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Glacity Theatre Collective to present ‘Hunting Cockroaches’

It’s the 1980s, New York City, middle of the night. Two people can’t sleep: a writer with writer’s block and an actress with a thick foreign accent and no equity card.

Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, plays Jan, and Jennifer Lake is Anka in this scene from the Glacity Theatre Collective’s production of “Hunting Cockroaches.”

Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, plays Jan, and Jennifer Lake is Anka in this scene from the Glacity Theatre Collective’s production of “Hunting Cockroaches.”

Successful artists Jan and Anka Krupinski fled Communist-occupied Poland for the freedom of New York, but how can they pursue their vocations in a new language and a new culture when it seems that no one wants to hear what they have to say?

In Janusz Glowacki’s black comedy “Hunting Cockroaches,” a series of “visitors” in the form of nightmares, memories and worries arrive as Jan and Anka wrestle with insomnia, paranoia and a future that doesn’t look like anything they ever planned for back in Poland.

“Throughout this play, the political situation in Poland is referenced, but the characters still long for their homeland because they can’t seem to find a way to fit in in the United States. So they are caught between a rock and a hard place,” said Dr. Edmund Lingan, UT associate professor of theatre and artistic director of the Glacity Theatre Collective, who is directing the production.

“With ‘Hunting Cockroaches,’ playwright Glowacki has managed to honor the true pain of Jan and Anka’s situation and, at the same time, to create a comic world that includes ludicrous and fantastical elements,” he said. “Anyone who has ever felt out of place and longed for a lost past will identify with the plight of the two main characters in ‘Hunting Cockroaches.’”

The cast features Cornel Gabara, UT associate professor of theatre, reprising his role as Jan for the Glacity Theatre Collective production. Jennifer Nagy Lake also returns to play Anka. Dr. Ben Pryor, UT vice provost for academic program development, and Pamela Tomassetti play the six remaining characters.

James S. Hill, UT professor and chair of theatre and film, designed the set, and Holly Monsos, UT associate dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, designed the costumes.

“Hunting Cockroaches” will open Friday, July 12, at 8 p.m. in the newly renovated Ohio Theatre, 2915 Lagrange St. in Toledo. The play will be produced in association with the Lagrange Street Polish Festival; for more information on the festival, go to polishfestival.org.

The show will continue with performances Saturday, July 13, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, July 14, at 2 p.m. Doors open one half hour prior to curtain.

Tickets are $16 and are available at http://glacity.tix.com and, as available, at the door.

For more information, go to glacity.org.