New York | 1h 20m | Already closed

The Providence of Neighboring Bodies

From 9 critic and 30 member reviews
Members say: Quirky, Funny, Confusing, Great acting, Delightful

About the show

Dutch Kills Theater presents a strange and witty tale about female friendship, an unexpected Airbnb guest, and the secrets that bind us together. More…

It’s an exciting day for Dora here in North Providence, Rhode Island. Today is the day Dora is going to make coffee, go outside, and make friends with Ronnie. Ronnie lives in the apartment next door, so of course they were meant to be friends. Ronnie isn’t sure how she wound up living in North Providence for all these years, with a balcony overlooking the parking lot and the weird hill across the street. But here they both are, where nothing exciting has really happened since the great beaver purge of the mid-20th century. That is, until Jane shows up at Ronnie’s door. Maybe she’s just the distraction they need.

1h 20m | Already closed | Ars Nova (Midtown W)

New York Theatre Guide

"Powerful text, strong direction, brilliant design, and phenomenal performances...It’s so smart and heartbreaking and agonizing...Chayes has crafted an exquisite gem full of nuanced moments and potent interactions. Her gifted hand can be seen in the clever staging and perfectly paced tension lines between the characters' inner turmoil and outward facade...This is an intelligent production that has stayed with me...A brilliant satirical metaphor that will ensure its longevity as a defining text." Full Review


"It's a fable wrapped not-so-tightly inside a comedy that will have you literally laughing-out-loud. Parquet's Dora is magnificent in every sense of the word, and Berkeley has her character down pat...Kudos to Dutch Kills Theater Company for bringing this fun little story with a serious message to Ars Nova; it's totally worth the $20 ticket price and a great way to spend an hour or so without taking up your entire evening." Full Review

Theater In The Now

“A quirky dramedy that strikes the right chord. Douglass has an innate ability when it comes to storytelling…Where she slightly stumbles is the perception of the themes. They are clearly present yet not prominent enough to feel intentional. In the grand scope of the play, it’s only a minor blip…‘The Providence of Neighboring Bodies’ was a consistently touching…A rare beauty. Jean Ann Douglass has crafted a play that exemplifies human connection in a manner that is subtle yet profound.” Full Review

New York Theatre Review

"Berkeley, Parquet, and Staats are beautifully cast...Jess Chayes directs minimally, which suits the production beautifully, allowing the words to do the work...Douglass’ script is somewhat sprawling but for the most part this works in favor of helping us get to know these women intimately...The funny and quirky 'The Providence of Neighboring Bodies' packs quite a big punch, and leaves you pondering some bigger questions on the way out the door." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"Ms. Douglass' writing is very interesting and the play peals down the layers of friendships, loneliness and prejudice. Ms. Douglass has a lot to say and it hits home in subtle through lines...This is a company, actress and playwright to keep your eyes on. If you get a chance, 'Providence of Neighboring Bodies' just may surprise you at how good it is." Full Review


"Featuring a powerhouse cast of only three and a truly thought-provoking plot that gets more intricate the more I think about it, ‘Providence’ brings a lot of great artistic decisions together in such a small space, and in so short a time…There is so much about this play that really grows on you the more you try to weave your way through its seeming simplicity…A rather intriguing production which audiences will find as interesting during as after the show has ended." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Jean Ann Douglass’ bizarre, effervescent little play unfurls slowly like a magical flower…In a stream of narration directly to the audience, Dora goes about her quaint albeit dull day in the gentle, untroubled neighborhood of Rhode Island. It’s tediously funny…I promise there’s more in store for what becomes an allegory for the concern of the outsider, all with the pleasant veneer of smiles, comedy, and sunshine that makes for a jolting conclusion." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"'Providence' contains plenty of theater magic, using a minimal set and few props and just three characters...Douglass has a flair for soliloquy aided by a keen eye for the details of everyday life...The writing is enhanced, however, by a truly mesmerizing performance from Lori Elizabeth Parquet as Dora...Douglass’ comedy is so entertaining it isn’t until afterward that you realize it is a tragedy about America in its present chaos. That’s theater magic." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Jean Ann Douglass's 'The Providence of Neighboring Bodies' will remind you of our absurdist-in-chief Edward Albee...It's not easy to avoid the masters when you're trying to craft something short and sharp...A surprising and wicked little concoction...Douglass has a fine poetic ear and the actors are full of comic invention...It was impossible not to laugh, really. 'Bodies' is richly amusing, despite its strain of darkness." Full Review

Intelligent, Edgy, Profound, Relevant

See it if you want something unique and original, charming and quirky, smart and funny. I cant get it out of my head.

Don't see it if you like tons of action, dont care about metaphor, or need everything to make perfect sense.

Delightful, Great acting, Quirky, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if You like female-driven shows, you don't mind small shows

Don't see it if You need a lot of stagecraft and an exciting plot, you don't have a high tolerance for twee characters

Quirky, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy being in an intimate space to see new works. Make sure you read the note from the playwright before the show starts.

Don't see it if you are accustomed to only seeing big Broadway shows, or if you have a limited imagination.

Also Lori Elizabeth Parquet ( DORA) is really quite wonderful.

Great writing, Confusing, Great acting, Quirky

See it if You enjoy lovely language & good acting, even if you don't always know where it is leading. The explanatory blurb in the program is helpful.

Don't see it if You only enjoy straightforward shows where all your questions are answered.

Enchanting, Great acting, Funny, Quirky

See it if You're interested in a narrative told mainly through monologues investigating relationships based in proximity

Don't see it if You dislike quiet theatre that doesn't clarify its realism vs. fantasy.

Banal, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if ...

Don't see it if you have literally ANYTHING else to do.

During previews
Great acting, Great writing, Funny, Clever, Quirky

See it if You enjoy non-traditional story telling; you don't need elaborate sets to put you in a place; you are interested in a fresh voice

Don't see it if You only like straightforward stories - this smacks of magical realism. You don't like shows where the actors break the 4th Wall.

Also This was so beautifully written and acted. Absolutely hysterical with ... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Fast moving, Enjoyable

See it if You like a light and funny play about neighbors. You don't mind simple yet effective staging. You like a play with three women performing.

Don't see it if You need elaborate staging. You are too serious and can't enjoy a light enjoyable performance.

Also This was enjoyable and funny to me and others in the audience. This pl... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Clever, Enchanting, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if Will only get better as new cast member learns her lines but the show is a delight, serious and funny, well worth your time

Don't see it if you prefer big casts and big productions, this is more homey and comfortable feeling, you probably want a bigger show/theatre

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Great writing, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if You want to watch some quirky shows. The lines are really funny and I appreciate the absurd way the characters think and act.

Don't see it if You want everything to make sense and you don't like any quirky stuff. I still can't figure out the beaver thing...

During previews
Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great writing, Quirky

See it if you LOVE quirky scenarios, intelligently written & lovingly embraced by the actors. This is as good as quirky gets... bizarre but great fun

Don't see it if you don't like theater in which the inner thoughts of the characters are represented via to-the-audience monologues.

Also I went to this play only because I lived in that very town (North Prov... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Quirky

See it if You're up for a quirky show with a strong female cast that will make you laugh.

Don't see it if You're looking for a dramatic/intense night at the theatre.

During previews
Quirky, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Clever, Resonant

See it if You don't mind working a bit for supper. There's quite a message in there (a VERY topical one too) if you're willing to see it.

Don't see it if You like your entertainment served up fluffy and light and with no metaphors or sarcasm...or if your a fan of that new orange president.

During previews
Delightful, Funny, Great acting, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if If you enjoy offbeat plays about friendship & social anxiety w/a magical realism twist. You like natural dialogue.

Don't see it if You prefer more realistic plays. You don't like magical realism. You don't like female-centric plays

Also Almost everything works in this play: the acting, the dialogue & direc... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Great writing, Intelligent, Absurd

See it if you enjoy clever short shows with a strange twist; charming actors, slightly absurd plot.

Don't see it if you are a person who is very serious and doesn't enjoy the absurd in theater, tiny stages, non-existent scenery.

During previews
Great acting, Funny, Quirky

See it if You wanna see some light fare with great acting that captures the feeling of day drinking.

Don't see it if You're in a more serious mood.

Also I felt a bit awkward by the conflation of minority communities with be... Read more Read less

During previews
Confusing, Great acting, Quirky

See it if you enjoy dialogue and character driven plays with a light touch but a confusing message. I saw it with an understudy who was on book...

Don't see it if ...but still very good. All three of the actors were refreshing and charming. I just didn't get the beaver metaphor, other than a pretty...

Also ...obvious statement about "us" and "them" and scapegoating (scapebeav... Read more Read less

During previews
Clever, Funny, Fluffy, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if Funny cute show

Don't see it if You want a big show, it is only 3 women on a small set

During previews
Confusing, Quirky

See it if you don't mind simple staging, like an all female cast

Don't see it if you expect the show to make sense

Also The whole beaver thing confused me. I enjoyed the show up until then.

During previews
Confusing, Entertaining, Refreshing, Ambitious, Quirky

See it if You want to see a witty play with a very unusual plot and an even more unusual mix of characters. ( I don't want to spoil the surprise ).

Don't see it if You might not like a story that goes from " normal " to " surreal ". At moments it reminds of Ionesco's writing ( with a lighter touch ).

During previews
Confusing, Funny, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a funny small theater production

Don't see it if You don't like to be confused

During previews
Ambitious, Funny, Relevant

See it if You liked Zootopia.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in stories about social issues/discrimination.

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Funny

See it if you like monologues/narration delivered from an odd world.

Don't see it if you like action and strong dialogue.

During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky, Slow

See it if You know the cast or the writer and/or find shows that try to be edgy (but do not succeed in doing so) entertaining.

Don't see it if You want to see a show that is linear and is clear about what it is trying to state. Actors were fine but the play itself is not worth it.

During previews
Confusing, Funny, Slow

See it if you're familiar with the playwright's work or know the actors, I suppose. Some of the lines were funny.

Don't see it if a complete lack of action would be unbearable for you. Something about beavers... really confusing.

Also Was the beaver metaphor or was it literal?

Cast & Creatives (10)