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Sanctuary (Yardley Productions)

From 9 critic and 2 member reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Resonant, Absorbing, Relevant, Riveting

About the show

Yardley Productions presents a dynamic and disturbing multimedia performance, focusing on three female characters, dealing with war in their own way. More…

Three women are confronted with the reality of war: a mother is bombarded by television broadcasts of destruction and death, a detached war correspondent, and a POW in Kosovo. All three are deeply affected by the brutality and senselessness of war. Each seeks refuge, sanctuary, from its violence. Incorporating writings from Rumi's poetry to soldiers’ emails, 'Sanctuary' follows the intransigence of war throughout history. A theme emerges: one war is like another, as seen in the compelling use of video footage from conflicts spanning the last century. Can we possibly break the cycle?


"The compelling 70-minute semi-autobiographical solo show considers the impact of war on women...Under Stephen Stahl’s fluid direction, Sulby transforms from one character to another with split-second timing and finesse...Sulby’s momentous show is not totally disheartening; it becomes cathartic and uplifting, as she calls for the personal action of women everywhere." Full Review

NY Theatre Guide

"Sulby as the playwright is trying to find the words to best highlight humanity’s violence towards one another...She has a commanding presence with a truly gorgeous vocal ability that allows her to play the many characters in the story with ease and believability…I felt that the play was perhaps too heavy on sentiment and required more storyline...At the same time, I feel that she has successfully captured the feeling of extreme paralysis in the face of tragic events." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The one-person show format of 'Sanctuary' occasionally feels cliché and outdated, but Sulby makes up for it with her powerful performance. Each character she transforms into has their own unique accent, and she briefly loses herself into each personality, her energy never waning, her emotions never holding back." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"While this play is well intentioned, it does not feel like a productive piece of theatrical activism. Sulby’s performance, while graceful and rich, is not enough to make her characters more than stereotypes. However, if you are interested in seeing some truly excellent theatrical projections, 'Sanctuary' will be worth your while." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Some very professional people have gone along for the ride with Sulby and they provide the polish that makes 'Sanctuary' occasionally seem better than it is...Instead of awakening our hearts and consciences to what is happening in the world, she puts herself front and center, turning everything else into a backdrop. The kindest thing to be said about this piece is that it needs a complete rethink." Full Review

New York Theater

"The production is professionally acted, directed and designed...But 'Sanctuary' doesn’t work well as a play. The language veers from cliché to puffed up and obvious news-speak to the pseudo poetic. Moments of potential don’t pan out to anything memorable. Sulby’s performance makes some of 'Sanctuary' come off as better than it deserves, but there’s no disguising the lack of insight, depth, or focus in the script." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

for a previous production “'I didn’t raise my boy to be a soldier' plays hauntingly at the beginning of Susanne Sulby’s heartfelt solo theatre piece, 'Sanctuary'...She has created a memorable exploration of what war does to us, and why peace matters. Thank you, Susanne Sulby, for your remarkable solo performance." Full Review

Go Magazine

for a previous production "Playwright/actor/ director/producer Susanne Sulby created a multimedia experience on her black box theatre stage that transported the audience straight to the jail cells of Kosovo one minute, refugee camps in Palestine the next, and suburban kitchens where an American woman (presumably herself) existentially questioned how she can reach the victims and survivors of war on the other side of her TV screen." Full Review

DC Theatre Scene

for a previous production "I sincerely feel rather awful sticking a rating of '2' on this work, because I in no way disagree with any of its points. War is certainly bad, and is often particularly cruel to women; the media cycle hypes conflict over peace, and war only happens because people believe in their personal, wrongheaded causes; love ought to conquer all. But such familiar and oversimple platitudes do not, in themselves, a powerful theatre piece make." Full Review

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You love solo shows

Don't see it if War upsets you

During previews
Riveting, Resonant, Relevant, Must see, Intelligent

See it if you want a female perspective that you can relate to, an intelligent, moving, heart-felt, emotional experience, beautiful language, striking

Don't see it if you don't want to feel anything, you don't want to think, you fear Valkyries, you are apolitical, you don't like great acting, brilliance...

Cast & Creatives (4)