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“To analyze these plays - even in the moment as they’re being performed - is a bit of an exercise in hopeful hindsight bias. It is impossible to not search for the early dramatic strengths of a playwright who would develop into arguably the greatest in American history. Many of the constructs of ‘Recklessness’ and ‘Now I Ask You’ come off as hackneyed or unnatural, but one thing is clear: O’Neill always had an ear for dynamic actor’s dialogue.” Full Review
"There isn’t much to criticize in terms of character development, either in the script or in the efforts of the more-than-game cast...Because 'Dead Dog Park' forces us to view this conflict from the perspective of a presumed-innocent white police officer, we are then forced to ask of it: why?...There is a reactionary danger in asking a mostly-white Manhattan audience to side with the white authority figure." Full Review
"In walking into a night of Christmas one-acts, one might expect a familiar, uplifting experience. Seasonal stories about redemption, hope and triumph of spirit. But if the Peccadillo Theater Company’s presentation of 'A Wilder Christmas,' is uplifting, it’s only in an intangible, spiritual sense...there is a stillness to the production that creates an eerie voyeurism." Full Review
"Bradshaw has never placed judgment on the characters he creates. Nightmarish individuals are offered unexplained to audiences, presented at face value (even – especially – when the face is monstrous). The playwright develops his matter-of-fact relationship with the audience, now allowing them the opportunity to question and interpret the motivations behind relatively ordinary character actions. And if it works out right, audiences might leave The Flea questioning their assumptions." Full Review
"'Pondling' is too strange to be entirely relatable..The primary reason for 'Pondling’s' hype and accolades is Hulme-Beaman’s performance. To her writing credit, the character and the language of the play allow Hulme-Beaman plenty of emotional territory to navigate...The content of the play is not necessarily evidence of the magic of the thing, but Hulme-Beaman’s gift for performance makes 'Pondling’s' eighty minutes pass in what feels like a few short moments." Full Review
"'The Singularity' is most successful when playwright Jackson embraces the strangeness of the world she has created. This is true in larger narrative senses, such as with the human/dark matter hybrid that the play creates...Ultimately, this daring bit of stage futurism fails to live up to its conceptual potential – the play doesn’t dig deep enough into its own suggestions. But Jackson’s writing hints at a greater imagination that might manufacture more fully-formed futures." Full Review
"At times the constancy of the shouting and the breathless vocabulary of the dialogue can be exhausting. The quietude of this single river scene is something to cherish...The fact that there is such a gentle relationship around which all of this menace occurs only raises the tension. There is an immediacy to the impressionistic appeal of 'Wolf in the River,' but its ideas about the way human beings can instantaneously relate to each other grant it a more permanent universality." Full Review
"There is something astonishing about every aspect of this encouragingly strange production. It is very much a piece of theater dictated by the writing...Such ambitious material could inhibit the creativity of the collaborators in some productions. But not here...'The Offending Gesture' is a strange piece, and not just because of the incongruous little stage world it constructs." Full Review
"If the acting as a whole came together more, 'Burnt House' would be an immersive experience, brimming with exciting strangeness, complete with fully-realized Strindberg nihilism. But when the styles clash like they do here, it becomes difficult to extract meaning beyond the words as they have existed on the page for over a century." Full Review
"'The Gray Man' excels in every possible department for a stage production, but two things in particular make it stand out above others. Farmer's writing flows effortlessly from casual dialogue to bloodcurdling dread, with a surprising amount of comedy as well. Bowser's lighting gives the play everything it needs to hold an audience in fear and suspense...'The Gray Man' is a dark and suspenseful production that keeps the audience anxious to see what happens next while covering their eyes in f... Full Review
"'Series B' manages to create something resembling a complete evening of theater...O’Hara reminds us he is a powerful storyteller who, with 'Built.' manages to have his audience situated in a no-man’s land between cringing with half-covered ears and straining to make out every next line...'Love Letters to a Dictator' is configured intriguingly, but by its close it forces us to wonder how interchangeable the recipient of Stella’s poetic inquiries might be." Full Review
"For the most part, it is easy to get lost in 'The Weir,' to feel as if you are sincerely looking in as a silent patron sitting alone in the back of the establishment...The play is ultimately uplifting in a way; it’s a celebration of the power of tipsy conversation in the middle of the night. But this celebration comes at the cost of mourning, and there’s a portentous undercurrent of fear and grief in 'The Weir' that has more to do with the souls we’ve lost than the apparitions they might bec... Full Review