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Ensemble member Michaela Petro in The Good Soul of Szechuan.

The Good Soul of Szechuan

Photo credit: Chris Ocken

BY BERTOLT BRECHT

TRANSLATED BY DAVID HARROWER

DIRECTED BY SHADE MURRAY

Season 22

Apr 24, 2010–May 29, 2010

3829 N. Broadway

Money may not buy happiness but it sure buys friends. A trio of Gods roll through the mean old town of Szechuan searching for just one good person. They find it in Shen Te, a destitute prostitute with the obligatory heart of gold. Shen Te’s kindness so moves the three celestials that they reward her with enough cash to make a new life. But when her financial windfall stirs up a storm of moochers, leeches and fair-weather lovers, Shen Te calls on her hard-hearted (and oddly familiar) cousin Shui Ta to keep the wolves at bay. But if it needs the kind of protection Shui Ta practices, is goodness really any good at all?

“… Szechuan may be one of the classic works of 20th-century drama, but there’s nothing stuffily classic” about Strawdog Theatre’s electrifying new staging. Ebullient, spontaneous, sometimes raucous, and thoroughly contemporary, this production has a loose, improvisational feel that belies its fidelity to the text.”

— Chicago Reader

“… The actors double as musicians for Mikhail Fiksel and Mike Przygoda’s Weill-punk-rock numbers and change clothes in full view; costume designers Aly Renee Greaves and Joanna Melville wittily outfit the cast in modern thrift-store chic. But style doesn’t outweigh substance: Brecht’s poke at the irrationality of charity in an economic system that rewards selfishness remains potent. Leading an engaging, creatively cast 18-member ensemble, Petro shines.”

— Time Out Chicago

Creative Team

Bertolt Brecht
Author

David Harrower
Translator

Shade Murray
Director

Mike Mroch
Ass't Set Design

Mike Przygoda
Composer

Mike Przygoda
Music Director

* Strawdog Theatre ensemble member