by Slawomir Mrozek
A remount of the Organic Theater Company production in Chicago this past summer, The Emigrants(1974), by the Polish dramatist Slawomir Mrozek, explores themes of individual power and freedom from the perspective of characters that have fled their unnamed European country in search of both.
Reprising their summer production roles, Josh Anderson (as AA) and Joel Huff (as XX) play two impoverished men who have left behind the brutal regime entrenched in their homeland, and now find themselves living in a bleak underground apartment in a large, urban center of freemarket capitalism. AA is a scholar and political refugee; the other, XX, a simple minded laborer who obsessively fantasizes about returning to his native village and impressing everyone with his new-found wealth—a flight of fancy that the scholar feels compelled to dash on the rocks.
Over the course of a New Year’s Eve, the roommates get drunk, homesick, and hostile toward each other, each resenting the other’s illusions while inevitably realizing that they share the pitiable bond of belonging nowhere. This dark comedy reminds us of what makes home a home, whether or not we are there.
The Chicago Reader said, “…casting here is impeccable. Josh Anderson’s AA is both genial and smug, and seems perfectly calibrated to push all the buttons of Joel Huff’s excitable XX. Huff...delivers a riveting, volatile performance, conveying the humor in a man written off as a boor and buffoon.
Holmes Student Center, Production Ended See us on YouTube!
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