How The World Began

How The World Began

By Catherine Trieschmann

Directed by Daniella Topol

Originally produced at Women's Project , New York, NY .

December 28, 2011 through January 29, 2012

About the Premiere Production: 
Catherine Trieschmann’s newest play, How the World Began, tells the story of a Manhattan woman who travels to a rural town in Kansas recently devastated by a tornado. On her first teaching job in a makeshift school, she makes an off-handed remark regarding the origins of life that incenses the community, particularly a disturbed young boy."

Artistic Statement:
Like Catherine Trieschmann’s previous play Crooked, produced at Women’s Project in 2008, How the World Beganis an important American play because the story weighs its arguments without judgment, providing for an experience that is both intellectually rewarding and emotionally exhilarating. The play is deceptively simple—a series of conversations between three characters about one thing: how the world began. Immediately this question brings forth a myriad of brewing complexities regarding community, integrity, and forgiveness.

Ms. Trieschmann, who recently moved to a small town in Western Kansas, was immediately struck by the vehemence with which her new community debated how evolution should be taught in the schools.

That same year, Greensburg, a town twenty miles south of her was completely destroyed by a tornado, an event which shook my community to the core. Ms. Trieschmann told me that in many ways, How the World Beganis her attempt to understand where she lives now.

Ms. Trieschmann expertly divines insightful and often unfathomable depth from her characters. The magic of HTWB is the immediate access it gives viewers into the characters’ souls. Her precise and artful inquiry compels audience members to question their own beliefs and their tolerance of others’.

While this play addresses topical issues such as evolution and natural disasters, How the World Began is more importantly about how and why people believe what they believe. And from this deeply provocative and personal place comes great theater.

Grant Statement:
This grant would also allow WP an additional week of rehearsal (from three to four weeks). This additional week will allow the team to focus on activating the opening scene, deepen the relationship between the characters Gene and Micah, and explore the final moment and how its sudden finish serves the play. This award from the Edgerton Foundation will insure that the play is given the development that it requires prior to its opening in New York. The gift of a rich, deep rehearsal process is so rare off-Broadway, and WP is so grateful to have it.


Director: Daniella Topol

Set Design: Clint Ramos

Lighting Design: Brian H Scott

Sound Design: Darron L West

Costume Design: Clint Ramos

Assistant Director: Jessi Hill, Assistant Sound Designer: Eben Hoffer




How the World Began engages the intellect, not the emotions

Denver Westworld

November 15, 2012

Theater review: After a tornado, belief becomes the twister in "How the World Began."

Denver Post

November 8, 2012

New play looks beyond what divides us

Daily Camera

November 2, 2012


Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company Presents HOW THE WORLD BEGAN, 11/1-18

October 6, 2012

Subsequent Productions:

South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA September 25, 2011 - October 16, 2011 (Co-production with Women's Project Theater)

Theatre In The Square in Marietta, GA April 25, 2012 - May 27, 2012

Milwaukee Repertory Theater in Milwaukee, WI January 16, 2013 - February 24, 2013