Estranged twins Sebastian and Bernadette are reunited at their mother's funeral, after her death-by-errant-showerhead. The two siblings clumsily attempt to renegotiate their relationship while making space for others in their lives: Bernadette’s husband Kip, who decides to abandon his dental practice to become an artist, and Dr. Hillary, Sebastian’s extravagantly needy therapist who is prone to dissolving into a morass of self-recrimination. Paradoxically dark but comedic, absurd yet earnest, Nicky Silver’s award-winning work returns to Chicago.
Written by Nicky Silver
Directed by RBP Artistic Director Kathi Kaity
Performances Run April 27-May 19 at the Frontier; 1106 W. Thorndale in Chicago
Tickets are $15-20 for general admission and $10-15 for students and industry professionals depending on the day. Purchasing tickets in advance is highly recommended and can be purchased HERE
Why Raised in Captivity?
Kathi Kaity (Director): I first read this script nearly a decade ago, and was struck by the tangible spirit of these characters – tragically flawed and inadvertently hilarious. I immediately felt at home with the work, and saw the script as an absurdist’s progression within the Family Drama genre. Here we have a family reunited, yet Silver’s characters are never given the grace and elegance of the original canon’s predecessors, instead falling prey to the traps of misplaced culpability and self-imprisonment. In contrast to the form, their “lesson learning” is not pretty – they say the wrong things, are bombastically selfish, and drown in guilt. In short, their journeys toward becoming better people are ugly. In 2018, we find ourselves in a socio-political era that has a lot of “ugly” in it – just like the characters of Raised[…], we’re experiencing the growing pains associated with progress. I think now is the perfect time to approach this national reality from an intimate, familial place. It doesn’t always have to be beautiful, but we must harness our flaws and “do better” in spite of them.
When I recently spoke with playwright Nicky Silver, he touched upon the pertinence of this script being told now, nearly 25 years after being written:
"The themes of this play are relatively timeless – but our need to explore them is greater in an age when we’re more isolated as human beings than ever before. The common thread of these characters, their “imprisonment” is only more severe as technology, which could bring us together, in fact isolates us further. And as the political and cultural spectrum has swung in a conservative direction, we are more inclined to view people, perpetrators of crime, as less-than-human. The play asks “what is the province of punishment? Whom doesitserve?” I think the play suggest itservesthe punisher only; the punished are redeemed not by punishment but by acts of charity." - Nicky Silver (Playwright)