Reviews

Learn, Learn, Learn

Were it not for its anachronisms, the opening of Jeremy O. Harris’ Slave Play might read like an ugly exploitation movie from the ‘seventies.  Overseer Jim (Paul Alexander Nolan) interrupts Kaneisha (Teyonah Parris) while she’s twerking to Rihanna’s “Work” and rapes her.  Meanwhile, Alana (Annie McNamara), a bored and thirsty housewife, summons her husband’s light-skinned […]

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Reviews

Our Sweaty Torsos Made That Unfortunate Farty Sound

Jordan Harrison’s new play The Amateurs is about the invention of the subject, the moment when humans began to conceive of themselves in terms of “I.”  Mr. Harrison locates this change during the Middle Ages, when the plague reinvented our relationship to death.

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Reviews

Let Us Be Sort of Your Managers with Regards to All Things Existential

At each turn, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ Everybody is designed to get its audience members to project themselves onto its characters.  The house lights are up about half the time, preventing us from relaxing into the darkness.  Many of the actors begin the play among us, only joining their co-stars fifteen minutes into the show as a reminder that we too […]

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Reviews

The Facts

Contemporary American drama is a brittle affair, stuck in the shadow of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for over fifty years now.  The number of works that begin with a stable upper-middle-class families and end in drunken dinners and secrets revealed, with witty and high-brow one-liners peppered throughout, has reached an agonizing level of self-parody.  These […]

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Reviews

The Fourth Act

George (Austin Smith), steeped in European sensibility after a recent trip to France, returns to America to find a plantation he has inherited in financial peril. He’s caught the eye of the wealthy heiress Dora (Mary Wiseman), but his heart belongs to Zoe (Amber Gray), the eponymous daughter of his uncle and a slave. George’s eloquence […]

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Reviews

Artificial Joys or Sorrows

When James Baldwin published Giovanni’s Room in 1956, nobody knew what to make of it.  After his debut novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Baldwin was hailed as The Next Voice of Black America.  How to read, then, its follow up, which details the lives of gay, white expatriates in Paris?  It wasn’t until the 1980s […]

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