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Theatre Y, USA
21.00 / SNT, Chambre Stage / Saturday / 30th June 2012

Written by András Visky
Directed by Karin Coonrod
Performed by Melissa Lorraine
Stage Managed by Evan Hill

Duration: 75 minutes


The Romanian ethnic-Hungarian playwright András Visky is one of the most acclaimed contemporary writers in Eastern Europe. “Juliet” is a monologue spoken by the title character in near-delirium as a psalm-like cry from the heart at the seeming-end of her endurance in a labor camp with her seven young children. The play in fact dramatizes the true story of the author’s family in the 1950s and early ‘60s.

In 1939, the author’s father fled Romania for Hungary, where he was to meet his future wife. After World War II, they decided to return to Transylvania, by then a part of Romania. There, Visky’s father, a pastor in the Hungarian Reformed Church, was sentenced to 22 years in prison for the crime of “organization against socialist public order” and his wife and seven children were deported to a Romanian gulag a thousand kilometers from their home. Visky was only two years old at the time. In 1964, his father and other political prisoners were released during a short-lived period during which the regime relaxed its repressive policies. Visky himself was released the same year along with his mother and siblings.


Founded in 2006, by actor Melissa Hawkins and director Christopher Markle. The company is steeped in the theatrical traditions of Eastern Europe, which Chris Markle advanced until his death in 2008. Chris had a long artistic partnership with the Romanian director Liviu Culei and worked with other primal masters of the Eastern European theatre, including Luciane Pintilie and Taduesz Kantor. These collaborations - in addition to the traditions and work of Romanian-Hungarian playwright András Visky - influenced the company’s founding, with Visky’ play, Juliet as its first production. Written for his mother, the play centres on the true story of András’s first memories in a communist gulag, the play is a dialogue about love. Theatre Y has toured the English version of Juliet internationally since 2006, including performances in Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Israel, Palestine and over a hundred performances in the United States. 

In the winter of 2010, Theatre Y’s production of Visky’s “I Killed My Mother”, directed by Karin Coonrod, was a world premiere, which played to sold-out houses at Chicago’s Greenhouse Theater and garnered critical acclaim and a best actress award.

In the fall 2010 András Visky’s Juliet received a second successful Theatre Y production directed by Karin Coonrod at the Royal George Theater in Chicago.

While they are particularly addicted to the writing of András Visky, they are eager to discover other plays that feed their minds, disrupt their souls, and dissolve their borders like his do. They are dedicated to rigorous research, full use and training of the body, exploration of all forms of text, and the creation of new ritual, that ultimately results in transformative theatre.