Apr 25

Guns Are Implicitly Made for Killing: “Trigger Warning”

L to R: Steve Auger, Lilly Brenneman, Liz Adams; Photo courtesy of Zeitgeist Stage Company

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Jacques Lamarre
Directed by David J. Miller

April 12 – May 4, 2019
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Critique by Kitty Drexel

Trigger warnings: gunshot sound effect, screaming, domestic violence, mentions of suicide, historically accurate newsreel depicting survivors fleeing danger, cop violence  

(Boston, MA) This month marks the 20 year anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre. I remember watching it on TV with my brothers before, realizing there was nothing I could do, going to work out. I just knew that my thoughts and prayers would bolster the victims through those hard times.

I was 18 and naively trusted our government to prevent this tragedy from ever repeating. Unfortunately, as the students of Parkland, Virginia Tech, Sandyhook and others attest, the US Govt. has failed its citizens. It can’t even pass moderate gun control measures. Theatre such as Zeitgeist’s Trigger Warning will continue to be necessary until our money-grubbing politicians can wean themselves of the NRA’s violence-hemorrhaging teets. Continue reading

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Sep 24

“Vicuña” or not “Vicuña,” That is the Question

(L to R) Evelyn Holley, Srin Chakravorty, Steve Auger, Arthur Barlas, and Jaime Hernandez in Zeitgeist Stage Company’s production of Vicuña. Photo by Joel Benjamin.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company 
By Jon Robin Baitz
Directed by David J. Miller

September 14th – October 6th, 2018
Plaza Black Box Theater
Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont St
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Diana Lu

(Boston, MA) In Vicuña, the year is 2016, and Amir, a young Iranian-American tailor’s apprentice, gets thrown into the world of national politics when Kurt Seaman, the loose cannon business tycoon-turned underdog presidential candidate, drops in to order a special suit (made of fine vicuña wool) for his third debate against an unnamed female opponent. Caught between virtue and duty, flirting with Seamen’s daughter Ivanka—er, I mean Srilanka—and disaster, Amir must decide whether to make the suit and betray everything he believes in, or refuse and let his family and closest friends suffer the consequences of denying this powerful and dangerous man. Continue reading

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Sep 26

“Faceless”: Humans discriminate, terror is indiscriminate.

Ashley Risteen as Susie Glenn in Zeitgeist Stage Company’s production of Faceless by Selina Fillinger.

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Selina Fillinger
Directed by David J. Miller

September 15 – October 7, 2017
Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts
539 Tremont Street
Boston, MA, 02116
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) The long speeches, the scrutinization of evidence, the dissection of a person’s moral fiber in front of a live audience of 12 judging strangers, the theatrics of the courtroom have long delighted us on the stage. From Shakespeare’s Measure to Measure to Law & Order, the delicious synchronicity between real-life and make-believe contained within the courtroom keeps audiences coming back for more and more. Fellinger however breathes new life into this well-worn genre with

Faceless is the story of the “little white girl” Susie Glenn (Ashley Risteen) as she is on trial for joining ISIS and attempting to commit acts of terrorism against the United States of America. The added bonus, the prosecuting lawyer Claire Fahti (Aina Adler) is a devout Muslim, who is determined to stop Susie becoming the (white) face of Islam. Zeitgeist Stage Company have lived up to their name, in this topical and heart-wrenching tale that sheds light on the lurking threat of terrorism behind every screen. Continue reading

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Sep 26

Lovingly Commemorative: BARN SALE

Presented by The Black Box Lab at STAGE284
Written by David J. Miller

Thursday, September 21, 7:30pm
The Community House
284 Bay Road Hamilton, MA
STAGE on Facebook

Review by Bishop C. Knight

(Hamilton, MA) Playwright David J. Miller was present at last night’s reading of Barn Sale, where he shared that one mission of his new play is to exhibit how older people hold immense wisdom. This mission was also the expressed intention of the actress whose entire life has been chronicled within the two-hour performance.  Between David J. Miller and his captivating dialogist, the actress who generously divulged every detail of her life to David over the course of two winters, the mission was a complete success.  What David J. Miller ultimately produces for audiences is an epic figure of a woman who bravely charged through life and, I have to be honest, I was crying by the end of the performance. Continue reading

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May 06

No Sir, You’re The Ho*: A GREAT WILDERNESS

Jake Orozco-Herman and Peter Brown; no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this theatre. (Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.)

Jake Orozco-Herman and Peter Brown; no tomatoes were harmed in the making of this theatre.
(Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images.)

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Samuel D. Hunter
Directed by David J. Miller

April 29 – May 21, 2016
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAI’ve never understood how some people can believe that it’s acceptable to be drastically unkind to others because “God told (them) to.” God is a terrible excuse for being a bad person. Morality structured around a potentially imagined creator that lives in the sky is not stabilized morality. Yet, plenty of people are beholden to this creator, if there is one, for their good behavior.  Continue reading

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Mar 07

Gallivanting Amongst the Cakes: CAKEWALK

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images, contestants and their cakes

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
Written by Colleen Curran
Directed by David J. Miller

Feb. 26 – March 19, 2016
Plaza Back Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) It is Independence Day 1984. The ladies of a small town in Vermont have won a place in the annual cakewalk competition and are patiently awaiting the critique of guest judge, Julia Child. First prize is a glamorous trip for two to Paris, France. Among the other prizes are a lifetime supply of flour and accolades from the citizenship for an entire year. Most of the gang looks forward to the friendly competition. Ruby Abel (Kelley Estes) is out for blood. Ready to slow down her paranoid manipulations are fellow contestants Martha (Aina Adler), Augusta (Maureen Adduci) and Leigh (Victoria George). Taylor (Matt Fagerberg) just wants to find the registration room. Each has their own secrets to keep and insecurities to air. A seemingly safe summer fair turns into a conundrum of colliding small town politics. 
Continue reading

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Sep 25

Stop Staring At Me Bob Goulet: THE BOYS IN THE BAND

Photo by Joel Benjamin

Photo by Joel Benjamin

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Mart Crowley
Directed by David J. Miller

September 11th – October 3rd, 2015
Plaza Black Box Theater at the
Boston Center for the Arts
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MAIn performance, sometimes it is more important to get a pivotal work onstage than it is to do it perfectly. Zeitgeist’s production of The Boys in the Band is flawed. Its flaws are less important than bringing this historically game-changing play to the stage for new generations to contemplate. Just as it is more important to treat the LGBTQ+ community with the respect and dignity we deserve than to be polite. Continue reading

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May 30

Don’t Trust the Process: THE SUBMISSION

Photo via Zeitgeist Facebook page

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Co.
by Jeff Talbott
Directed by David J. Miller

May 5 – 30, 2015
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

(Boston, MA) Let me preface this review with the following: It is near impossible to have a frank discussion about institutional oppression and personal culpability/responsibility without becoming defensive or offended. If you are a white person who hasn’t closely examined your personal involvement as either an actual or potential racist, it is highly likely that you engage in racist behavior and don’t even know it. If you think it’s OK to affect a lisp and ridicule gay people because you “have gay friends,” you’re likely a homophobe. If you treat either gay people and/or people of color as not “normal,” you’re probably one, the other, or both. Casual racism/homophobia isn’t a POC/LGBTQ+ issue. It’s a failing of the white/hetero, cis members of society convinced that the fight against oppression ends when it becomes inconvenient to fight. It is possible to consider yourself a good person and still be rotten with racism or homophobia. Continue reading

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Nov 13

Homosexuals Are People: “The Normal Heart”

Photo by Richard Hall/Silverline Images

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
By Larry Kramer
Directed by David J. Miller

November 1 – 30, 2013
Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
Zeitgeist on Facebook

Review by Kitty Drexel

Trigger Warnings: Rape, Proud Homosexuality, Truth

(Boston) Britney Spears thinks that gay people are “adorable and hilarious.” Her quote is terrifying because it is indicative of the thoughts and feelings of the majority of US citizens. For most of the world, only straight people are real™ people. Gay people are fun and quirky but we aren’t real™ people deserving of equal rights and a voice, says society. The LGBTQ get to be characters, sidekicks, and sassy friends who are defined solely by the people with whom we rub nethers (and other fun parts). Spears and people like her are stereotyping an entire community of human beings because it hasn’t occurred to them that we’re also human. Our history, culture and politics are just as rich as the hetero-normative precedent. Continue reading

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May 13

Normal Adolescent Madness: PUNK ROCK

Photo by Jeff Adelberg

Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company
by Simon Stephens
Directed by David J. Miller

At Plaza Black Box
Boston Center for the Arts
Boston, MA
May 3rd – May 25th, 2013
Zeitgeist Facebook Page

Review by Craig Idlebrook

There is nowhere for the audience to escape from the horrors of adolescence in Zeitgeist Stage Company’s production of Punk Rock, playing at the Black Box Theatre.  We can only recognize our own cruelties, failures and flailings as a group of high schoolers try to make some sense of their universe.  This kind of play would drive me to drink if it weren’t drawn so brightly and crisply, thanks to a fearless cast which doesn’t shy away from the awkward intimacy. Continue reading

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