ATP closes out 2013 with staged reading of ‘The Pillowman’

The Actors Theatre Playhouse 2013 season draws to a close with a Halloween-ish treat - a staged reading of Irish playwright Martin McDonagh's 2005 Tony-nominated play, “The Pillowman.”

James Gelter, Jim Maxwell, Mark Bateman, and Ian Mahoney star. Ben Stockman directs. Performances are Saturdays, Oct. 19 and 26, at 7:30 p.m.

Staged readings have been part of the Actors Theatre Playhouse's programming for many seasons. In them, the actors sit at a table and perform with script in hand. This isn't a concert reading, but rather a fully realized performance, less scenery and staging.

Set in a fictional totalitarian state, “The Pillowman” revolves around a Kafka-esque police interrogation: Katurian (Gelter), a writer of grisly short stories, is questioned by investigators Tupolski (Maxwell) and Ariel (Bateman) over a series of murders mirroring the events he portrays in his work.

When he finds that his psychologically unsound brother Michal (Mahoney) is also being interrogated, proceedings begin taking wicked twists and turns.

“What happens when an artist moves away from accepted artistic conventions into new and uncharted territory? What price must he pay?” asks Stockman.

“The Pillowman” was first produced at London's National Theatre in 2003, and starred David Tennant as Katurian and Jim Broadbent as Tupolski.

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