No Matter How Hard We Try by Dorota Maslowska
Directed by Max Truax
Translated from Polish by Artur Zapalowski
Thursday, May 12, 2016 – Saturday, June 25, 2016
Trap Door Theatre, Chicago, IL
1655 West Cortland Ave. Chicago, IL 60622
Tickets: Thu/Fri $20, Sat $25
2 for 1 admission on Fridays
Dorota Maslowska is the unchallenged queen of the young Polish literary scene. – Frankfurter Rundschau
I confronted different generations: their languages, ways of thinking and functioning, and everyday realities in order to bring out the discord, and the non-existence of the statistical Pole. The lack of a platform on which all of this could meet and be described by the word ‘we.’ Everything in the play is rather gruesome and exaggerated but I think that for the first time I am actually saying something potentially good. I certainly do not express a directly positive message, but this is the first text in which I didn’t write: ‘Oh, what an awful country we live in!’ On the contrary, it is an affirmation of ‘Polishness.’ – Dorota Maslowska on No Matter How Hard We Tried
Dorota Maslowska has been compared to writers such as Irvine Welsh (Trainspotting), J. D. Salinger (Catcher in the Rye), and William S. Burroughs (Naked Lunch). She shook the literary world by edging out Nobel Prize-winning poet, Wislawa Szymborska, to receive Poland’s highest literary honor, the Nike Award, in 2006, at the age of 23. Since then, her plays have been staged all over the world.
No Matter How Hard We Try, directed by Max Truax–Resident Director at Trap Door, is a scathing satire about decaying Polish national identity in the aftermath of war, occupation and the commodifying forces of Western capitalism. Three generations of Polish women live together in squalor, escaping their desperate lives through the fantasies provided by television and fashion magazines.
Trap Door Theater was founded in 1990 by Beata Pilch, now its artistic director, with a mission to present American and European plays rarely seen in the United States. In 2010 they staged another Maslowska play, A Couple of Poor, Polish Speaking Romanians, thrilling critics and audiences alike. Gripping! Full-frontal Nihilism!– Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune. Challenging but breathtaking expressionist theater… a gorgeous and off-balanced abstract piece about identity, class and xenophobia… truly inspired performances from the entire cast – Monica Westin, New City Chicago.