"Suicidal Dog and Laika": A Humorous and Surrealist Parable Premieres on the RCI Digital Stage
Updated: Mar 27
“a world of isolation… desperately in search of human connection”
The second show in our newly launched Digital Stage series is "Suicidal Dog and Laika", a surrealist parable teeming with quirky characters and unexpected twists that explores contemporary topics such as belonging, otherness and displacement, written by Cătălina Florescu, directed by Leo Băcică and performed on Zoom by an international ensemble of Romanian, British, and American actors. Co-produced by RCINY and Kibo Productions.
The play - characterized as "an intelligent and fraught examination of the possibilities and impossibility of the notion of home" (Mark Bolsover, Edinburgh Spotlight) and as "challenging, questioning, and absolutely beautiful" (Dixon Baskerville, BroadwayBaby) - explores the trauma of immigration, which burns down the edifices of love, family, and memory.
SUICIDAL DOG AND LAIKA (online adaptation)
By Cătălina Florina Florescu
Director: Leo Băcică
Cast: Beatrice Bowden - Laika
Maria Alexe - Dog
Roxana Lupu - Woman
Nicholas Lupu - Man
Tony Naumovski - Priest
Erin Layton - Lawyer & Narrator
More about the play:
"Suicidal Dog and Laika", written for the stage and adapted for online by Cătălina Florina Florescu, was first presented as professional reading at the TheaterLab in New York in 2018 under the direction of Marcy Arlin. It was also presented in the United States in a version directed by Olga Levina and in the United Kingdom in a performance directed by Leo Băcică. The show was part of RCI New York’s Romanian-American Studio Theater in 2019. The play was published in the U.S. as part of The Rebelled Body Plays (Caridad Svich, 2019) and it is catalogued at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
"Suicidal Dog and Laika is infused with feminist values, pro-immigration, and it also contains an open view towards a certain type of politics that results in being toxic to a population, dehumanizing them. This is why, not surprisingly, by using allegory, Cătălina suggests that sometimes animals may be and act better than humans, and that despite their being kept in captivity and domesticated the animals have retained their freedom of thinking and would like us, humans, to use it before it’s too late." - Cristina Modreanu, theater curator and critic, founder of Bucharest International Theatre Platform
"Cătălina Florina Florescu assumes the guise of a theatrical cartographer, attempting in ways both hauntingly personal and emphatically political to map a world of Englishes; a world of isolation and a world desperately in search of human connection." - Richard St. Peter, Assistant Professor of Theater, Northwestern State University
About the author:
Cătălina Florescu spent 23 years in Romania and 22 in the United States. She holds a PhD in Medical Humanities and Comparative Literature (Purdue University). She teaches courses on theater, cinema, and writing at Pace University in New York. She is the curator for The New Plays Festival at Jersey City Theater Center; and she is working on several book projects, the latest under contract with Routledge, Female Playwrights Intersectionality in Contemporary Romanian Theater. More about her plays here.
About the director:
Leo Băcică is a stage manager, producer and director. Through his company, Kibo Productions, Leo has been staging new international writing and Romanian classics since 2013. Highlights as a producer include "Tea Set" by Gina Moxley (London & Edinburgh tour, 2015), "The Big Things" by Mike Heath (London, 2018) and a UK & US tour of Marin Sorescu’s "Jonah". Leo also directed the first rendition of one of the most famous Romanian plays, Caragiale’s "A Lost Letter", in English. Under his direction, "Suicidal Dog and Laika" was presented in London and Birmingham.