This world premiere from Urban Stages offers a bracing examination of "doing good" abroad, the limits of understanding another person, and what happens when personal and political obligations collide. More…
Sarah is an American engineer. Kennedy is an East African taxi driver. They strike up a friendship and embark on a journey to change rural Kenya. When circumstances in the region become tense, the integrity of their alliance is questioned.
"Top quality theater... Snider provides an intriguing and entertaining story that will keep you captivated and intrigued from start to finish...Both Baskin and Ssenjovu’s performances are strong, clear, natural and come from an authentic place...Direction by Kim T. Sharp seems to have allowed the actors to strip themselves of cumbersome paraphernalia and rely solely on their characterizations and dialogue which has been a refreshing choice that suits the play well." Full Review
"Successful in delivering the words with a punch...Baskin and Ssenjovu have two things that are essential to making such a play work. First, both are fine actors...The second thing that makes this work is their chemistry...It isn’t just a case of two gifted actors performing their roles, but of two gifted actors performing as a team...One cannot help but leave the theatre impressed by the power of the show’s simplicity and by the surgically precise execution." Full Review
"Snider takes care to establish two fully realized characters...When the lights go low for the jail scenes, so does, for the most part, the energy of the play, the intensity of the emotion, the crispness of the pacing. And yet 'Death of a Driver'—with its earnest, resolute characters and rich dialogue, its sharp, human wit, and the deft, physical manner in which Baskin and Ssenjovu navigate the external playing fields—often makes for a gripping, captivating night in the theater." Full Review
"There's little here that, with a few tweaks, would prevent the play from being set in any third-world country. The debate over the standards foreign companies must follow when dealing with crooked governments…is a universal one about which Snider offers little enlightenment…More promising, emotionally, at least, is his treatment of Sarah and Kennedy's friendship…It's a promise, though, that the play's talky, episodic, time-spanning, mostly actionless plot never quite fulfills." Full Review
"But something about 'Death of a Driver' never quite catches fire. The story has gravity but lacks the sense of pity and terror that tragedy is famously supposed to invoke. Maybe it's partly due to the fact that the play is so brief, and that its short scenes sometimes take place years apart, creating a kind of herky-jerky quality. Maybe it's because the world of the play is relatively narrow-with the lack of supporting characters preventing us from getting a full sense of the Kenyan culture." Full Review
See it if You want a thought-provoking, multi-layered story that touches on gender, power, colonialism, patriarchy and some fantastic acting.
Don't see it if You prefer lighthearted stories.
See it if You’d like to see great performance, great script, great chemistry by actors, a play deals with urbanizing Kenya, local politics, relations
Don't see it if You do not like small bare bone theater, not into serious topics, plays has many layers, politics bore you, profanity bothers you
See it if Post-colonialism in Kenya (white female boss vs. local male employee); visceral acting esp. from the guy; informative post-show talk;
Don't see it if You’re expecting big production (this is a black box theatre with 70+ seats); you don’t care about the US and its ppl’s engagement overseas;
See it if you have any interest in development in the Third World, including possible miscommunications and messy politics
Don't see it if you don't care what happens in Africa and other parts of the Third World; or if you think Americans are always right when in other countries
See it if You want to see two actors with great chemistry give a great performance in a small theater with simple yet effective staging.
Don't see it if You are not interested in political and social issues anyplace other than the U.S.A. You want to miss out on a great performance.
See it if adroitly staged warmly acted intelligent drama. excellent antidote to mainstream pat solutions to international relations.
Don't see it if no pat solutions. no good guy vs bad guy. no sets (thank god) and you will have to stay involved to stay involved.
See it if Two super performances Writer's note so important for the tale. Love the way the actress separates poss. romantic scenes from action scenes
Don't see it if Not a happy story. The set needs work (ie: to separates sites) see ALSO
See it if you enjoy a very well written and acted drama that takes place in Kenya. Very simple set but very well used. Wonderful character study.
Don't see it if you like a comedy or an elaborate set or don't like a play about conditions or politics in Kenya.
See it if You’re interested in Africa and emerging countries such as Kenya. See it if you like intense performances supported by brilliant writing.
Don't see it if You’re looking for elaborate sets and multiple characters. This play doesn’t need them.
See it if you want to understand something about the complex and often confusing relationships of well meaning foreigners in third world nations.
Don't see it if you like your theater light. This is a serious piece that hits hard where it hurts.
See it if You are interested in an intense very energetic well developed dialog between the characters. Direction is excellent, hats off!
Don't see it if If you don't like stories that connects people from 2 different worlds
See it if you want a small smart show with terrific character development and two wonderful actors dealing with political & social themes.
Don't see it if the above pros are not your thing.
See it if you want to see a really thought-provoking show
Don't see it if you don't want to see a show that sets your expectations so high with its topic and description that it would be hard to not disappoint
See it if You have high expectations. The pace of the story is impeccable, you won't be bored. The dynamics between the two characters is just right
Don't see it if You just simply crave for big production.
See it if You are interested in interactions between Americans and Africans in Africa. Doing good is not as simple as one might wish.
Don't see it if You want an elaborate set. This is a minimally staged production with two actors, but it is beautifully done.
See it if You like quick plays which have something to say
Don't see it if You don't read your program notes--the play spanned 10 years across the various scenes which wouldn't have known otherwise
See it if You're interested in development and aid work and wonder about the mindset of the people who do it.
Don't see it if You think two people talking about work and politics for an hour sounds boring.
See it if you want a smart take on relationship differences, both by countries and people, acted very well on a nearly bare stage with good lighting.
Don't see it if you need a full staging to appreciate a good story or you want a happy ending.
See it if You would enjoy a thoughtful two person plays about the challenges of development in Africa and of bicultural relationship generally.
Don't see it if You want a clear take home message and a balance between the two characters (Kennedy is a better character than Sarah).
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