Translation: Vinko Zgaga and Lada Kaštelan

Director: Janusz Kica
Dramatization: Lada Kaštelan
Set Design: NUMEN
Costume Design: Irena Sušac
Music: Tamara Obrovac
Lighting Design: Zdravko Stolnik
Speech and Vocal Consultant: Đurđa Škavić

DOLLY HAMMA: Jelena Miholjević
PEE WEE BINNINGS: Dragaljub Lazarov
DOG HAMMA: Siniša Ružić
CAROL CUTRERE: Antonija Stanišić
EVA TEMPLE: Perica Martinović
SISTER TEMPLE: Helena Buljan
VAL XAVIER: Sven Medvešek
VEE TALBOT: Marina Nemet
LADY TORRANCE: Anja Šovagović Despot
JABE TORRANCE: Ivica Vidović
DAVID CUTRERE: Ranko Zidarić
NURSE PORTER: Dubravka Miletić

Stage Manager: Ana Dulčić
Prompter: Andrea Glad
Opening night: February 22, 2008

Tennessee Williams, alongside Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, belongs to the ''Great Trinity'' of the American drama. For Williams, writing served as ''an escape from the reality he didn't feel comfortable in''. That in no way means that Williams' texts are escapist, on the contrary, ''The Glass Menagerie'', ''A Streetcar Named Desire'', ''Cat On a Hot Tin Roof'', ''Sweet Bird of Youth'' or ''The Night of the Iguana'' belong to the very peak of what we would conditionally call ''dramatic realism''. Conditionally, because the bard from the Mississippi is too major a writer to be reduced to just one, often too scanty, common denominator.

''Orpheus Descending'' belongs maybe to the lesser known and, here, lesser performed Williams' plays (the text was staged a few times in Croatia in the late 50s and early 60s, but has been bypassed since). However, it would definitely be a mistake to say that it falls behind in quality to the aforementioned titles.

The author's typical motifs: the desire for escape, the emotional slavery or surpressed passions that break out (always) when the timing is wrong, are treated in ''Orpheus Descending'' with admirable skill and persuasiveness, bringing us an eruptive story that reminds us of how a melodrama, as a genre, doesn't have to be a synonym for predictability and kitsch. ''Orpheus Descending'' is a melodrama, but such that offers a gripping and unpredictable plot, a colourful gallery of multi-layered characters – among whom there are no ''main'' and ''minor'' ones – fiery scenes, intelligent humour, harsh poetry, erotic hypertension...

This challenging and enticeful dramatic material will be presented to our audience by Gavella Theatre's ensemble and directed by Janusz Kica, the artist of Polish roots, full of international experience, domesticated on Croatian stages where he so far directed hit-performances as ''The Jungle Book'', ''The Three Musketeers'', ''Roger Rabbit''...

With good plays, as well as intelligent people, one needn't argue. You ought to listen to them, watch them, feel for them, think them through...The same applies to Tennessee Williams' Orpheus Descending, performed by Gavella Theatre's ensemble and directed by Janusz Kica. The director sought an entirely theatrical way into the inner self of a playwright who spent his life on the edge of socially acceptable behaviour and on the edge of reason, testifying beyond its borders to the diversity, fullness and the unpredictability of life. With brilliant casting and hard work Kica created an ensemble which significantly exceeded its collective and individual boundaries. (Želimir Ciglar, ''Večernji list'')

Medvešek's Val is entirely emotionally cold and aloof, a lonely and incomplete person. His partner, erotically hungry and dissatisfied, sensual Lady, who is impressively, at times fascinatingly, portrayed by Anja Šovagović Despot (in that way carrying most of the play), is possessed by another kind of loneliness, so at the moment of their drawing together, one feels a mutual weight of lingering shadows of unaccepted personalities. (Helena Braut, ''Vjesnik'')

Playing this role Mrs. Šovagović physically resmbles the American actress Jessica Lang in the movie The Postman Always Rings Twice (there's also a strong narrative correspondance between 'Orpheus' and 'The Postman'), balancing between utter dejection, explosive revolt, but also a sort of child-like attachment and playfulness. In the role of Williams' Lady she most definitely gave one of the best performances of her career. (Nataša Govedić, ''Novi list'')

The play abounds in exquisite performances, most notable being Dražen Kühn's portrayal of Sheriff Talbot, the cruel and narrow-minded authority. It is enough for Kühn to caugh in order to make his scene morbid and unpleasant. Ivica Vidović also gives an impressive performance playing the cruel old man on this death bed, Jabe Torrence; the young Antonija Stanišić is excellent in the role of Carol Cutrere...'' (Tomislav Čadež, ''Jutarnji list'')

Facing the presumptions about Tennessee Williams' plays, Kica had his options wide open, because Orpheus Descending is not your typical Williams' play, so insisting on scenically explicit passion would only make things more difficult for him. Instead, the director silenced him and got a two-hour play, almost a movie, which is accompanied by stylistically adjusted scenography of the NUMEN studio and Tamara Obrovac's choice of music with jazzy interventions. (Igor Ružić, Radio 101)

Orpheus Descending belongs to that small, exclusive club of plays whose quality challenges theatrical criticism to deal with it by studying each individual character, the director's concept, visual language and, of course, contextualization. (Dubravka Lampalov, ''Vijenac'')