by Peter Handke

March 21 - MAY 12, 2019 (Fri-Sun)

7:30 @ The READY: 4546 N. Western


"I've never seen anything like this before in Chicago."
"A bit like entering quicksand, disturbing, confusing, unpredictable, humorous, innovative, inspiring...A master class in storytelling." 
"A transformation of the theatrical form and not like a play at all."
"A cure for the national stage."

"To reveal what definitively happens in this play feels like a betrayal to its nature. It's a secret only to be told by this ensemble and in that sacred space. This is the most honest, poetically gut wrenching, fun house mirror like look into humanity you won't be able to unsee. Believe in the magic and go."


Chicago Theatre Triathlon:
Staging the Unthinkable in Theatre Y's Self-Accusation

"The amount of mystery, spontaneity, and jaw dropping yet sincere means of spectacle cannot be overstated."

"More intention and versatility than the playwright could ever have dreamed of...
a demonstration of the complexities of humankind."

"The sooner accepting the unknown is embraced,
the quicker you'll find yourself open to seeing pretty much anything unfold
over the course of the next ninety minutes." 

"The play while performed by this fiercely brilliant, breathless ensemble,
is ultimately about its audience."


Chicago Reader
"The performance of the millennium"
"Violating the most sacred expectation of theater"

Please join us for Theatre Y’s imaginative presentation of Self- Accusation, by Peter Handke March 21-April 28, 2019.

One of the most radical works of the 20th century, Peter Handke’s Self-Accusation takes the audience on a journey that explores our need to confess and our delight in hearing about others’ transgressions. In this play without characters, the actors confess to all sorts of sins, ranging from the monstrosity of dealing in slaves or committing genocide, to the triviality of failing to shake the lotion bottle before use. At times disturbing, funny and profound, this crescendo of wrongdoing suggests that if ‘to err is human,’ then to confess —to make a story out of our transgression— is the beginning of art.

Originally written for two speakers, Theatre Y reimagines this gleefully rebellious mea culpa as a conceptual art oratorio for an ensemble of nine, staged in a storefront window with the city of Chicago itself as its backdrop. By the end of the piece we have a groups of speakers who are no longer actors, a collection of individuals who are no longer just spectators.

As Peter Handke confesses to the audience: “You are the event.”

“I learned the Difference Between Here and Now and There and Then.”

Following the performance Saturday May 4th there will be a panel discussing featuring Maria del Rosario Acosta Lopez and Fanny Soderback who both teach in DePaul’s Department of Philosophy and Matthew Girson who teaches in their Department of Art, Media, and Design.

IMG_0984 (1).jpg

Co-directed by Melissa Lorraine and Héctor Álvarez

Co-Director and Theatre Y Artistic Director Melissa Lorraine - Graduating from Northern Illinois University with a B.F.A. in acting, Lorraine became a company member of Studio K in Budapest, Hungary. Co-founding Theatre Y with now deceased Director Christopher Markle. Premiering the English language version of Transylvanian writer András Visky’s JULIET with over two hundred performances worldwide. Starring in Visky’s I KILLED MY MOTHER, earning a Chicago’s Best Actress Orgie Award. Lauded by The Chicago Reader for turning even an “overwritten” and “implausible script” into “probing, harrowing, hallucinogenic truth,” for her Directorial work on VINCENT RIVER. In 2013 Lorraine directed the world premiere of THE BINDING, a collaboration between Theatre Y and two acclaimed Serbian/Hungarian choreographers, which was a cover feature of the Chicago Reader. Collaborating with Georges Bigot for one year (2015-16), Lorraine developed the Theatre Y Ensemble of 12 actors, according to the traditions of the Theatre du Soleil. She now leads this ensemble to discover a common language and a new way to work, searching for a way to make theater without the “dictator”.

Co-Director and Theatre Y Ensemble Member Héctor Álvarez -  writer, actor and director from Spain based in Chicago. He has studied non-Western theater traditions in China, Japan and Indonesia, and in 2008 received a Watson Fellowship to research community-based performance in Latin America. He has a BA in Theater from Macalester College and an MA in Modern English Literature form University College London.He has trained with Augusto Boal, Peter Schumann, Malte Lambrecht, Guillermo Heras, Georges Bigot and Anne Bogart, and has performed in more than 20 productions. He has been an ensemble member of Theatre Y since 2015. In 2017 he presented his one-man show about gun violence The Ghoul Exhibition (directed by Melissa Lorraine), described by The Chicago Reader as “A deeply affecting solo show. Truly audacious.”

Self-Accusation is translated from the German by Michael Roloff.

The production team includes Kimberly Sutton (Sound Recording), Rachel Levy (Lights), Henry Wilkinson (Set), Rebecca Hinsdale (Costumes), Claire Alston (Dramaturgy), and Alanna Gerardi (Stage Management).

Theatre Y Presents Self-Accusation by Peter Handke March 21-April 28, 2019.

The Ensemble for Self-Accusation: Kris Tori, Adrian Garcia, Nadia Pillay, Pearl Ramsey, Zahrah Pillay, Howard Raik, Arlene Arnone Bibbs, Ishmael Klein, and Anthôny Battle.



Theatre Y

creates challenging and innovative theater that addresses the contradictions of the human experience. The following values and practices form the foundation of our work: 1) We operate as in international laboratory, inviting artists from diverse cultures and backgrounds, because this exchange enriches our work. 2) Inspired by director Anne Bogart, we believe that “all great life-changing work made for the theater has historically been made by companies.” That is why Theatre Y has constituted itself as an ensemble devoted to experimentation and artistic excellence. 3) Continuous, weekly training is critical for the health and development of our ensemble. 4) We make work for our community and have pledged to remove all financial barriers that would exclude anyone.