Of power & gender…

As the cast explores the muscularity of Princess Ivona—the play’s language, its cruelty, its humor, its cutting insights as well as its complex humanity—the multiple ways that gender and sex are vectors for power bubbles to the surface… Perhaps we, in our contemporary moment, understand on some conceptual level that gender is not a straightforward index…

More thoughts on Princess Ivona

Princess Ivona (or Ivona, Princess of Burgundia) is the first play by the influential Polish novelist, playwright, and diarist Witold Gombrowicz, whom John Updike has called “one of the profoundest of the late moderns” and Milan Kundera “one of the great novelists of our century. Written in 1934-5, Princess Ivona was first published in the literary journal Skamander in…

Rehearsal 10.06

We had our first rehearsal with Brian, Ryan, and Tonyanna together yesterday, exploring relationship dynamics on and around the sofa… The idea of the sofa is becoming more and more central to our staging concepts — a sofa that will grow and change over the course of the play, becoming a more absurd version of…

Thoughts on Princess Ivona

Our production of Princess Ivona bridges between Gombrowicz’s “Burgundia” — a world of European aristocractic castles and courts  — with our own contemporary world of wealthy, confident urban Americans.  In both cases, the characters tacitly agree to certain codes and conventions of behavior and dress.  Without precisely translating the action of the play into a contemporary…

Witold Gombrowic

Born in 1904 into a landowning aristocractic family, Witold Gombrowicz studied law in Warsaw in the 1920s before he turned his full attention towards literature.  While his initial forays into writing and publication earned him almost immediate recognition, he was also an exceedingly controversial figure on the cultural scene, consistently choosing to be what he regarded…