Genet based his play on the infamous Papin sisters, Lea and Christine, who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France, in 1933. Solange and Claire are two housemaids who construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away.
The focus of their theatrical playing is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying either side of the power divide. The deliberate pace and devotion to detail guarantees that they always fail to actualize their fantasies by ceremoniously "killing" Madame at the ritual's denouement.
The play was first produced by Louis Jouvet in 1947. The story can be read as an absurdist exposition on the intricate power dynamic that exists between unequals.
The production features scenic design by Laura Taber Bacon, costume design by Emily Lippolis, and lighting design by Michael Megliolia. Julian Mesri is the sound designer, Chelsea Chorpenning is the properties designer, Gae Song is the assistant stage manager, Gargi Shinde is the dramaturg, Nic Musolino is the technical director and Laura Gomezx is the stage manager. Renee Reneé Rodriguez is the producer and Tara Clark is the associate producer.
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