Directed by Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy
Original Puppetry by Katie Rose Pipkin
Set Deign by Derek Kolluri
Costumes by Katy Hogge
Lighting by Amy Lewis
Staged at the Dougherty Arts Center
7 Towers was founded on storytelling. With limited budgets and a small core team, we felt that, as Katurian argues, “the first duty of a storyteller is to tell a story.” That is of course what we as theatre makers do–we tell stories. As the company has grown, that fundamental belief in narrative has remained. It was what initially drew me to The Pillowman,and what inspired our experiments with shadow puppetry and visual modes of storytelling. Despite McDonagh’s delight in grotesque violence, the play ultimately argues that our primal need for storytelling is the key to our redemption. Along the way, of course, McDonagh asks near-impossible questions about artistic responsibility and posits some disturbing suggestions about what can happen when someone takes a dedication to storytelling too far. You’re going to see some things that are very hard to watch. You’re going to hear some things that are very hard to listen to. And yet, the beauty of The Pillowman lies in the balance it presents between creation and destruction. In the end, the play is a testament to the beauty of human expression. For me, it is also a strong argument for protecting the freedom of that expression. Words can beget violence, but they can also beget wonder. We’re excited to share these words with you.
Let us tell you a story.
PRESS AND REVIEWS
Austin Live Theatre:
“This action is intense, brimming with suspense, and Director Christina Gutierrez chose some of Austin’s most muscularly intellectual actors to create the piece.”
“Travis Bedard’s Katurian is earnest, eloquent and sly; Aaron Black endows brother Michael with vulnerability, effusive reactions and innocence. The emotional links between the two resonate, and we understand Katurian’s determination to protect Michael.”
Austin Broadway World
“While the material may be intense, disturbing, and alarming, 7 Towers’ production of The Pillowman is an astounding achievement and easily one of the best shows of the Austin 2012-2013 season.”
“The Pillowman is one of those theatrical events that seldom comes along. It’s sinister, sadistic, haunting, and while it may not be pleasant, it is entirely unforgettable.”
“Katie Rose Pipkin’s puppets are emotional, expressive, and a standout in a production where every element has a successful impact and pay off. Moreover, their interaction with other shadows created by live actors is completely unexpected and inventive.”