Director • Translator • Playwright     

Rob Melrose

Watching August Strindberg’s The Ghost Sonata at Cutting Ball Theater, it becomes clear that without Strindberg, we probably would not have the wonderfully weird worlds of Samuel Beckett or Harold Pinter or Edward Albee or, in the film world, David Lynch or Spike Jonze...

Like all these plays, Ghost Sonata features a world-premiere translations by Paul Walshthat makes the work immediately accessible and juicy...

Ghost Sonata could be an incredibly dreary experience, but director Melrose, his production team and cast keep that from happening. For each of Strindberg’s three scenes, set designer Michael Locher gives us a distinct space within the space – the whole experience seems to transpire in a grand drawing room, somewhat faded by time. But thanks to York Kennedy’s colorful and intriguing lights and to the component boxes on Locher’s set, we get a street scene, a parlor scene (with a music room visible in the distance) and a final scene that seems to take place half in reality, half in hallucination (the latter half is helped by an eerie sound design by Cliff Caruthers).

-Chad Jones



Photos by Rob Melrose

"The five plays are certainly extraordinary, haunting, full of emotional resonance.  Taken together, Cutting Ball’s presentation of “The Chamber Plays” (which I saw in a marathon performance lasting seven hours plus lunch and dinner breaks), are a once-in-a-lifetime theatrical opportunity. Walsh’s translations are masterful, and the direction and performances are straightforward, easy to follow and never boring."

-Charles Kruger


"Cutting Ball Starts its Strindberg Cycle with Panache

Things are off to a solid start with The Ghost Sonata. Walsh’s translation feels smooth and fluid, and Rob Melrose directs the melodramatic and at times symbolic material in a style somewhere between realism and expressionism.

A casting coup for this small company is having the inimitable James Carpenter as the Old Man. Carpenter, who can perform equally adeptly in any style, is positively hypnotic in his depiction of the downfall of this complex, manipulative monster."

​-Jean Schiffman

The Examiner

by August Strindberg
in a new translation by Paul Walsh

The Cutting Ball Theater

Rob Melrose, Artistic Director

October 12 - November 18 

Directed by Rob Melrose

Set Design by Michael Locher

Costume Design by Anna R. Oliver

Lighting Design by York Kennedy

Original Music / Sound Design by Cliff Caruthers

Props Design by Sarah Bingel

Dramaturgy by Bennett Fisher

Voice and Speech Consulting by Lynne Soffer

Production Stage Management by Jocelyn A. Thomson

Assistant Direction by Amy Clare Tasker

Featuring: James Carpenter, Robert Parsons, David Sinaiko, Caitlyn Louchard, Anne Hallinan, Ponder Goddard, Nick Trengrove, Danielle O'Hare, Carl Holvick-Thomas, Michael Moerman, Paul Gerrior, Alex Shafer, Gwyneth Richards

Strindberg Cycle: The Chamber Plays in Rep was a large-scale project to do all five of August Strindberg's Chamber Plays in rep for the first time ever in any language including Swedish.  This included four marathon performances of all five plays from noon to eleven at night.  The Cutting Ball Theater commissioned new translations of these plays by Paul Walsh.  The Chamber Plays are:


Burned House

The Ghost Sonata

The Pelican

The Black Glove

Please visit The Cutting Ball Theater's extensive Strindberg Cycle website for more information, photos, interviews, essays, side by side translations, and full videos of all five plays.