Although Gordon Kiyoshi Hirabayashi might not be a name people recognize, many know his story and the historic Supreme Court case which bears his name— Hirabayashi v. United States. The son of Japanese immigrants, Hirabayashi, then a student at the University of Washington, was convicted of violating two of President Roosevelt’s orders during World War […]
Violence versus pacifism . Brown versus Douglass. The Raid at Theater Alliance (review)
“Everyone in this play is dead,” Harriet Tubman (Tiffany Byrd) announces minutes into the first act. Frederick Douglass (Marquis D. Gibson), John Brown (Nicklas Aliff), Henry Kagi (Josh Adams), Emperor (Dylan J. Fleming), John Brown Jr. (Robert Bowen Smith), and Mahala Doyle (Moira Todd), speak directly to the audience from seats among us, and introduce […]
The Veils from Nu Sass (review)
In The Veils by Hope Villanueva, Melody, a female Marine translator in Afghanistan, has completed her tour of duty and returned stateside trying desperate to pick up the pieces of her life. That includes planning her wedding. Her mother and sister try to support her, but the memories, sights and sounds of the war are only […]
Noura playwright Heather Raffo, bringing Iraqi women’s stories to the stage
It was more than a dozen years ago that actor Heather Raffo, whose family is from Iraq, recognized a void of female Iraqi protagonists in American theater. That propelled her to write and perform her Off-Broadway show, 9 Parts of Desire, earning her raves for her portrayal of nine Iraqi women.
dog & pony dc puts on Peepshow (review)
Traditionally, a peepshow is a one-way affair—someone performs and someone (or someones) else observe, usually without being seen themselves. But I knew walking into dog & pony dc’s contribution to the 2018 Women’s Voices Theater Festival, given the company’s emphasis on audience integration, that this would be no passive viewing experience. And indeed, Peepshow is […]
Danai Gurira’s comedy Familiar at Woolly Mammoth Theatre (review)
Familiar, by Tony Award winning playwright Danai Gurira, is an intimate comedy-drama set in the home of a first-generation Zimbabwean family living in Minnesota. The family has gathered over the weekend to celebrate and prepare for the winter wedding of their eldest daughter, Tendi (Sharina Martin) to Chris, her white fiancé, (Drew Kopas). Audiences engage with the […]
No Word in Guyanese For Me from Rainbow Theatre Project (review)
Much like the photo album that plays a pivotal role in numerous scenes of the play, No Word in Guyanese For Me leaves the audience with poignant images: a pair of Guyanese feet gratefully slipping out of American shoes; timid hands cradling a small doll with natural hair; a sleek scarf snaking sensuously around a leg. […]
All She Must Possess. Matisse, Gertrude Stein and the Cone sisters at Rep Stage (review)
Of all the reasons to love Baltimore, perhaps the most sumptuous are the Cone sisters—iron-willed Dr. Claribel and the softer, more social Miss Etta—and specifically, the stunning collection of modern art and other acquisitions they bequeathed to the Baltimore Museum of Art.
Julia Cho’s Aubergine, a Korean-American family’s drama (review)
In Julia Cho’s Aubergine, a Korean-American chef deals with his dying father. Cho uses food as the cornerstone for a sensitive though meandering meditation on the difficulties of family, communication, and coming to terms with one’s life in this entry in the Women’s Voices Theater Festival.
Kennedy Center’s family friendly Digging Up Dessa (review)
Laura Schellhardt’s Digging Up Dessa tell the story of a troubled teenager who copes with a family tragedy through her interest in fossils. This world premiere production, commissioned by the Kennedy Center as part of the Women’s Voices Theater Festival, stretches the boundaries of family theater to offer a powerful and educational story.
Today’s war on women reflected in The Trojan Women Project (review)
Playing like variations on the theme of the ancient Greek play The Trojan Woman, Brave Spirits’ The Trojan Women Project faces head-on a number of issues ripped from the headlines and lifelines of today. Instead of the aftermath from the ancient war over Troy, the new battle in question is identified as the War on Women […]
Prosky, Robards, Huston, Durang, Bernhardt. Stories from Theresa Rebeck and Kristine Nielsen
You have until February 11th to see The Way of the World at Folger Theatre. Playwright Theresa Rebeck has rewritten the Restoration classic and directs a cast led by Kristine Nielsen.