"Suicide Forest" is 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.
"When the fourth wall breaks, this nightmare-vision play about Japanese-American identity cracks wide open, and what’s underneath is so heart-stingingly tender and explicitly personal that the whole work shifts...Go see it at the Bushwick Starr, where Aya Ogawa has directed a wild ride of a production...For a haunted daughter, this play is an exorcism. But it is also an embrace." Full Review
"Simultaneously confounding and thrilling...Lee's sudden swerve toward introspective navel-gazing is a double-edged sword: As touching as it is...it does also leech away the more beguiling sense of mystery the play had heretofore built up...Even if not all of Lee's formal and emotional gambits work, enough of them connect to make 'Suicide Forest' an invigoratingly risky, genuinely thought-provoking experience, one worth seeing no matter your linguistic and cultural background." Full Review
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’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 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 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 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.
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