Presented by The Civilians Written by Darrel Alejandro Holnes Directed by Victoria Collado Video Game created by Ché Lovell Rose & Jocelyn Short Produced by Ilana Becker Sound Design by Twi McCallum Featuring Christon Andell, Kyla Jeanne Butts, Starr Kirkland, Darrel Alejandro Holnes, Constance Fields, Phillip Patrick Wright, Michael Diamond, Mia Anderson, and Brandiss LaShai Seward.
YOUTUBE — BLACK FEMINIST VIDEO GAME is a groundbreaking, online theatrical experience that explores love, neurodiversity, and the importance of Black feminism.
After a first date gone wrong, Jonas Jones (Christon Andell) is determined to find a way to win back his crush, Nicole (Starr Kirkland). As a biracial teenager with autism, Jonas broadcasts his life online as a means of connection, destigmatising autism, and becoming a filmmaker. Integrating live chat in the performance, Jonas asks audiences for advice on what he should do. While brainstorming, he finds an old gift from his mother; a video game that may lead a way to winning Nicole back. Continue reading →
MRT’s Content Alert: Based on real events, Until the Flood includes references to racism, bigotry, prejudice, and off-stage violence. The play contains strong adult content/language, including racial slurs. Recommended for ages 16 and older.
Critique by Kitty Drexel
STREAMING — The US police keep killing Black people. On Wednesday, April 28 a Collin County, Texas medical examiner ruled Marvin Scott III’s death a homicide. That was last night. Ma’Khia Bryant was killed by police on April 22. Derek Chauvin was convicted of killing George Floyd on April 20. Nearly a year after the murder took place. Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Aleah Jenkins, Tamir Rice, Michael Brown: I could go on and on. It’s no wonder that human rights lawyers from around the world have called for an investigation of the internationalcriminal court into the systematic murder of Black people in the US.
Until the Flood is a one-woman show about the stories we tell with our lives. On August 9, 2014 Darren Wilson, a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri. In response to the murder, Dael Orlandersmith interviewed Black and white people, compiled their stories and created this play. We are witness to a spectrum of views. Each monologue takes the viewer closer to Michael Brown and the events that formed the Black Lives Movement.Continue reading →
A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival Presented by Teatro Chelsea A Resident Artist at the Black Box Theatre through Apollinaire Theatre Company’s Resident Artists at the Chelsea Theatre Works Artistic Associate: Carla Mirabal Rodríguez Program Director: Armando Rivera
Featured Works: All performances start at 7 PM. Performances in Spanish will not be subtitled for English-only speakers. April 9, Before We Focus On Others by Diego Lanao April 10, Malas Mañas by Alejandra Ramos Riera April 15, Anormales by Fernando Vieira, and SAA (not that one) by Luis Roberto Herrera April 16, Binary Star by Guadalupe Flores April 17, Flood by Alicia Margarita Olivo
April 9-17, 2021 Streamed via Zoom at 7 PM Chelsea, MA 02150 Teatro Chelsea on Facebook
Review by Kitty Drexel
ZOOM — Teatro Chelsea presents two weekends of play readings in A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival with English, Spanish and bilingual performances through April 17.
I was told by program director Armando Rivera that the reading of Before We Focus On Others by Diego Lanao on April 9 was still “in development.” Plays involved in this festival are performed for audience feedback. I watched with the understanding that this play and its characters were still in their nascent phases. There is always room for compassion in a critic’s response.
So color me surprised when the cast of Before We Focus On Others gave us a performance-ready show over Zoom on April 9. The cast* had great chemistry: they worked well off of each other, gave excellent facial cues; their dialogue was believable and sincere sounding; I could imagine these characters as real people off of the page.
Before We Focus On Others is about marriage counseling from the perspective of a husband and wife involved in the counseling profession. Lanao’s research is credible. The dialogue between the husband, wife, and psychologist is realistic. Lanao takes great care to give equal weight to both the men and women in this script: it’s thoughtful, intersectionality feminist, and sympathetic to all sides.
This is a bilingual play but anyone with basic Spanish skills should understand the characters’ intentions when Spanish is spoken. The actors’ motives were clear. Lanao’s used Spanish sparingly but to embellish a scene’s drama. To complain about the Spanish in this play is to reveal one’s racism.
Only the active Zoom chat brimming with missives of love and joy from friends and family gave away the reading’s intentions for feedback. Actors don’t receive the same feedback over Zoom as they do from a live audience. An open chat alleviates the weight of performance insecurity.
It is super duper exciting that Boston finally gets its own festival of Latinx plays! I hope there is more, much more where this came from.
A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival continues this weekend: Performances in Spanish will not be subtitled for English-only speakers. April 15 @ 7 PM, Anormales by Fernando Vieira, and SAA (not that one) by Luis Roberto Herrera April 16 @ 7 PM, Binary Star by Guadalupe Flores April 17 @ 7 PM, Flood by Alicia Margarita Olivo Tickets are HERE.
About A-Típico: A New Latinx Play Festival from the Teatro Chelsea website: “In the American theatre space, the Latinx narrative reflected on stage can tend to revolve around narrow topics like the “border” or “disaster” play. While shedding light on the ongoing crisis on the Mexican-American border and the aftermath of natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico are narratives deserving of attention, these stories can overly narrow the breadth of Latinx experiences in the United States. Teatro Chelsea’s new Latinx play festival, A-Típico, aims to showcase and expand the focus on underrepresented Latinx stories.”
Presented by The Public Theater Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza Directed by Candis C. Jones Music composed by Delfeayo Marsalis Sound design by Palmer Hefferan Featuring Te’Era Coleman, Lizan Mitchell, Lance E. Nichols, Lori Elizabeth Parquet, Sunni Patterson, and Michelle Wilson.
PODCAST — Making its world premiere, SHADOW/LAND is a poetic force to be reckoned with. Mixing jazz and jook joint writing, Erika Dickerson-Despenza presents a vibrant play with a reckoning with the past.Continue reading →
March 18 – May 31, 2021 Trinity Rep and other theaters are streaming this production to their audiences in collaboration with the Marin Theatre Company and Round House Theatre. Trinity Rep on social media: @trinityrepertorycompany
Critique by Kitty Drexel
STREAMING — Actor William DeMeritt is not virologist Nathan Wolfe. DeMeritt plays Wolfe with startling humanity, humor, and confidence. DeMeritt and Wolfe look similar in appearance: they both have medium complexions, curly kinks in their hair, and tall statures. Lest one falls into the trap of assuming that an actor is their character, we must establish that these two men are not the same person. DeMeritt only plays a virologist on screen. Continue reading →
Presented and Written by The Messy Theater Co. AFWTD Cast Conceptualized and Directed by Billie Hassebrock Assistant Directed by Stefan James Stage Managers: Anika Nayak & Olivia Browne Playwriting Consultant – Nick Freedson Social Media Consultant – Sophia Schweik Media Editor – Frank Mohler III Featuring: Aaron Arpon, Alexandra Montalbano, Casey Corona, Curtis Andersen, Gloria Huang, Kristen Grace, Leo Goodman, Olivia Rose Nathan, Rhikki Cook, Sierra Hastings, Thomas Anawalt, and Tyler Davidson.
March 19-28, 2021 Streamed Online All performances are FREE. Donations go to support the artists involved in this project. Messy Theater Co on Instagram #AFWTD21
Critique by Kitty Drexel
ZOOM — The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a toll-free national network of crisis centers in the US. Under the Lifeline website’s “Get Involved” tab, anyone can download Lifeline logos, get brochures, and read recovery stories. It even has an Instagram-specific toolkit. All of this can be accessed without making a donation. Using this information is gloriously free of charge. Interested parties can learn how to support Lifeline’s work via the “Participate” tab.
To speak to someone at Lifeline, please call 1-800-273-8255. The Lifeline on Twitter: @800273TALK, on Facebook, chat line.
A Fate Worse Than Death by the Messy Theater Company is a show that includes strong themes of suicide and suicide prevention at the expense/ridicule of social media influencers. As of now, the show doesn’t communicate to its audience that it supports suicide prevention. Their website needs to include a logo, the name of the suicide prevention organization, quick links to resources, a suicide prevention organization donation button, and a phone number to call in an emergency. Just the phone number flashed briefly to the audience with a blurb at the end of the show isn’t enough. Continue reading →
Stacy Fischer pretty in pink as Trisha Lee in “The Pink Unicorn.”
Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company
Written by Elise Forier Edie
Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara
Featuring Stacy Fischer
Video production design by Ari Herzig
Music by John-Allison Weiss
Dialect coaching by D’Arcy Dersham
Post-show Panel: “Learning the Impact of Language” Panelists: Taj M. Smith (he/him), Katie Omberg (she/they), Mx. Chris Paige (they/them), Leo Austin-Spooner (he/they)
March 5-18, 2021
The performance is available to stream
RUN TIME: 80 minutes, followed by a post-show panel discussion exploring the themes of the play
SpeakEasy on Facebook
Critique by Kitty Drexel
SpeakEasy Stage’s Content Advisory: “The Pink Unicornfollows one mother’s journey to accept her genderqueer teenager. In telling this story, this play contains multiple instances of transphobia and misgendering as well as ableist and fatphobic language.”
VIMEO — If it takes a white person to reach a white person on issues of racial inequity (it does), then one could reason that it takes a cis-hetero person to reach a cis-hetero person on issues of gender diversity. I’m not saying that these issues are at all equal. Hardly. What I am saying is that the compassionate tactics of one righteous cause will work on another equally as valiant cause.
SpeakEasy presents The Pink Unicorn through March 18. It is about a mother, Trisha Lee (Stacy Fischer in an endearing performance), coming to terms with her teenager’s genderqueer identity. Trisha is sharing her story through the virtual family and faith summit series, Walking Together. She sits at her kitchen table, sips tea and tells the anecdotes that culminate in her acceptance of her beloved child, Jo. Continue reading →
Presented by Hub Theatre Company of Boston Written by Trent England Directed by Daniel Bourque Stage management by Madeline Hartrich and Kelsey Whipple Sound Design by Kyle Lampe Digital Design by Justin Lahue
Feb 20 – Feb 27 2021 Youtube Presentation Boston, MA 02116 Hub on Facebook
Critique by Kitty Drexel
YOUTUBE — Anxiety is a feminist issue. Women are told they are too emotional, too sensitive, and too fragile. Our responses to stimuli are so criticized that we disbelieve our own experiences. We distrust our own instincts – no matter how perceptive.
Believing women is the basis for the #MeToo movement. Trust women, we say. The message should carry a caveat to emphasize that society must grant women the benefit of the doubt in all situations. Believe us when we’ve been assaulted and at other times, too. Believe us all the time.
Hub Theatre premiered Solitaire Suite by Trent England on February 20. Marty Mason is Celeste, a conscientious mother on a car ride with her husband Pete (Cristhian Mancinas) and their son, Tiger (Michael Lin). Celeste tells the viewer about how her family came across an unidentified flying object on their way home from retrieving Tiger from a failed sleepover. The family follows the UFO and has an unexpected engagement with the unknown. Continue reading →
Presented by ArtsEmerson Director: Christiane Jatahy Adaptation of Miss Julie by August Strindberg Performed by: Julia Bernat and Rodrigo de Odé Performed in the film: Tatiana Tiburcio Music: Rodrigo Marçal Photography: David Pacheco Camera Live: Paulo Camacho Video Technician: Felipe Norkus In Portuguese with English subtitles
Ages 18+, Performance contains mature content, nudity, and intense sexual situations with an implied minor.
This is the warning under an arrow on ArtsEmerson’s Julia page:
“We understand that certain types of content could trigger past traumatic experiences for some viewers. Please be aware that this production contains scenes depicting sexual violence, racialized verbal abuse, racial slurs, allusions to suicide, and animal cruelty.”
This warning should not be hidden to the side. It should be somewhere obvious so no one will miss it.
ON-DEMAND — I’ve been recovering from PTSD triggered by Julia since watching ArtsEmerson’s premiere on Tuesday. Actions in the play depict violent sexual relations between two consenting individuals. I am a survivor of sexual violence, but I’ve never been triggered by a theatrical production to a degree like this before. I thought I was okay to watch Julia. I was wrong. Survivors, please protect yourself.
I’m not special; many women are survivors of violence. We must factor potential violence into our everyday decisions to protect ourselves from further harm. We never know if we’re being too cautious or not cautious enough. We learn from a young age – through the malevolent actions of others or by making irrevocable mistakes – that we must take special care not to be caught off guard. Julia is the visual, multimedia story of a young woman as she learns this lesson the hard way. Continue reading →
YOUTUBE — “Where do you want to get dinner?” is a question that defines many modern relationships (like mine). In the case of Jack and Sam, domestic bliss is interrupted by a rapping, rapping at their chamber door. Sam asks Jack to answer the door. Jack can’t do anything right. Continue reading →