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Theatrical Trainer and IRC

In an introduction to Absurd Drama (1965) Martin Esslin writes, “The Theatre of the Absurd attacks the comfortable certainties of religious or political orthodoxy. It aims to bring (the audience) face to face with the harsh facts of the human situation as these writers see it. But the challenge behind this message is anything but one of despair. It is a challenge to accept the human condition as it is, in all its mystery and absurdity, and to bear it with dignity, nobly, responsibly; precisely because there are no easy solutions to the mysteries of existence, because ultimately man is alone in a meaningless world. The shedding of easy solutions, of comforting illusions, may be painful, but it leaves behind it a sense of freedom and relief. And that is why, in the last resort, the Theatre of the Absurd does not provoke tears of despair but the laughter of liberation.”

In the 14 years since its formation, the IRC has become recognized for humorous, accessible interpretations of classic absurdist works from Eastern Europe and around the globe. In recent seasons prior to the pandemic, the company produced critically acclaimed, sold-out productions of Eugène Ionesco’s The Chairs and Rhinoceros, Tennessee Williams’ The Eccentricities of a Nightingale, and the Philadelphia premiere of Eugène Ionesco’s Exit the King for the 2015 Fringe Festival.

The IRC is a 501C3 non-profit organization, and a member of The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. The IRC’s 2020 body of work is made possible, in part, by generous support from Wyncote Foundation; The Bayard Walker, Jr. Fund of the Philadelphia Foundation; The Philadelphia Cultural Fund; The Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, administered regionally by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance; The Charlotte Cushman Foundation, in Memory of Donna R. Thomas, former president of the Charlotte Cushman Foundation, and through ticket sales and individual donations.



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