Finding the Personal in the Political

[Full article published in TDF Stages, May 1, 2017.] How one social justice theatre company uses real-life stories to inspire its art — Last summer, Houses on the Moon, a socially focused, community-committed theatre company, began developing a pair of projects about gun violence. Now, with the subject seemingly in the zeitgeist on stage (On the Exhale, Church &

Continue reading

Review: The Price at American Airlines Theatre

[Caption: Danny DeVito, Mark Ruffalo, and Tony Shalhoub, making an assessment of lives lived in The Price. Photo: Joan Marcus.] [article as originally published in Exeunt Magazine, April 11, 2017.] Arthur Miller wrote The Price in the late 1960s when he was in his early 50s and America was erupting in civil demonstration about wars and

Continue reading

Roundtable: Is Jesse Green the right choice for the New York Times?

[I am one voice among many in this article originally published by “Exeunt Staff” in Exeunt Magazine, April 10, 2017.] As yet another white man is hired to the most prestigious job in US theatre criticism, Exeunt’s New York writers ask when the conversation will really change.   After theater critic Charles Isherwood was fired,

Continue reading

Fornes Meets O’Neill in Talbott’s Gravedigger’s Lullaby

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, March 28, 2017.] For the trio of society’s cast-offs at the core of Jeff Talbott’s 90-minute play The Gravedigger’s Lullaby, life is having a pot with barely enough stew, a work day sweating over laundry or digging graves, and an evening enduring an inconsolable baby’s cries. There are

Continue reading

Chess Match No. 5 – Movement, Light, Sound, a Board Game

[article as originally published in Theater Pizzazz, March 27, 2017.] The experiential onslaught of Chess Match No. 5 begins as you enter the steeply pitched seating of the June Havoc Theatre. Suspended iridescent strings of bare bulbs – a not infrequent element of set designs over the past few years – are illuminated before the

Continue reading

Chris Rawson, Theater Critic, On Honoring August Wilson

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, March 12, 2017.] It is fashionable to debate the importance of cultural criticism. The debate questions what criticism is and who is and is not a critic, challenges us to imagine what the audience for criticism should be, and considers proper critical comportment. We believe critics themselves

Continue reading

review: Turning Page

by Angelica Page Directed by Wilson Milam Featuring Angelica Page Dixon Place 161A Chrystie Street February 10, 2017 – March 16, 2017 production site Look away for a moment and a multi-week run can be shortened (as this one has, with a few weeks apparently lopped off a run that that was originally announced into April that is

Continue reading

review: Sunset Boulevard

Featuring Glenn Close, Michael Xavier, Siobhan Dillon, Fred Johanson Palace Theatre 1564 Broadway Open February 9, 2017 production site The orchestra is huge and muffled, the set is fascinating and disassembled, and a dead man mannequin rises in the first moments then floats several stories up throughout the proceedings. Amidst these distractions at the storied Palace Theatre, part

Continue reading

Wrestling With the Legacy of a Real-Life Attorney

[article as originally published in TDF Stages, March 1, 2017.] A new play takes on William Kunstler — Playwright Jeffrey Sweet was inspired by a shock of hair and a lanky swagger. “It started off as a fairly pedestrian impulse,” Sweet says of his play Kunstler, about the activist attorney William Kunstler. “As I was watching the

Continue reading

Catherine Filloux and Poetic Political Theater

[article as originally published in The Clyde Fitch Report, February 28, 2017.] Poetry, design concepts, political themes and strong female characters distinguish the work of playwright and activist Catherine Filloux. My first exposure to her theatrical style was Luz in 2012, about abused women seeking political asylum and an attorney who works with them. I

Continue reading