Small Mouth Sounds

Small Mouth feature

Small Mouth Sounds is an apt title for Bess Wohl’s new play, since the work explores a spiritual retreat where silence is the rule. The six characters on the retreat use mostly facial expressions and gestures to make themselves understood, and director Rachel Chavkin has cast the production at Ars Nova with wonderful faces, worthy … Read more

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Artists on Trial

Hamish Linklater John Noble

The lives of great playwrights have proved fodder for dramatists before Doug Wright. Edward Bond put Shakespeare on stage in Bingo (1973), and Christopher Marlowe was the main event in Peter Whelan’s The School of Night (1992) and David Grimm’s Kit Marlowe (2000). David Hare wrote about Oscar Wilde in The Judas Kiss (1998).  But … Read more

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Delusions Unto Death

Iceman 1

After seeing the Goodman Theatre revival of The Iceman Cometh in Brooklyn, it’s tempting to wonder what Eugene O’Neill would have thought of purveyors of the modern 90-minute intermissionless play. Sloth-ridden pikers, perhaps? O’Neill’s late masterpiece runs four hours and 45 minutes at BAM, and it is surely one of the bleakest plays ever written. … Read more

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A Chilly Romance

Winter's Tale feature

Shakespeare’s late play The Winter’s Tale has always presented directors with difficulties, notably that Leontes, the Sicilian king who dominates the first half, becomes insanely jealous of the friendship of his pregnant queen, Hermione, and his best friend, Polixenes, king of Bohemia, some nine months after Polixenes has arrived for a visit. Indeed, on the … Read more

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The Pain of a Folded Life

Animals feature No. 2

Rajiv Joseph is perhaps best-known as the author of Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, which gave the late Robin Williams his only Broadway role. Now an enterprising troupe is staging another Joseph play, Animals Out of Paper, with resources that make the description “shoestring” seem lavish. But the actors, under Merri Milwe’s precise and … Read more

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Ripped From the Headlines

Damascus No. 5

Global power politics is the subject of Tom Dulack’s The Road to Damascus, an intriguing new play set in the near future. The time frame allows Dulack to invest his plot with thinly disguised current reality, or speculation that is not far-fetched: a female broadcaster, Nadia Kirilenko, works for the Pan-Arabya network, clearly modeled on … Read more

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