30+ Years of Curious Theatre
To End to Seem to End by Jayita Bhattacharya. Photo by Jeffrey Bivens.

Oct 20–Nov 16, 2013

8:00 p.m. Fridays/Saturdays
3:00 p.m. Sunday, Oct 20
  • Location
  • Prop Thtr • 3502 N. Elston, Chicago
  • Tickets
  • $15 or pay what you can at the door
    $12 in advance online
  • Reservations
  • (773) 492-1287


Hanging up. Breaking up. Stars that collapse. Black holes that suck. Purposefully adhering more to the internal logic of dreams and half-remembered conversations, To End to Seem to End comprises a series of dialogues, disputes, missives, chants, lyrics, squabbles and epiphanies that coalesce around the grievances of a couple (Nick Leininger and Debbie Halstead) and the attempt to end a relationship—as well as the repeated effort to name or characterize the "leave taking" itself. But, explicitly challenging the Western ideal of the self-sufficient individual, the text implicitly asks: what does it mean to leave, and who exactly does the leaving? As the couple discovers, it is memory that binds them together. Like gravity, memory cannot be simply escaped by wanting to escape. Rather, it constitutes their ability to exist—to co-exist, to live together—on this planet, inside this (happily! hopelessly!) binding relationship.

With To End to Seem to End, Jayita takes a further and even bolder step in her process of privileging the rhythm and emotional texture of voices over the traditional, psychologically-correct line of characters commonly associated with conventional theater.


Taran O'Reilly, Julia Williams, Nick Leininger, Debbie Halstead, Lena Magnus Brün, Jeffrey Bivens, Jayita Bhattacharya

Designed & Directed by

Jeffrey Bivens

Movement Direction by

Jayita Bhattacharya

Assistant Director/Stage Manager

Briavael O'Reilly

Music & Arrangements by

Jenny Magnus

Costumes by

Julia Williams

Sets by

Dennis Burke & Michael St. John

Our Outside Eyes

Stefan Brün, Jenny Magnus, Matt Test, Xia Magnus


To End to Seem to End


To End to Seem to End photos


  • Reader RECOMMENDED“Jayita Bhattacharya enters Bergman territory with her own version of a failing relationship. Rather than take us through the details of demise...this ‘choral performance piece’ resists linear narrative, pursuing instead the recursive, resistant, and very complicated way a relationship flounders through gesture, movement, and recitation. What could be weighty is rendered with a refreshing lightness, with the absurdity of language as much to blame as our elevation of language: If we name it, can we solve it? If we speak, can we connect? It's well-trod territory, sure, which may be why Bhattacharya's simplest moments—the way an entire relationship can be revealed in a couple's attempt to share space on a sofa—feel the most poignant.”—Chicago Reader
  • “Full of unique interactions, harsh emotions, and realizations.... An experience not to be passed up.”—Arts Alive

Audience Reactions

  • “Funny, breathtaking”—Kelly
  • “Thrilling and beautiful”—Barrie
  • “Absolutely MUST-SEE!”—Stefan