Location: Chopin Theatre: 1543 W Division, Chicago, IL 60642
Performances: Thur-Sat at 7:30pm, Sun at 4pm / March 30-April 16, 2017
"An Avant-Garde Testament to the Holocaust..."
"This production offers far more in terms of contemplation than entertainment,
far more than any production I've EVER SEEN."
"Stark, yet alluring; disconnected, yet congruous..."
"A strangely ABSORBING success on its own terms."
"DARING, not least because it challenges
its audienceâ€™s casual investment of attention and intellect,
but especially because it offers no extraneous,
aesthetic pretentions to disguise the challenge:
it is sincerelyâ€”that is on principle, for a purposeâ€”unsentimental."
- August Lysy - Chicago Critic (Read the entire review)
NPR - WBEZ Worldview -
FATELESSNESS was featured as a cultural highlight in Chicago!
Listen here to Director Melissa Lorraine and Global Citizen Nari Safavi interviewed by Jerome McDonnell April 14, 2017:
CHICAGO – Theatre Y is pleased to announce the presentation of Fatelessness at the Chopin Theatre beginning Thursday, March 30, 2017 for a 12-show run through Sunday, April 16, 2017. In development since late 2015, Fatelessness is a physical score set to a radio play adapted by Andràs Visky and Adam Boncz from the novel Fatelessness by Imre Kertész. The semi-autobiographical story, is told through a first-person narrative with a dance accompaniment and describes a Hungarian teenager’s life in the Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Zeitz camps during the Holocaust.
Written by Kertész, a 2002 Nobel Prize laureate for Literature and a survivor of Auschwitz and Buchenwald, Fatelessness is the first part of a trilogy, which continues in A Kudarc (Fiasco), and Kaddis a meg nem született gyermekért (Kaddish for an Unborn Child). Kertész was sent to Auschwitz at age 15 and survived in part by lying about his age. He did not recount his story until the 1970’s when the regression of Hungarian politics compelled him to share his personal account.
This adaptation of Fatelessness premiered with Adam Boncz in New York in 2014. In 2015, Theatre Y began development of with the assistance of Visky, himself a survivor of the Bărăgan, a Communist Romanian Prison Camp, and an internationally acclaimed poet, playwright and essayist as well as the resident dramaturg and associate artistic director of the Hungarian Theater of Cluj. Fatelessness debuted at Rhinofest in 2016 to significant acclaim and has since and will continue its run in intimate stagings in homes, businesses and synagogues throughout Chicago.
“This is the wholly unsentimental voice of a teenage boy: practical, brutally honest, uncomfortable with emotion, and determined to survive. This is not the protagonist we are accustomed to,” said Melissa Lorraine, director of Fatelessness and Artistic Director of Theatre Y. “Often his tone is so detached that you are incapable of trusting him and somehow, the result is a fresh encounter with an event that is difficult and crucial to hear again - especially given today’s worldwide political climate. If nothing else, Fatelessness must be endurance art: The human pushed far beyond capacity, whose resilience is almost disturbing; frightening.”
Perhaps tellingly, the most profound Rhino show I saw was the farthest removed from Rhinoceros the play yet closest to it in spirit. That was Fatelessness, from Theatre Y. Adapted from Imre Kertész's autobiographical Holocaust novel, the 75-minute piece consists of just two elements: (1) a first-person narrative, performed in voice-over, describing a Hungarian teenager's progress through the Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Zeitz camps, and (2) Benjamin Holliday Wardell doing yoga. Strange as that may sound, the combination expresses both the isolation and the tempering—the harrowing—the boy undergoes. Like Berenger, he's alone in a world of beasts.
- Tony Adler, Reader Recommended.
Fatelessness features Michael Doonan (Voice) and Benjamin Holliday Wardell (Dance), and is directed by Melissa Lorraine with the sound design of Kimberly Sutton. Doonan has attended the Stanislavski School at Harvard University and participated in Atelier at The Grotowski Institute. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of California at Irvine and has taught acting and movement at The University of California, Irvine and The University of Illinois, Chicago. Wardell is the founder and creative director of The Cambrians. His career began with The Cincinnati Ballet, where he achieved the rank of soloist before moving to San Francisco to dance with Alonzo King’s LINES Ballet. Wardell has also worked with Chicago’s Hubbard Street Dance, toured internationally with Aszure Barton and Artists, created work with Ron de Jesus Dance and has been an ensemble member of Lucky Plush Productions since late 2011.
Directed by Melissa Lorraine
Sound Design by Kimberly Sutton
Assistant Directed by Aileen McGroddy
Dramaturgy by Dan Christmann
For details and more information visit Theatre-Y.com or email@example.com
Chopin: 773-278-1500 or Theatre Y: 708-209-0183
For more information or to book a performance, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2015 Fundraiser Dance Performance Featuring Benjamin Holliday Wardell (Voice of Michael Doonan / Sound by Kimberly Sutton). A work in progress scheduled to premiere in March 2017.
Fatelessness by Nobel Prize Winner Imre Kertész / Adapted by András Visky and Adam Boncz