“The Pillowman” is a New Take on Storytelling

Playwright Martin Mcdonagh, creator of famed works such as “In Bruges” and “Seven Psychopaths,” will have one of his plays put on stage in the Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club’s production of “The Pillowman,” running from April 4 to 12 on the Loeb Mainstage.

Director Lily R. Glimcher ’14 blurs the lines between fiction and reality as she tells the story of Katurian (Benjamin J. Lorenz ’14), a fiction writer living in a totalitarian police state. Katurian undergoes questioning by two ruthlessly cruel yet playful detectives when the gruesome contents of his short stories become reality in the form of bizarre child murders occurring within the town. Such a show boasts a story of “visceral danger” and a script that is “articulate, quick, and smart,” Glimcher says.

As a leading actor in the show, Lorenz remarks on just how multifaceted McDonagh’s creation has proven to be. “The script is smart, playful, scary, and heartbreaking from start to finish,” Lorenz says. “Hopefully we can bring it to life honestly and interestingly.”

Glimcher and her team accomplish this feat through a production whose stories are integrated within the play’s larger narrative as spoken word narrations and reenactments of Katurian’s short works. Glimcher, however, adds her own personal touch to these depictions of Katurian’s stories through puppeteering.“The puppets have definitely been an exciting challenge,” says Glimcher. “I knew very little about puppetry before I started this project and have learned so much over the past few months.”


In addition to the contents of the play itself, the work put in by both cast and crew demonstrate that “The Pillowman,” above all else, strives to highlight the value of storytelling and the immense power it has over our lives, as Taylor A. Cressler ’14, who will play Katurian’s brain-damaged brother Michal, asserts. “For me, the power of storytelling resonates the most in this show. The idea that something as simple as a story can cause significant events is very jarring for any kind of storyteller.”


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