Ondine And Hans1


by Jean Giraudoux, translated by Maurice Valency

The Walnut Street Theatre Studio 5
February 5 - March 2, 2014
Directed by Aaron Cromie


ACT ONE: A Fisherman’s Cottage
ACT TWO: A Hall in the King’s Palace
ACT THREE: The Courtyard in the Castle of the Wittenstein TIME: The Middle Ages

Postcard - Ondine
Jerry Puma
Tina Brock
Ritter Hans von Wittenstein
Andrew Carroll
Ama Bollinger
The Old One
Susan Giddings
The Lord Chamberlain
Robb Hutter
The Superintendent of the Theatre
Ethan Lipkin
The Royal Court
Chris Davis and Bob Schmidt
The Trainer of Seals
Chris Davis
Sarah Knittel
Ed Miller
The Illusionist
Susan Giddings
The King
Tina Brock
Tina Brock
The First Fisherman
Chris Davis
The Second Fisherman
Susan Giddings
The First Judge
Ethan Lipkin
The Second Judge
Robb Hutter
The Ancient Clerk
Bob Schmidt
The Kitchen Maid
Sarah Knittel


Aaron Cromie

Costume Design

Jill Keys

Lighting Design

Matt Sharp

Scenic Design

Lisi Stoessel

Sound Design

Adriano Shaplin

Puppets, Cutouts and Shadows

Aaron Cromie

Technical Director

Scott Cassidy

Production Stage Manager/ Light and Sound Operator

Jonathan Phillips

Scenic Painter

Kate Coots


Marissa Bescript, Ama Bollinger, Aaron Cromie & Susan Giddings

Photoshop Magic

Bill Brock


Johanna Austin / AustinArt.org)

Produced by arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

This production includes members of Actors’ Equity Association.

Ondine is made possible in part by generous grants from Wyncote Foundation; The Samuel S. Fels Fund; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency with support also provided by PECO and administered regionally by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; The Charlotte Cushman Foundation; CHG Charitable Trust; and Plannerzone.

Playing time is approximately 130 minutes; there will be one ten minute intermission.


Ondine (2014)

“…an enchanting play about enchantment…”
Toby Zinman, The Philadelphia Inquirer

“brightly drawn characters…an entertaining version of a play that we probably won't be seeing again for some time…”
Howard Shapiro, WHYY’s Newsworks.org

"...Giraudoux’s musings about our relationship with the natural world’s mysteries elevates Ondine above absurdist playfulness...splendidly proves that magical allegories can be entertaining and meaningful for adults..."
Mark Cofta, Philadelphia City Paper

“…charming production captures all the magic, heartache, and absurdity of love, as well as the inescapable realities of the established social order, the world, and life itself, in this rarely-performed classic.”
Debra Miller, Phindie.com

Director's Notes


February, 2014

Welcome to the IRC’s Season Eight, entitled: “What Happens When the Unstoppable Force Meets the Immovable Object?

Paracelsus, Renaissance Prince of Alchemists and Hermetic philosophers, taught that the invisible, spiritual counterpart of visible nature is inhabited by a host of peculiar beings known as elementals: gnomes, undines, sylphs, and salamanders —  living entities, resembling human beings, inhabiting worlds of their own. These elementals were unknown to man because our undeveloped senses were incapable of functioning beyond the limitations of the grosser elements.

In Ondine, calamity and absurdity arise when human and spirit worlds meet center stage - the human concerns of nobility and status ruling the King’s Court are rendered powerless when confronted by a free-spirited and unknowing force of nature.

Ondine marks the first IRC production directed by an outside force, with Aaron Cromie bringing his unique magic and all manner of puppet and mask elements to the stage.  When I learned of Aaron’s love of Giraudoux’s story, it seemed fortuitous to combine his many talents with the IRC’s mission of presenting seldom-performed absurdist (leaning) works.  This experience has been a wonderful union of style and form, akin to the birth of a Reese’s peanut butter cup, and hopefully, as tasty.

The IRC’s budget is by far the smallest in the land, 65% of which is comprised of donations and ticket sales. We present handcrafted works, labors of love that likely won’t see area stages otherwise.  We owe a huge debt to IRC’s ensemble of actors and designers who have brought these shows to life over the years.  And to you, our curious, adventurous audience for joining us on the journey.

Eugene Ionesco’s Rhinoceros tramples into town for FringeArts Festival in September.  Mark your calendars for this one.

Well wishes,

Tina Brock
Producing Artistic Director