Good Woman of Setzuan

By Bertolt Brecht (translation by Eric Bentley)
Directed by Carin Bratlie
Oct 26-Nov 10, 2013
Performed at Intermedia Arts

Love in a market economy.

The town of Setzuan has only one inhabitant who is truly good—the prostitute, Shen Te—and the gods decide to grant her a better life as a test of her kindness. The town soon takes advantage of her generosity, and every new blessing that comes to Shen Te threatens to reduce her to a mere commodity. She creates Shui Ta, a cold and unfeeling alter-ego, to enact the awful decisions she cannot. But balance is not easily kept, it is impossible to please everybody, and Shen Te will literally be put on trial by the gods for the sin of being nothing more than human.

The Cast

Shen Te – Kelsey Cramer*
Wong – Ben Layne
God 1 – Peyton McCandless
God 2 – Andrew Troth
God 3 – Molly Pach
Mrs. Shin – Molly Pach
Wife – Amber Bjork*
Husband – Amber Bjork*
Brother – Amber Bjork*
Sister-in-Law – Amber Bjork*
Nephew – Amber Bjork*
Niece – Amber Bjork*
Grandfather – Amber Bjork*
Boy – Amber Bjork*
Unemployed Man – Shannon Troy Jones
Carpenter – Peyton McCandless
Mrs. Mi Tzu – Kayla Dvorak
Yang Sun – Foster Johns
Old Whore – Ben Layne
Police Officer – Shannon Troy Jones
Old Man – Peyton McCandless
Old Woman – Andrew Troth
Mr. Shu Fu – Foster Johns
Mrs. Yang – Karen Bix
Waiter – Kayla Dvorak

The Crew

Director – Carin Bratlie*
Stage Manager – Kristi Ditmarson
Set Designer – Sadie Ward
Costume Designer – Mandi Johnson*
Lighting Designer – Julia Carlis*
Sound Designer – Jacob M. Davis
Asst. Sound Designer – Topher Pirkl
Props Designer – Amy Pirkl*
Dramaturg – Christine “Kit” Gordon
Directing Observer – Lucas Skjaret
Audio Describer – Michelle Storm

*Theatre Pro Rata Company Member

The Press

“5 stars, Very Highly Recommended”
“Cramer brings a lot of heart to Shen Te and an equal amount of mercilessness to Shui Ta. She so easily shoulders the load of being the central character of this tale that you’re inclined to forget just how tricky her assignment is.”
“[Foster] Johns brings all kinds of levels to the selfish character of Yang Sun. The audience could be forgiven for almost falling for him as hard as Shen Te does.”
“Director Carin Bratlie does an amazing job threading the needle on this one … I honestly can’t imagine it being done better. … the production is spot on.” –TC Daily Planet

“Theatre Pro Rata does a fine job with tricky material, and provides a good opportunity to fill a Brecht-sized hole in your theatrical education.”
“… the garb designed by Mandi Johnson is eye-catching … and the quick costume changes by the multi-tasking actors are often astounding.” –Pioneer Press

“… tough breaks are tempered by humor, accented by Carin Bratlie’s deft direction. The nine-actor cast plays a dizzying number of characters, often multiple ones in the same scene. Amber Bjork gets the prize here, as she plays eight members of the same family, each brought to life by a mask and a different voice.” –City Pages

“Bratlie and her spirited actors provide a lo-fi, entertaining, often humorous ‘Good Woman.'” –Star Tribune

“Theater Pro Rata boldly executed this peculiar tale with the help of a strong cast, puppets, and a lot of humor.” –Mpls Style

Star Tribune spotlight.
City Pages preview article in which director Carin Bratlie talks about Brecht and why we don’t need to be afraid of him.

Performance Dates
October 26 – November 10, 2013
Fridays & Saturdays @ 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, October 27 @ 7:30 P.M. – Audio Described performance
Monday, October 28 @ 7:30 P.M. – Pay What You Can Performance!
Sunday, November 3 @ 7:30 P.M.
Sunday, November 10 @ 3:00 P.M.

Fun Stuff

Good Woman of Setzuan Study Guide

The Gallery


Photography by: Charlie Gorrill


This activity is funded, in part, by an appropriation from the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the State’s general fund.