It’s the 1980s, New York City, middle of the night. Two people can’t sleep: a writer with writer’s block and an actress with a thick foreign accent and no equity card.
Successful artists Jan and Anka Krupinski fled Communist-occupied Poland for the freedom of New York, but how can they pursue their vocations in a new language and a new culture when it seems that no one wants to hear what they have to say?
In Janusz Glowacki’s black comedy “Hunting Cockroaches,” a series of “visitors” in the form of nightmares, memories and worries arrive as Jan and Anka wrestle with insomnia, paranoia and a future that doesn’t look like anything they ever planned for back in Poland.
“Throughout this play, the political situation in Poland is referenced, but the characters still long for their homeland because they can’t seem to find a way to fit in in the United States. So they are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, UT assistant professor of theatre and director of the Glacity Theatre Collective production.
“With ‘Hunting Cockroaches,’ playwright Glowacki has managed to honor the true pain of Jan and Anka’s situation and, at the same time, create a comic world that includes ludicrous and fantastical elements. Anyone who has ever felt out of place and longed for a lost past will identify with the plight of the two main characters in ‘Hunting Cockroaches,’” he said.
The cast features Glacity Artistic Director Cornel Gabara, UT assistant professor of theatre, as Jan in his first acting role for the company. Jennifer Nagy Lake, most recently seen in Glacity’s production of “Exhibition,” plays Anka. Dr. Ben Pryor, UT vice provost for academic program development, and Pamela Tomassetti play the six remaining characters.
James S. Hill, UT professor and chair of theatre and film, designed the set and lighting, and Holly Monsos, UT associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, designed the costumes.
“Hunting Cockroaches” will open Friday, June 15, at 8 p.m. in the UT Center for Performing Arts Studio Theatre. Performances continue Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, and Friday through Sunday, June 22-24. Friday and Saturday performances will be at 8 p.m., and Sunday shows will be at 2 p.m. Doors open 30 minutes prior to curtain.
Ticket prices are $20 and are available in advance here and at the door. For the “pay what you can” matinee Sunday, June 17, tickets will be available at the door only.
For more information, go to glacity.org.