New York | 1h 35m | Already closed

AdA: Author Directing Author

From 8 critic and 49 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Relevant, Entertaining

About the show

Playwrights Neil LaBute, Marco Calvani, and Marta Buchaca direct each other's work in the third installment of La MaMa's annual series.  More…

Together, they present the world premiere of three one-acts inspired by the theme of power. 

'I don’t know what I can save you from' by Neil LaBute, directed by Marco Calvani
An estranged father and daughter meet to negotiate a new relationship. Old wounds surface and new ones appear as they grapple with the past, present, and future of their complicated bond.

'After the Dark' by Marco Calvani, directed by Marta Buchaca
A designer is on a business trip with her young assistant. Late in their hotel after a night of drinking, the boss (eager to boost her company sales), and her underling (who has other plans for the evening), play a cruel game that reveals their respective fragilities.

'Summit' by Marta Buchaca, directed by Neil LaBute
After a decade in office, a male city mayor is defeated by the left-wing female candidate. A conservative who can’t bear the idea of a progressive woman taking over his seat, the outgoing mayor is in no hurry to leave, even when his successor arrives to assume power.

Theater Pizzazz

"An intriguing evening of one-acts...Innovatively and minimally staged...’I don’t know what I can save you from,’ the last one-act, is the most astounding and manifests a fitting ‘boom’ to the evening. Calvani’s superb direction of the wonderful Crovatin and the equally amazing and versatile Kind is devastating and nearly surreal…The concluding revelation at once clarifies and shocks, thanks to the masterful actors, exceptional direction and LaBute’s writing, which distills disturbing genius." Full Review

Theater Life

"LaBute, Marco Calvani, and Buchaca explore power struggles of varying natures in three one-act plays, and in doing so have created a phenomenally thought-provoking evening...The disconnect between different age groups and time frames is intelligently brought to life in 'Author Directing Author,' while the most 'powerful' aspect of the show is in its ability to explore the many facets of the human desire to be dominant, and what that entails once it has been achieved." Full Review

Let's Talk Off-Broadway

“The acting is for the most part stellar. It’s a brisk and engrossing evening of theater…’I don’t know what I can save you from’ is the most complex and subtle of the plays–the one I’d see again in case I missed something…The three 'power' plays leave you with the good feeling of having been well exercised. It’s perhaps surprising that none of these one-on-ones relies on traditional romance. They’re about other things, and they’re refreshing!” Full Review


"'After Dark:' While at first this seems to be pretty much Colin's show, Jessie turns out to be more than just a sounding board for a tour-de-force monologue...'Summit:' Despite LaBute's pacey direction and the author's smart dialogue, the play's super timeliness exacerbates that it comes off as somewhat contrived...'I don't know:' Kind gives his usual standout performance...Covatin is a star in the making...These intriguingly connected plays are well worth a trip to La MaMa." Full Review

Off Off Online

"The realism of LaBute, Calvani and Buchaca’s plays tugs at the heart and mind. On one hand, to offer some solutions or hope of change regarding sexism, ageism, and male authority would have been a confirmation that the hard work of the past has had some effect...The playwrights demonstrate how male and female power is still highly unbalanced in our society, and that male power is still able to flip the tables, often in brutal ways." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The direction is strong, each playwright making the most out of a fellow artist’s somewhat mundane material. These are three lugubrious stories with rather unlikable people. Each play has two characters in a power play, in which the person seemingly in charge is one-upped by his/her victim…The most original play is LaBute’s...The repartee between miscreant father and resentful daughter is hilarious...Kind and Crovatin execute their gamesmanship with depth and perfect comic timing." Full Review

The New York Times

"'After the Dark:' Under Ms. Buchaca’s direction, many of the shifts in dynamic compel, although an unthinking equation of sexual desirability and power needs more scrutiny...'Summit:' Absorbing...Under Neil LaBute’s direction, a few details feel off...Ms. Buchaca’s play is so topical that it resists analysis...'I don't know:' LaBute returns to his frequent and rather tired assertion that most men are brutes, and most women are witches...I wished I were somewhere else." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Neil LaBute has teamed up with Marco Calvani and Marta Buchaca to present three plays that are 'surprising takes on the idea of power dynamics'...How relevant and thought-provoking these plays are in that climate is somewhat problematic. In all three short plays–two in translation–the conflicts and motivations of the characters are clear. What is not clear is why these believable conflicts drive such muddled and often less-than-fun plots." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great acting

See it if It is a great concept. and so well done. Each author directs one of the one act skits written by another in a sequence of couple

Don't see it if only if you abhor short plays. (these are winners)

Also confrontations, Each one is better than the previous plays. The final ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Great writing, Must see, Resonant

See it if Explorations of the theme "power" are timely, uncomfortably real and resonant. Must see!

Don't see it if If you don't enjoy scaled back staging and one acts.

Absorbing, Intense, Great acting, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy short and thought-provoking plays. The actors are superb, literally.

Don't see it if You'd rather enjoy a longer play.

Also Today is the day of premiere, had a fantastic talk with the actors and... Read more Read less

Edgy, Great acting, Great staging, Unexpected, Must see

See it if Theatre with a Capital T, what an evening in the theatre should be, engrossing, thought provoking, involving, can't forget you've been there

Don't see it if you require "huge" production values to disguise the fact you're in world of play & conflict, other people's problems/conflicts = boredom 2u

Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Quirky

See it if You like character studies with psychological undertones.The characters could be your friends or relatives but just wait......

Don't see it if You can't deal with unexpected , even shocking turns of events. All in the day of..............

Also Three short skits keep you on the edge of your seat. If you sit in the... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if As short-play collections go, this one delivers with a triptych of two-handers exploring long-term bitter feelings among rival.

Don't see it if As you might expect from a production at La Mama, spare sets and uncomfortable seats, but they make the most of what they've got here.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great acting

See it if You have a good sense of humor and enjoy watching power struggles play out

Don't see it if You don't enjoy some dark humor similar to Edward Albee's plays

Also The last act was worth the price of admission. It had a great storylin... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you appreciate short sketches with minimal sets, small casts and intense drama focused upon relationships and perspectives tensions/changes

Don't see it if you prefer comedies, musicals, light or simplistic themes or longer dramatic works with complex set and costume design

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting

See it if you love Richard Kind, Victor Slezak and Margaret Colin. Super acting. Two of the three plays riveting. Neil La Bute's play the best. Go!

Don't see it if you don't like short plays. if you find tight seats (no arms) on bleachers uncomfortable.

Great acting, Intense, Intelligent, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You want the unique opportunity to see 3 short, intense character pieces by noted writers, each directing 1 of the other's work.

Don't see it if You don't like 1-act plays. You want a play w/elaborate sets & costumes.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like to see short works by masterful playwrights explore a similar theme from different perspectives

Don't see it if You prefer a full length play.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if You are interested in new, short plays that explore the concept of power and its affect on relationships. You like intimate settings.

Don't see it if You prefer familiar shows in large, traditional theater settings. You do not want to explore uncomfortable aspects of human interaction.

Absorbing, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if Eternal issue of power dynamics interests you. Three two-handers tackle various situations focused on dominance/ submission. LaBute best.

Don't see it if You don't care for minimalist staging, two handers or intense situations, or are looking for fluff. Barring these caveats, you should go.

3 plays, one excellent, 3 plays/only one excellent

See it if You are a Neil LaButte fan-he without mercy, explores the clash between men and women. His one-actor, which ends the night is terrific

Don't see it if Apalled by domestic strugge? This play examines a bad relationship that a daughter tries to salvage, and a resistant domineering father.

Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if You want to see plays about a father daughter relationship, a woman who becomes the mayor and a designer going out on a limb.

Don't see it if You need elaborate staging. You don't like short plays. You are too serious and can't sit back, relax and enjoy the shows.

Relevant, Disturbing, Edgy, Intense, Original

See it if you like one-act compilations with central theme (here, power), terrific acting, minimalist production, intimate staging, complex characters

Don't see it if you're not a Neil LaBute fan or are looking for traditional two-act play, elaborate production, likeable characters (fiercely portrayed)

Also I'd never seen Neil LaBute's work; his one-act is disturbing and will ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing

See it if you enjoy three short plays with only two characters in each; great acting to go along with the good scripts

Don't see it if you want a full length play; are offended by adult language and themes

Funny, Edgy, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you like one-act non-musical well-actedcharacter-driven plays. The 3rd play alone is by itself a must-see, the other 2 are more like B+ / A-

Don't see it if you are looking for fully-staged works or plot-driven theater -- these have rudimentary sets and are character-driven pieces

Entertaining, Great acting

See it if The three plays are somewhat uneven but mostly decent; none of the three is spectacular though LaBute's piece has potential if developed.

Don't see it if It's not a bad evening of plays by any measure and the acting is mostly very solid.

Funny, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if You want to see two terrific one act plays (out of three)

Don't see it if You don't like new work that is still in development (or should be)

Three vastly different one act-ers with vastly different mood

See it if You like the short form. Short, self contained unrelated one act-ers each on a minimalist stage.

Don't see it if You want a more "complete" theater going experience with scenery and proscenium stage. You want your plays intertwined.

Also There were moments in each of these plays in which I was enthralled bu... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You are a LaBute fan, you want to see great performances in three different works, you are intrigued by a fresh take on a power struggle

Don't see it if You don't like one act plays, you're looking for a light evening at the theatre

Ambitious, Edgy, Funny, Cliched

See it if you love to watch productions that are truly collaborative

Don't see it if You want a night of theatre that is cohesive. This sadly left me wanting more.

Also The night was entertaining but at the same time felt to me a bit flat.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You like to see short, not fully formed plays that have major flaws in terms of plot and dialog, but are well acted.

Don't see it if You want to see well constructed plays that motivationally make sense.

Clever, Intelligent

See it if You're a fan of the three playwrights and don't want to miss out on their latest work.

Don't see it if You're looking for provoking or meaningful work for this day and age.

Also Uneven quality across the three plays - worth checking out if you're a... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (16)