WHAT IS IT ABOUT?
Iceland in the 19th century was not exactly an idyll; it was an island nation of farming and fishing communities, pretty much cut off from much of the rest of the world. Crime was rare and capital crimes rarer still. So the country's criminal cases have become the stuff of legend, including the child rape case in Rifsaedasel of 1837, which is as infamous to Icelanders as the Manson family is to Americans. Contemporary Icelandic playwright Hrafnhildur Hagalín Gudmundottir revisits this infamous case with Guilty (2014), a verse play that gracefully and provocatively examines issues of obsession and mercy which cling to it to this day. Robert Greer, artistic director of New York's August Strindberg Rep, discovered the piece, translated by Salka Gudmundsdottir, at a staged reading in Denmark in 2015 and resolved to bring the play to American audiences. Theater for the New City's Dream Up Festival has made this possible.