Theatre Y Presents THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ, Now thru 7/19

Theatre Y Presents THE BEAUTIFUL DAYS OF ARANJUEZ, Now thru 7/19

Theatre Y presents the US and English-language premiere of "The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez" by Peter Handke, translated by Michael Roloff with Scott Abbott, at Theatre Y, 2649 N Francisco (entrance through side alley), tonight, June 13-July 19, 2015. "Aranjuez," -directed by Zeljko Djukic-begins previews June 9, press opening tonight, June 13; show runs through July 19. For more information, visit

The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez is a voluptuous prose-poem for the stage between a Man and a Woman, two 'figures' in the heart of a bucolic garden in the heart of high summer-something of an eternity, something of an irretrievable moment. It is not a drama that occurs between them, but a summer dialogue that proceeds by way of interrogation-play. The mysteries of eroticism and nature surface in their incursions into untold memories, silent happenings that for the first time demand a language. In Handke's text, amorous attraction is transfigured into metaphysical desire; a game of questions becomes a game of passions, and this play of passion becomes a world of poetic images as sensuous as the soundscape of the outside world: premonitory and encroaching. With a singular dramaturgical approach, this latest of Handke's plays is a sterling interrogation of how and what we talk about when we talk about love.

Novelist, playwright, poet, and screenwriter Peter Handke recently won the 2014 International Ibsen Award, joining the ranks of luminaries such as Peter Brook and Ariane Mnouchkine as an unparalleled phenomenon of the theater world. The jury praised Handke for "a body of work that is unparalleled in its formal beauty and brilliant reflection" and claimed that "Handke is undoubtedly theatre's most eminent epic poet." Considered by many to be the best living writer in the German language, Handke has always been a singular artist, master of his own avant garde style. Among his most widely known works of the theater areOffending the Audience and Kaspar. Beyond the theater, he is admired for the famed novel The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick and his film collaborations with Wim Wenders, most notably Wings of Desire.

The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez is slated to be the next Wenders/Handke film in 2017. Handke's previous awards include the 1973 Georg Buchner Prize, 2002 America Award, 2009 Franz Kafka Prize and 2012 Mulheimer Dramatikerpreis. Handke is much too unknown in the US; this production is a rare opportunity to see a contemporary monument staged.

This is a US/English premiere, with a commissioned translation from Michael Roloff (with Scott Abbott), who was Handke's principal translator for the greater part of the writer's early-mid career. Directing this previously untranslated work is the accomplished director Zeljko Djukic-founder and decade long artistic director of TUTA (2002-2012), recipient of many awards and nominations for outstanding work, and an eminently skilled craftsman of, among other theatrical forms, post-dramatic theater. Djukic is directly in his element with the likes of Handke, and will be crafting out of this indefinable text a canny, nuanced, and 'open' performance in this actor-driven work. Intricate sound design, live environment, time, the spectator's inner eye: all will be materials from which Handke's peculiar and engrossing world will be given form.

Excerpt from the script: "What was strange, too, was that each unexpected act of revenge meant the end of the complicity with the man. At the same time I, too, was proud and even enthused about what had transpired, and nearly boiled over with the desire to tell someone about it, and again oddly enough - to tell someone celibate, my priest, a sisterly nun, not to provoke but to let them partake of my enthusiasm - each and every second - entirely in harmony with heaven as a variant on the Song of Songs as well, heartbeat music, the roaring of skin as the roaring of the very highest of surfs. And it would have become clear that our act of vengeance had helped keep the world intact. - Except, the man, the accomplice, was then beside the point. Without actually leaving him, from one moment to the next, I ceased to be his woman. Without saying adieu, that was the goodbye."

The cast of The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez includes Melissa Lorraine (The Woman) and Kevin V. Smith(The Man). The creative team for "The Beautiful Days of Aranjuez" includes Zeljko Djukic (Director),Evan Hill (Dramaturg), Aileen McGroddy (Movement Director), Natasha Djukic (Costume and Scenic Design), Kimberly A. Sutton (Sound Design), Keith Parham (Lighting Design), Luke Carroll (Prop Design),Colin MacIntyre Rice (Technical Director) and Justin West (Stage Manager)

Melissa Lorraine (Actor and Artistic Director of Theatre Y) became a company member of Studio K in Budapest, Hungary upon graduating from Northern Illinois University in 2002 with a B.F.A. in acting. During that year, she was given the rights to the newly-translated Juliet, by Transylvanian writer András. Three years later she co-founded Theatre Y with director Christopher Markle, and Juliet began her international tour, which has included over two hundred performances worldwide. I Killed My Mother, written by András for Melissa, premiered in Chicago at the Greenhouse Theater (Chicago's Best Actress Orgie award), and also ran at LaMama ETC in New York in 2012 and was featured on the cover of the New York Times Art Section. In 2010 Lorraine created a second production of Juliet with director Karin Coonrod for Theatre Y at the Royal George Theater in Chicago. Lorraine played Bertha in Exiles by James Joyce, Martha in The Misunderstanding by Albert Camus, and directed the critically acclaimed Vincent River by Philip Ridley in Theatre Y's summer Exiled Trilogy. She played the title role in Porn: 1989. A Butterfly by András Visky, for which she was named one of the 6 stars of 2012 by the Chicago Reader. Last year Lorraine directed Theatre Y's world premiere of The Binding, a collaboration with two Serbian/Hungarian choreographers which was a cover feature of the Chicago Reader. Recent Theatre Y performances: Euripides' Medea, Beckett's Happy Days, and Penelope, O Penelopeby Simon Abkarian.

Kevin V. Smith (Actor and Associate Artistic Director of Theatre Y) received a Jeff Nomination for his performance in Our Bad Magnet at Mary-Arrchie and was named Best Actor of 2011 by Chicago Stage Reviewfor his performance in Theatre Y's Vincent River. Directing credits at Theatre Y include Exiles, The Misunderstanding, The Ash Girls..., and Medea. Off-Broadway acting credits include The Maids(EgoPo/Cocteau). Selected Chicago acting credits include Circle-Machine (Oracle Productions), Night Just Before the Forest (Lake Como in Rome), The Conduct of Life (Tooth and Nail Ensemble), the title role inMacbeth (Candid Theatre), Thirteen Dead Husbands (Sansculottes), Three Sisters (The Gift), and Pericles(Goodman).

Performance Details:

Location: Theatre Y, 2649 N Francisco, Chicago (entry via side alley)

Performances: June 13-July 19, 2015, Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2:00 pm.

First Preview: June 9

Opening / Press Night: June 13

Closing Night: July 19

Tickets are $20 General Admission, $15 Student/Senior, and $10 Industry

For details and more information visit

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