The Duchess (of Malfi), by Zinnie Harris–28 May 2019

The Duchess of Malfi was originally a Jacobean play by John Webster—one of the best early modern plays, in my opinion. But what Zinnie Harris has done with her new version is amazing. She has kept the dark, violent, misogynistic themes of the original, but updated it to feel fresh, contemporary, and even (perhaps surprisingly) … Continue reading The Duchess (of Malfi), by Zinnie Harris–28 May 2019

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Class, by Iseult Golden and David Horan–21 May 2019

Set in a contemporary Irish school, Iseult Golden and David Horan’s Class is a gripping play about the many differences that divide us and shape our social interactions—especially class, gender, and education. The Bush Theatre’s original production, directed by the authors, was an excellent show, driven by high tension and complex characters. The play is … Continue reading Class, by Iseult Golden and David Horan–21 May 2019

Mother Courage and Her Children, by Bertolt Brecht–28 Apr. 2019

Bertolt Brecht’s masterpiece Mother Courage and Her Children is one of the great examples of Brecht’s epic theatre style, and the Juniata College production (directed by Chris Staley) put Brechtian alienation techniques at center stage. In its rather rough self-consciousness, the performance would almost certainly make Brecht proud.   The play tells the story of … Continue reading Mother Courage and Her Children, by Bertolt Brecht–28 Apr. 2019

The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare–27 Mar. 2019

Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is one of his oddest plays. It’s essentially divided between two halves, the one set in the court of Sicily and the other in the pastoral idyll of Bohemia. The first half is a psychological portrait of paranoia, violence, and oppressive patriarchy, and the second half blends rustic charm with redemptive … Continue reading The Winter’s Tale, by William Shakespeare–27 Mar. 2019

The Love List, by Norm Foster–9 Sept. 2018

Norm Foster’s The Love List is a funny play about desire, perfection, and finding that special someone. Nittany Theatre at the Barn’s production, directed by Laura Ann Saxe, was an enjoyable show, though it sometimes lacked polish. The play opens with Bill—a single statistician in his 50s—and Leon—his unfaithfully married novelist best friend—getting back to … Continue reading The Love List, by Norm Foster–9 Sept. 2018