“Labyrinth,” a dramatic, historical play brought from the United Kingdom to Chicago, will make its American debut Jan. 31. The play is set to premiere at Broken Nose Theatre’s resident home, The Den Theatre.
“Labyrinth” is a thrilling and thought-provoking play that shows the perpetuation of American greed still present in modern society, according to BNT director Spenser Davis.
Set in the ‘70s, “Labyrinth” follows John Anderson (William Anthony Sebastian Rose II), who lands his dream job as a Wall Street banker. John then sets off to Latin America with a mission to sell loans to those who desperately need the money.
But when the banks begin excessively granting requests — becoming the Oprah of loans — these developing nations are pushed to bankruptcy. John and his colleagues are left to deal with the repercussions of their greed.
Researched and written by British playwright Beth Steele, Davis said he decided to make it his own.
Davis made this version more inclusive by casting several non-binary and gender-nonconforming actors. He also added several moments of choreography that weren’t written in the script. Davis said he created the story from John’s perspective to make him more relatable to the audience.
Despite major changes between both versions, themes of responsibility and ownership remain present.
David illustrated that America repeatedly took from these Latin American countries that depended on them, leaving them empty-handed and betrayed.
“I think that because of the political discourse that we’re in the middle of, it’s so important to remind folks that what we’re seeing is the effect of something our country and our banks did,” Davis said.
Davis said he feels 2020 is a good year to acknowledge America’s hand in other countries’ devastation.
“2020 is a year where we see clearly,” Davis said. “I think it’s so important that we see the unseen and take responsibility for the things that our country did to our neighbors to make an extra buck.”
Ultimately, Davis said he wants “Labyrinth” to be both didactic and entertaining for its audience.
“I hope they feel like they are on the edge of their seats,” Davis said. “I hope it’s an enjoyable watch despite the darkness that it ultimately illustrates.”
“Labyrinth” will be showing Jan. 31 to Feb. 29. In order to increase accessibility, tickets are pay-what-you-can, with a minimum of $1. They can be purchased online at brokennosetheatre.com.
Correction: A previous version of this article said the name of the play was “The Labyrinth” when it is “Labyrinth.” A previous version also noted the role of John Anderson was played by Benjamin Brownson. It is actually played by William Anthony Sebastian Rose II. We regret the error.