviewed: March 3, 2012
For more info checkout the They Are Dying Out page at theatreinchicago.com
At Trap Door Theatre, 1655 West Cortland Street Chicago, IL, 773-384-0494, www.trapdoortheatre.com, tickets $2- – $25, Thursdays,Fridays & Saturdays at 8 pm, running time is 2 hours, 15 minutes with intermission, through March 24, 2012