Ma-Yi presents an encore staging of "Suicide Forest," a bilingual nightmare play excavating the Japanese-American consciousness and its looming relationship with sex, suicide, and identity. More…
In 1990’s Japan, a teenage girl grapples with her sexuality in a nightmarish, male-defined society as a salaryman desperately tries to escape his masochistic psyche. Both are clawing for their self-worth. When their two journeys collide, they expose their darkest desires fueled by shame as they now confront life and death with the notorious Suicide Forest looming over their imagination. Performed by a Japanese heritage cast, "Suicide Forest" examines the role of community and the inner struggles of emotional, psychic and social suicide through the playwright’s lived stories and inner landscape.
See it if you love experimental, strange, other-worldly theater. SF is unrelentingly weird/unsettling. It makes cultural points, but has no real arc.
Don't see it if you want coherence; mostly incomprehensible. Theater's goal is to entertain &/or enlighten; I experienced neither. SF was NOT for me. Gd set
See it if If you like surrealist plays that are different in style and focus.
Don't see it if This play goes very dark. Some real intense moments . If you dont like sex, sex themes.
See it if Weird vignettes with a humiliated businessman, meek underage mistress & vicious daughters. Then a 4th-wall breaking search for identity.
Don't see it if You don’t like surrealism. Eventually it all makes sense. Many painful moments. Themes of sexual abuse & suicide. Sex and more sex.
See it if Lee's autobiographical drama of a fraught mother/daughter relationship against generational cultural differences Dense, layered & puzzling
Don't see it if Cartoon bright elements of surrealism & poignant adolescence remembrances in an awkward mix Pain of sexual maturity in the ending is queasy
See it if you’d like to see the work of a playwright-performer who is mining her own totally unique segment of human consciousness.
Don't see it if you’re looking for a contemporary equivalent of the well-made play.
See it if Interested in Ma-Yi Theater, Japanese-American & mother-daughter issues, nonlinear and fantasy style story, breaking of fourth wall
Don't see it if Not interested in Japanese-American plays, want a linear, easy to follow plot, don’t like quirky characters or breaking of 4th wall
See it if Gay writer searches via high schoolgirl's sexuality to break from ancient-world pain of her "ghost mama" as in "I don't know where I belong"
Don't see it if The direct-address resolve with real writer and her mum compensates for:"Tastes like Mommy/Things schoolgirls will do for Gucci handbags."
See it if You’re interested in ethno-centric theatre, specifically works with Asian/Japanese subjects and themes.
Don't see it if You dislike experimental theatre that keeps you at arm’s length, even when there’s an explanation that’s part of the play.
See it if you want to see a show that is completely unusual and unpredictable. There are disturbing scenes and dialogue.
Don't see it if you feel uncomfortable with disturbing dialogue and scenes between older man and very young girl or with talk of suicide.
See it if Unflinching look @ culture-specific problems re status, sex, conditions of social acceptance. Nightmarish dread of options closed one by one
Don't see it if expect Lee to write about Japan (or US) w/ reverential, rose-colored yearning; think minorities write for the majority rather than their own
See it if Reflections of feeling different in a world of high expectations of gender, sex, adulthood. And how it feels as they change around you.
Don't see it if Experimental, seemingly unrelated series of scenes aren't your thing.
See it if You haven't yet seen Kristine Haruna Lee. You seek the deeply Japanese, mysterious, and nightmarish in your viewing.
Don't see it if You want a firm sense of what is going on, a grounding in Western culture, and no strange sexual stuff happening, i.e. you avoid the other.
See it if You are interested in Japanese pop culture and social Mores I’m a dark surreal narrative with Great Acting
Don't see it if You want a deeply developed Straight forward plot and a big theater experience
See it if You love theater that challenges you. Show explores Japanese culture from a Japanese-American POV, hitting all the cultural highlights
Don't see it if You’re triggered by the title. No one commits suicide in the show. but suicide is referenced. Also if you only like trad stories/ messages.
See it if Run to see this play. Each time I thought the playwright had reached the end, she added a novel, engrossing twist.
Don't see it if Alienating, distancing in the best possible way.
See it if you want your theater to transport you to places you've never been, and to make you consider things you've never had to consider before.
Don't see it if You're looking for safe, linear theater.
See it if You don't mind that the second half goes off the rails in a bad way. The first half was really getting somewhere and was very engaging.
Don't see it if You don't like plays that abandon their entire premise halfway through, just to be experimental for the sake of being experimental.