There is out there, and then there is Will Eno. An interviewer once asked him one of those personality-in-a-nutshell questions. If you could pick any superpower for yourself, he asked the playwright, which one would you select? “The former Soviet Union,” Eno replied. The ways by which words are commodified, commercialized, weaponized and manipulated are […]
Review: The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers
We few; we happy few. Six performances times sixteen seats comes to fewer than 100 people who will see The Lady from the Village of Falling Flowers, which is a very early one-act by Tennessee Williams that, until recently, had never been produced. Spooky Action Theater is mounting the show away from their usual space […]
Review: The Oldest Boy, motherhood and letting go, at Spooky Action Theater
Plenty of pop culture real estate—from The Omen to We Need to Talk About Kevin, to name a few—has been devoted to parents coming to terms with the possibility that their child may be pure evil. But grappling with a potentially holy offspring can be equally fraught, or so suggests The Oldest Boy, a play […]
Among the Dead review: a war crimes survivor and a playful Korean ghost story at Spooky Action Theater
Despite its premiere date of February 14, Among the Dead is not a Valentine’s Day play. Written by Hansol Jung, a world-traveling playwright and director from South Korea, Among the Dead is a ghost story orbiting the February 14th birthday of Korean American Ana Woods as she experiences firsthand the far-from-romantic conditions that created her. […]
Review: New Guidelines for Peaceful Times at Spooky Action Theatre
The title, New Guidelines for Peaceful Times, sounds like a satirical take on a dystopian world. But it’s not. It’s a much more earnest, honest, and delicate look at how war—the internal and the global—affects an individual, society, and art, specifically theatre.
Review: psychological thriller The Small Room at the Top of the Stairs
You have heard this story before, but each time it comes at you in a different way, offering new anxieties and insights in equal measure. In Bluebeard, the beautiful young wife is given the keys to Bluebeard’s magnificent castle but is warned not to enter a particular underground chamber. Of course, she can think of […]
The Lathe of Heaven, a respectful and funny adaptation of the late Ursula Le Guin’s novel (review)
Dreams often come with wild, cartoonish images. We wake up remembering their eccentricity and wonder: “How did my brain come up with that?” Watching The Lathe of Heaven is like stepping into that. Filled to the brim with charming sci-fi zaniness, this show imaginatively transports audiences to a dystopian version of Portland, Oregon.
Natsu Onoda Power on her adaptation of Ursula Le Guin’s The Lathe of Heaven
In 2007, Richard Henrich adapted the Ursula K. Le Guin book, The Lathe of Heaven, for a production at Spooky Action Theater, which he directed. But the show didn’t completely fulfill his vision of the story. Fast forward about 10 years, and Henrich approached playwright Natsu Onoda Power, associate professor in Georgetown’s Program in Theater […]
I Killed My Mother Review at Spooky Action Theater
For I Killed My Mother, you enter Spooky Action Theater through the bowels of a church, winding through the basement where performers are stationed—singing, strumming guitar, watching you walk by, or just wandering the performance space, which is a whole lot of gray and concrete. It’s a creepy introduction to what is to unfold and […]
The River at Spooky Action (review)
It looks like a love story — a Heathcliff-and-Catherine love story, where the passion is so profound and misshapen that it obliterates the boundaries of everyday reality. But it isn’t.
Most memorable moments on DC area stages in 2016
As this year closes, perhaps you, like we, are thinking back over your own year spent watching the various riches spread before us by Washington area theatres. I asked our staff for their most vivid memories. We hope you will share your own as comments for us all to savor.
Rameau’s Nephew at Spooky Action Theater (review)
Rameau’s Nephew is a stage adaption of enlightenment era philosopher Denis Diderot’s fictional dialogue between a moralistic philosopher (“I”) and his foil, the greedy and hedonistic nephew of a famous composer (“He”). Too risqué to be published when it was written in the 1700’s, Rameau’s Nephew was made available to the public posthumously in a […]
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