Before The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo or The Laughing Policeman, before Ingmar Bergman or Henning Mankell, before even the phrase "Swedish noir," came Creditors, a sexy, twisting tale of psychological manipulation and revenge.
August Strindberg told his publisher that Creditors was "humorous, loveable, all of its characters sympathetic." That may say more about Strindberg than Creditors. The play does indeed have its comic moments, but it is a humor as dark as midwinter Sweden.
"Although Creditors isn't as well known as Miss Julie, Strindberg thought the two plays were his stage masterpieces," says director Sandy Shinner. "The new adaptation by David Greig brings out the humor in Creditors, not a quality usually associated with Strindberg's work."
Greig's adaptation was a huge hit recently with critics and audiences in London and New York, where the New York Times called it a "thrilling new interpretation." Remy Bumppo will be presenting its Midwest premiere.
Creditors will be performed April 10 through June 2 in the intimate upstairs studio space of the Greenhouse Theater Center, which will virtually put the audience in the set. Shinner, renowned for her work while the long-time Associate Artistic Director at Victory Gardens, says the studio is a choice Strindberg himself would have made; that in developing his theory of "modern psychological drama" Strindberg wanted "first and foremost, a small stage and a small auditorium."
In the case of Creditors, Shinner says, "The audience will feel like eavesdroppers."
Creditors is set in a Swedish island resort, in the rooms of an established writer (Remy Bumppo Artistic Associate Linda Gillum) and her new young artist husband (Teatro Vista ensemble member Gabriel Ruiz, Boss's Dilip Singh). The plot begins to twist and turn with the arrival of an older second man (Chicago veteran Mark L. Montgomery, last with Remy Bumppo in Some Americans Abroad in 2004), who proceeds to deviously toy with the minds of the couple, digging into the depths of their psyches.
Amy M. Bertacini is Stage Manager for Creditors. The set is by Jeffrey W. Bauer, costumes by Jeremy Floyd, lights by Charles Cooper, sound design and composition by Christopher Kriz, and props by Julie Allen.
Creditors is partially underwritten by the Jane Ellen Murray Foundation. Remy Bumppo 2012/2013 Season Sponsors are Terri Abruzzo Callahan and Dave Callahan, and Brenda and James Grusecki