How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients | Trap Door Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Pavi Proczko, Michael Garvey, Benjamin Ponce, and Ann Sonneville

Pavi Proczko, Michael Garvey, Benjamin Ponce, and Ann Sonneville

Bogdan Nastase

How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients 

When: Thursdays-Saturdays. Continues through April 23 2016
Price: $10-$25
It’s 1953, and a young Soviet writer, summoned to cure the mental patients at Moscow’s Central Hospital by delivering the titular history lesson, offers two thoughts on utopia. First, it’s “when you’re in deep shit, and you want to get out.” Second, it “begins in the mouth and ends in the stars.” These contrasting sentiments encapsulate Romanian playwright Matei Vişniec’s theatrical world: vulgar yet poetic, cynical yet aspirational, eidetic yet irresolute. They also sum up the last 22 years of Trap Door shows. No wonder this production, the company’s third Vişniec offering performed by mostly Trap Door regulars, fires on all cylinders for 75 engrossing minutes. Director Zoltán Balázs’s angular, stylized staging is hilarious, perplexing, and harrowing—often all at the same time. —Justin Hayford

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