Venue Details

22 Star Starred
Trap Door Theatre
1655 West Cortland Street Chicago, IL 60622
Venue website Get directions
Vanessa Perkins
17 events
8 reviews
10 stars
I think it's near the Clybourn exit for Metra (but I'm not sure). I don't think i's a street you'll see cabs on. I drove and parked on side street to avoid meters. Some blocks have neighborhood parking restrictions.
The Duchess of Malfi
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Vanessa Perkins
17 events
8 reviews
10 stars
Small 2 row theater with 40 or so seats, 1 bathroom, small cash bar with a small selection of drinks and tasty looking pastries (darn my diet). I don't think I saw bottle water. LOVELY people working there.
The Duchess of Malfi
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Reviews & Ratings

6 ratings
4.8 average rating
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20 events
8 reviews
10 stars
attended Jun 12 2010

It was wonderful. An interesting play with superb acting. Quite an experience. We will definitely be back for more plays.

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9 events
1 review
4 stars
attended Jun 24 2010

I was in awe of the cast of the play Chaste and their performance. The writing of the play was witty and well executed. It was impressive to see that no matter who you are, brilliant in mind or not, you are doomed to experience the feelings all...continued

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51 events
1 review
1 stars
attended Jun 25 2010

Gorgeous language, athletic performances and nuanced characters. Endlessly fantastic!

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Quotes & Highlights

“An extraordinarily entertaining play about three abnormally awkward and hyper-intelligent thinkers who are stuck in a house and trapped in a love triangle. Prestininzi’s script is poetic without being overwrought. The actors all play their roles with a fiery passion. Director Kate Hendrickson …has a keen eye for stunning stage pictures. The lunacy that love inspires within these three lunatics, as told by a talented writer through a talented cast, makes for a four-star play!”
“The ultimate lust triangle when creative minds share a roof but not a bed. Chaste illustrates the reality of celibate artistry as horny madness [and] exploits the absurd lunacy of libido over intellect. Antonio Brunetti (NeNe Friedrich Nietzsche) masterfully portrays writer’s block… Sarah Tolan Mee (Lulu Salome)… quickly becomes the energetic, shiny-faced, narcissist. John Kahara (Paul Ree) is perfect as the peacemaker. Tiffany Ross (Elisabeth Nietzsche) plays the prim sourpussed sister brilliantly!" —
“Cruelly funny! Stylistic gambles such as a dream sequence that mashes up fairy tales, verse and violence work thanks to Hendrickson’s gutsy direction.” —_Time Out Chicago, _Recommended
“Ken Prestininzi’s intriguing play, captures the insanity, pain – and yes, the utter comic madness too – that is endured…as a very young and intellectually precocious Salome attempts to establish a ‘marriage of minds and souls.’ Directed by Kate Hendrickson in a boldly stylized way marked by the enormous physical dynamism of her actors. There is much to savor here in the four performers’ forceful, no-holds-barred portrayals.”-_Chicago Sun-Times _
"_"It’s hard to think of a theatrical team more in sync than director Kate Hendrickson and playwright Ken Prestininzi. For their third outing at Trap Door Theatre, they turn an arcane historical curiosity…into a heady, intoxicating swirl of screwball comedy, philosophical debate, and lecherous fever dream." —Chicago Reader_, Highly Recommended
“Devilishly smart, sardonic and emotionally rich!” —
Chicago Tribune
, Highly Recommended


Director Kate Hendrickson and playwright Ken Prestininzi tapped into the mesmerizing and maddening with AmeriKafka while their Jeff Award winning, _Beholder _was intimate and bold. Now these two long time collaborators seek out the ecstatic in Chaste.

Chaste is the third in a series of Prestininzi plays (all premiered at Trap Door under Hendrickson’s direction) that take inspiration from the lives of German speaking thinkers and artists; first Franz Kafka in AmeriKafka, then Rainer Maria Rilke & Paula Modershon-Becker in Beholder, and now Friedrich Nietzsche in Chaste.

In 1882 Paul Ree introduced his friend Friedrich Nietzsche to a young Russian woman named Lou Salome (a novelist, essayist, and thinker who would later become a muse and colleague to both Rilke and Freud). The three formed a plan to live together as a chaste trio dedicated to a life of the mind. Although they never put the plan into action, Chaste wildly imagines what would have happened if they did. In this chaste ménage a trios, Nietzsche bets the triumph of his will against the incomparable desires of a virginal girl. Salvation is close and insanely always out of reach. Despite their promises to bring out the most brilliant in each other, a primal battle for love and domination begins. Their unchecked ambition and reckless intimacy surprises all three. Pygmalion never had it so bad, nor Red Riding Hood so good, as they do in this “comedy” of their own devising.

Hendrickson and Prestinizi began working together in San Francisco in the early 1990’s when Hendrickson commissioned Prestininzi to write The Hole, a new play inspired by Dostoyevsky’s Notes From Underground. Their collaborative relationship has stayed intact for over 15 years and flourished under the auspices of Trap Door Theatre. In their work, Prestininzi and Hendrickson spark each other to make precise leaps of imagination, intellect and emotion in order to invite and instigate palpable human connections with the theatrical choices they make. Together they form a director/playwright team of shared reverie, theatrical vision and the belief in the persuasion of intimacy and commitment.

Saturday May 22 *Post-Show Discussion *with playwright Ken Prestininzi, director Kate Hendrickson and the cast of Chaste moderated by the Chicago Tribune’s Kerry Reid.

About the Ticket Supplier: Trap Door Theatre

Trap Door Theatre maintains a family of artists, loyal to each other, the art, and their own artistic integrity.

Incorporated in March of 1994, Trap Door Theatre took their three-year tradition of touring European Theatres and Festivals and transferred it to Chicago’s world renowned Off-Loop Theatre scene. Residing in it’s permanent home, which is a 45 seat, 900 square foot converted performance space in Bucktown, Trap Door has presented over sixty productions on the cusp of its ninth season, winning the praise of critics and patrons that catapults a whirlwind of activity, keeping the doors open five days a week.