Andras Visky’s ‘I Killed My Mother’ in Chicago – UPDATE

NEWS: TimeOut Chicago gives five stars to this play (see HERE)

February 19th through March 14th
At the Greenhouse Theater Upstairs Studio
2257 N Lincoln Ave; Chicago, IL

Set in Romania, “I Killed My Mother” tells the story of Bernadette, a teenage girl who was abandoned after birth by her mother, a Roma (Gypsy) woman. She grows up in a series of Romanian orphanages, and forges a relationship with Clip, her soul-mate, the Beatrice to her Dante, who dies trying to save her.  She struggles to transcend the incessant brutality of her surroundings with her boy muse.  Guided by Clip, she learns to excise parasitic relationships, to “kill”, to turn her back forever, even on the maternal bond, in order to realize her own extraordinary identity.

“I Killed My Mother” is a fiction based on the true story of a Romanian orphan, just one of thousands who resulted from the neo-Stalinist economic and social control policies of dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu.  To increase the low birth rate, contraception and abortion were outlawed.  At the same time, the Communist regime introduces a harsh austerity program to pay off accumulated foreign debt. Most of the country’s produce is exported, causing further shortages of food, fuel and other essentials.  Families were starving and freezing.  Desperate mothers abandoned their children at the hospitals where they were born. Orphanages and juvenile homes were created to deal with this multitude of orphans, but the conditions at most of these institutions were appalling and the staff often abusive. The issue continues to have ramifications for Romania even 20 years after Ceauşescu’s execution. Come see this exciting world premiere event, tickets are on sale now!  Call the theatre box office or reserve online at

Don’t miss the chance to meet the artists: Director Karin Coonrod and playwright Andras Visky will be leading a discussion following the opening weekend performances, and Andras will be present for the last weekend as well.

A Note From Director Karin Coonrod

I met Melissa Hawkins at a performance of Juliet [another play by Andras Visky] at an Intervarsity Conference in Chicago just before New Year’s Eve in 2008.  It was an “after hours” performance after a long conference day and the performance despite its quietness kept me alert.   Afterwards I spoke with Melissa and asked her if she was Romanian: my mentor had been Liviu Ciulei and many close colleagues in the theater are Romanian.  Our conversation continued until one thing led to another and I went with Melissa and Theater Y to Romania in May 2009 because I needed to meet the writer.  So I met Andras Visky and that was it.  We all knew it was important—even urgent—to work together on this project.  I had never had the privilege of meeting a writer in the theater who was equally, deeply passionate about theater and theology.  What a rare joy.

A Letter From The Artistic Director

It has been a very exciting winter for Theatre Y!  Our production of Juliet has just returned from a ten day tour of Israel and the West Bank,  easily some of the most challenging and satisfying performances yet.  Our most ambitious tour to date, Israel was a wonderful opportunity to actualize our artistic mission: creating spaces for international dialogue through theatre.   It was thrilling to experience true human solidarity in two cultures so widely known for their differences.  To be part of an artistic communion between disparate groups of people was a truly humbling experience and a reminder of the importance of the work we do as theatre artists.

Of course Theatre Y must thank you, our supporters, for enabling us to do this important work and to share it with people all over the world.  In Jerusalem we had the privilege of performing for a Zambian Parliament official running for president in 2011, and he has created a tour for Juliet in Zambia this summer!

We are now embarking on Theatre Y’s second production: András Visky’s I Killed My Mother with acclaimed director Karin Coonrod.  This piece is at once deeply personal and universal, a fierce fight for identity with the aid of a “love as strong as death”.

A large portion of the funds for this production were raised at the Theatre Y Fundraiser last November – and we want to thank each of you for your participation in that event – a real testament to the community that you have formed around Theatre Y!  This second show is pivotal for our young company and we anticipate a huge success.  Please note that space is limited and the show must close by March 14th so please book your tickets now.  We want to ensure that each of you has the opportunity to see this exciting piece of theatre.

Melissa Hawkins
Artistic Director -Theatre Y


Author: DanutM

Anglican theologian. Former Director for Faith and Development Middle East and Eastern Europe Region of World Vision International

3 thoughts on “Andras Visky’s ‘I Killed My Mother’ in Chicago – UPDATE”

  1. The critics are raving about this show:
    Time Out Chicago gave the show 5 out of 5 stars;
    The Chicago Reader loved it too, citing “Karin Coonrod’s gripping production for Theatre Y captures both the grimness and the pathos in the script, thanks in large part to Peter Kasander’s no-man’s-land set and a pair of beautifully tender performances from Melissa Hawkins and Andrew Livingston. …and the Chicago Sun-Times’ Hedy Weiss encourages audiences to “Enter the world of “I Killed My Mother”… beautifully acted, drama by Romanian playwright Andras Visky…”

    You can also preview a scenes by visiting


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