Ivona, Princess of Burgundia

by Witold Gombrowicz, translated from Polish by Catherine Robins and Krystyna Griffith-Jones

The Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5
September 5 - 23, 2012
Directed by Tina Brock
Ivona-Princess Of Burgundia
Robb Hutter
Susan Giddings
Lord Chamberlain
Lou Seitchik
Prince Phillip
David Stanger
John D'Alonzo
Greg Day
Liam Brock
Bob Schmidt
Emily Kleimo
Ivona Hopit
Heather Cole
First Aunt
Michael Dura
Second Aunt
Tomas Dura
Michael Dura
First Lady
Tina Brock
Second Lady
Emily Kleimo
First Gentleman
Bob Schmidt
Second Gentleman
Greg Day
Tomas Dura
Greg Day
Liam Brock
Supreme Judge
Bob Schmidt


Tina Brock

Costume Design

Erica Hoelscher

Lighting Design

Maria Shaplin

Scenic Design

Lisi Stoessel

Technical Director

Rajiv Shaw

Production Manager

Bob Schmidt

Sound Design

Tina Brock

Assistant Stage Manager/Light and Sound Operator

Mary Rossiter

Assistant Costumer

Jessica Barksdale

Scenic Painter

Brooke Murray

Set Construction/Painting

Bill Brock, Liam Brock, Tina Brock, Brooke Murray, Bob Schmidt, Rajiv Shah & Lisi Stoessel


Johanna Austin / AustinArt.org

Dramaturgical Consultant: Allen Kuharski


Produced by arrangement with Rita Gombrowicz


This production is made possible in part by generous grants from:

Wyncote Foundation
The Samuel S. Fels Fund
The Philadelphia Cultural Fund
The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, through Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts (PPA), administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance with additional support from PECO.
Charlotte Cushman Foundation
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
FirstTrust Financial, Alan T. Sherman, CEO

Playing time is approximately 100 minutes; there will be no intermission.




Checkers’ Pre Show Music Play List

The Royal Scam/Steely Dan
Slippery People/The Talking Heads
Heroes/David Bowie
Blind/The Talking Heads
Hypnotized/Bob Welch
Your Most Valuable Possession/Ben Folds Five
Bodhisattva/Steely Dan
People Are Strange/The Doors
Regrets/ Ben Folds Five
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic/The Police
Turandot – Act 3 – Nessum Dorma/Three Tenors
And She Was/Talking Heads


Incidental Music

by Phillip Glass
performed by
The Kronos Quartet


Die Konzerte fur 3 und 4 Cembali
by Johann Sebastian Bach
performed by
Trevor Pinnock, Kenneth Gilbert,Lars, Ulrik Mortensen & Nicholas Kraemer


Marriage (An Utterly Improbably Occurrence in Two Acts) (2012)

"...the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium's spellbinding production compresses the epic scope of an opera into a microcosm of human malice."
Jim Rutter, The Philadelphia Inquirer

"This is illuminating absurdity, with dark humor that casts a spotlight on the capricious and arbitrary cultural mores imposed on all of us by those who hold sway. "
Debra Miller, Stage Magazine

"...fleshes out its woolly characters with farthingales and periwigs. There's hand-kissing, jilting, curtsying, spying, seduction, idiocy, and murder, all accomplished with good manners."
Merilyn Jackson, The Philadelphia Inquirer

Director's Notes


September, 2012


I became hooked on studying non-verbal communication in college, fascinated with the many ways we speak volumes about what we feel and think without uttering a word.  As I envisioned staging this play it resonated in an age when we suffer from no shortage of exchange of words, opinions and discussion about everything imaginable, anytime of day, across continents, with strangers.  Which got me thinking about whether, in our world today, we have become less adept at reading the subtle signals both verbal and unspoken that allow us to connect on a deeper level?  Where and how does a person fit in to the modern social equation when their style, their entry into a face-to-face exchange is not so overt, so rapid, so recognizable?

I howled at the discomfort Ivona causes the Kingdom as they grapple to interpret her silences --her inability (or her choice) to not follow the prescribed path.  Silence is a powerful exchange that challenges people to sit with themselves and the confusion of interpreting the moment.  It feels like our patience with putting up with that which we don’t understand has become less and less as we have the ability to tunnel technologically deeper to connect with like-minded people whose story we understand, with whom we don’t risk feeling awkward.  Maybe we don’t want to be uncomfortable, despite what we might learn about our intolerance of others and the aspects of ourselves we deny until they are mirrored back to us.

There are many levels on which Ivona can be understood -- whatever the nugget of truth you derive,  we encourage you to pick sides, root for your favorite character both verbally and silently and treat it as an all-out sporting event, with a winning and losing team.  You decide who is on what team and send them support both verbal and silently as the play progresses.  Groans, cheers and commentary are welcome -- you won’t throw the actors (think Rocky Horror).  You help us create the live theater experience, and have as much a stake in how that picture is painted as the actors.  So laugh, boo or groan as the spirit moves you.

A huge thanks from the cast and myself to Allen Kuharski for the many hours he contributed guiding us through the historic and dramaturgic intricacies of Ivona.

Thanks for spending your evening with us, and will you tell a friend about the IRC?

Tina Brock
Producing Artistic Director