The Bald Soprano 2020

by Eugène Ionesco, translated by Donald M. Allen

The Bethany Mission Gallery
February 6-16, 2020
Directed by Tina Brock


A middle-class English interior, with English armchairs, and an English couch, on an English evening


Running time is approximately 70 minutes, with no intermission.

Bald Soprano 2020 Postcard
Mrs. Smith
Tina Brock
Mr. Smith
Bob Schmidt
Mary the Maid
Tomas Dura
Mrs. Martin
Sonja Robson
Mr. Martin
John Zak*
The Fire Chief
Carlos Forbes
*Member Actors Equity Association

Costume Designer

Erica Hoelscher

Lighting Design

Noah Lee

Set Design

Tina Brock

Sound Design

Tina Brock

Stage Manager / Board Operator

Chad Haddad


Tina Brock, Chad Haddad & Bob Schmidt

Preshow Music Curator

Bill Brock

Producing Artistic Director

Tina Brock

Ways and Means Coordinator

Bob Schmidt

Photoshop Magic

Bill Brock

Photography/Cover Photo

Johanna Austin /




Special thanks to the following artsts:


Road to Nowhere (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – DEVO
Money for Nothing – Dire Straits
Who Is It? (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
Werewolves of London (2007 Remaster) –Warren Zevon
I Love the Sound of Breaking Glass – Nick Lowe
Girlfriend Is Better (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
Wig – The B-52’s
Houses in Motion (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
Really Sayin’ Something (with Fun Boy Three) – Bananarama & Fun Boy Three
The Good Thing (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
53 MilesWest of Venus – The B-52’s
I Zimbra – Talking Heads
King’s Lead Hat (2004 Digital Remaster) – Brian Eno
Planet Claire – The B-52’s
Slippery People (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
Shiny Happy People – R.E.M.
Private Idaho – The B-52’s
WildWild Life (2005 Remaster) – Talking Heads
Roam – The B52’s


The Bald Soprano (2020)

“...captures the essence of Ionesco while giving it a contemporary relevance...subtle hilarity... (the IRC) is a unique gift to the Philadelphia theater community...”
--Dennis Bloh, Philly Life and Culture
The Bald Soprano (2020)

“...a sublime trip through the ridiculous... zany, intrepid company…”
--Cameron Kelsall, Broad Street Review
The Bald Soprano (2020)

“It's not that way, it's over here...a wonderfully immersive experience...increasingly ridiculous and heightening stakes are a masterclass in comedic scene work...”
--Joshua Herren,
The Bald Soprano (2020)

Director's Notes


One of the joys of directing the plays of Eugene Ionesco is the challenge he puts forward to the director, captured through this favorite quote: “I personally would like to bring a tortoise onto the stage, turn it into a racehorse, then into a hat, a song, a dragoon and a fountain of water. One can dare anything in the theatre and it is the place where one dares the least.”

When we began rehearsal for the reimagined 2020 Bald Soprano, the cast read-through quickly revealed the necessity of drastically rethinking the 2017 production. Our relationship to language – how we use, interpret and value it, has changed more dramatically in the last 3 years than in any other point in time I can remember. The words “truth” and “absurd” once appeared to carry a value that ten people could come close to agreeing on. These same words take on a whole new life as we worked with them in rehearsal. We mulled over how, despite having learned these lines in 2017, the experience was so different for each of us internally, as if we were learning an entirely different new play.

One stage direction in The Bald Soprano captures the existential state of being, not only for Mrs. Smith, but for this director and for many people I know: “… she falls on her knees sobbing or else she does not do this.” I alternate these responses multiple times in any given day.

We are hugely thankful to Victor Keen and Jeanne Ruddy for allowing the IRC to rehearse and perform in this inspiring space and for their generous hospitality. The outsider art within these walls radiates electricity, passion and pain, great inspiration to be surrounded by when creating. I believe Ionesco would approve of his work unfolding within the Gallery as the stage setting. This is our nod to “bringing the tortoise on stage.”

As well, many thanks to these funny, lovely, constantly surprising cast members, who I have the pleasure of working alongside. They directed this show. If laughter is a remedy for turbulent times, we certainly enjoyed heavy doses of this medicine in rehearsal, working through The Bald Soprano, which Ionesco wrote, believing it was a tragedy.

Tina Brock
Producing Artistic Director
The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy
Tina Brock, Producing Artistic Director