An Interview with the Translator

Thanks to the brilliant work of our many translators, it’s easy to forget that the plays presented at IVP weren’t written in English. Robert Myers and Nada Saab, the translators for The Dictator had an especially hard job of it. I contacted Robert to find out more about the work he and Nada did on The Dictator, please enjoy the interview.

By Dramaturgy Sarah Kroth

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Knucklebones or jacks is a game that has a very ancient origin. Originally played with the knucklebones of sheep in farming towns, the “jacks” are now manufactured toys usually made of metal although sometimes made of plastic in modern times.

By Dramaturg, Cassie Scaman

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Air-Raid Shelters in Germany

Air-Raid Shelters in Germany

In Woman in Berlin, we see the story of a woman who is in an air-raid shelter in Germany. From the 1930s-on we saw a rise in above-ground shelters in Germany to protect against bombing during the war.

Dramaturg Cassie Scaman

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The Returning Blog Post

There is a colloquial definition of insanity that goes “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. One could say that Absurdism is theatre’s answer to that phrase.

Blog by dramaturgy Sarah Kroth


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the unmarried woman

The unmarried woman is a densely packed piece of theatre. Not only is it highly stylized, but the material itself hits on a wide range of subject matters. It goes through women’s prisons after the war, a mother taking care of her daughter as well as her own mother, dementia, deferred guilt, a sexual fetish, and army deserters.

Dramaturg Sarah Kroth

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Ehemalige deutsche Ostgebiete

Ehemalige deutsche Ostgebiete

In Trash Story, we see the world of a divided society through the eyes of a young girl. We see that the violence and discrimination, specifically of Polish people who are living on what was once German land, is still very prevalent and can affect the lives of so many people.

By Dramaturgy Cassie Scaman

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Our Partner's Work: Akvavit Theatre Presents the U.S. Premiere of NOTHING OF ME


By Arne Lygre

Directed by Chad Eric Bergman & Breahan Eve Pautsch

March 3 – April 3, 2016


Chicago’s Akvavit Theatre is pleased to present the U.S. premiere of Norwegian playwright Arne Lygre’s drama NOTHING OF ME, co-directed by company members Chad Eric Bergman* and Breahan Eve Pautsch*, playing March 3 – April 3, 2016 at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. in Chicago. Tickets go on sale Sunday, February 14, 2016 The press opening is Saturday, March 5 at 8 pm.


NOTHING OF ME will feature company members Bergen Anderson* and Kirstin Franklin* with Paul S. Holmquist and Dan Wilson.


Arne Lygre’s new play NOTHING OF ME is a post-modern ghost story. Not long after an unspeakable tragedy, a wife and mother walks away from her entire life for a new relationship with a much younger man. Is she moving on towards a bright new life, or is she sinking deeper into self-destruction? In a playful yet haunting style, Lygre delves into the bond of love, its force and its dead-ends, using ruthlessly telltale dialogue. The play warns us of the danger we are all guilty of when we imprison others within our expectations, through the very love we feel for them.


For additional information, visit




Playwright: Arne Lygre

Directors: company members Chad Eric Bergman* and Breahan Eve Pautsch

Cast: company members Bergen Anderson* (Me) and Kirstin Franklin* (Person) with Paul S. Holmquist (Ex) and Dan Wilson (He).

 Location: Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave., Chicago

Dates: Previews: Thursday, March 3 at 8 pm and Friday, March 4 at 8 pm.

Press performance: Saturday, March 5 at 8 pm

Regular run: Sunday, March 6 – Sunday, April 3, 2015

Curtain Times:  Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm; Sundays at 3 pm.

Tickets: Previews: $10. Regular Run: $20. Students/seniors $15. Industry $10 on Thursdays and Sundays). Tickets go on sale Sunday, February 14, 2016


*Denotes Akvavit Theatre company members.


About the Playwright

Arne Lygre made his debut in 1998 with the play Mother and Me and Men. Since then he has written six other plays, which has been staged and published in countries around the world. Man Without Purpose was directed by Claude Régy at Odeon Théâtre in Paris in 2007/08. I Disappear, premiered at La Colline Théâtre National in November 2011, directed by Stéphane Braunschweig. For his short stories collection, In Time, he received the prestigious Norwegian literary award Brageprisen in 2004. He has also written two novels, A Last Face and My Dead Man, which both was very well recieved by the critics. He was awarded the literary award Mads Wiels Nygaards’ Legacy in 2010.


About the Directors


Chad Eric Bergman actively collaborates in the Chicago Storefront scene having worked with Stage Left, Live Bait, Chicago Dramatists, MPAACT, parker, Plasticene and Akvavit in various artistic ways. He has been an artist in residence at the Ragdale Foundation and the University of Chicago’s Summer Incubator. He spent a year in Finland on a Fulbright exploring bilingual theatre. At North Park University, he has been developing a theatre curriculum that is based on the Chicago Storefront Theatre model.


Breahan Eve Pautsch has been working in Chicago as an actor and director since 2003. As a director, she has worked with Akvavit, Raven Theatre, The International Voices Project, Hobo Junction Productions, Full Voice Productions, Mudgeonsoul Cinema and Stockyards Theatre Project.

As an actor, she has worked with various theatre companies including Akvavit, Hobo Junction Productions, Halcyon Theatre Company, Chicago ScriptWorks and The Side Project. On film, Breahan has worked with Mudgeonsoul Cinema, Full Voice Productions and Butcher's Son Films. She is originally from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin and earned her BA in Theatre and English at UW-Madison


Akvavit Theatre is a new voice in the Chicago theatre scene. Taking as our inspiration the striking landscapes of the five Nordic countries—harnessing the force of the glacier, in its powerful seeming stillness, the volcano, in its sudden white-hot eruption, and the arctic silence in between—we strive to find the universal through the voices of the Nordic world. This is our contribution to the American mosaic. And like our namesake drink, Akvavit brings a “strong spirit” to the plays, workshops and events that we produce. Skål, Skál, Kippis! For additional information, visit

Our Partner's Work: Medea’s Got Some Issues

The Chicago Theater Sweatshop presents Medea's Got Some Issues, "killer, witty, hilarious" take on Euripides' Medea.

Written and Directed by Emilio Williams, author of TABLES AND BEDS (IVP 2011)

Plot: The tragedy of Medea reinvented as a laugh-out-laugh farce? More than 2,400 years after the premiere of her play, Medea, in person, presents, without inhibitions, the mitigating and sordid factors surrounding her infamous case: from the sexual haste of her husband, Jason, to the misogynistic and xenophobic environment of classical Corinth. “Don’t you laugh, this shit is serious.” The play is both a madcap parody and a tribute to Euripidesʼ classic tragedy.

February 25th-March 25th, 2016 at 7:30pm Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at Stage 773

Buy Tickets Now!

You can read more about our friend, playwright/Director Emillio Williams, in this article.