Tag: Jeff Storer
As part of its 31st and — sadly — final season, Durham, NC’s Manbites Dog Theater has selected a play by inventive American playwright Aaron Posner. Very loosely adapted from Russian dramatist Anton Chekov’s 1898 masterpiece Uncle Vanya, Life Sucks is a tragicomic view of an extended family and its search for meaning amidst a… Read More ›
“Why don’t you tell me a little more about myself?” When I was seven years old, my brother, a deaf child of three, ran off. The entire neighborhood jumped into action as sunset approached. Some local boys jumped on a muddy fourwheeler and began tearing around the neighborhood to find him as Mom cried and… Read More ›
There are several nagging questions that audiences will take away from the new offering at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, Marjorie Prime. First, “How do we know another person?” Implicitly, “How do we know ourselves?” “How do we know when our life is over?” “How do we know our purpose in life?” “How reliable are… Read More ›
Upon entering Manbites Dog Theater in Durham for a performance of The Open House, one immediately notices how plain the set is: devoid of color, warmth, or complexity. When the lights rise, a half-dozen bland and awkward characters are present on stage, wearing uninteresting costumes. The lighting is one-tone. Everything is sedate and awkward. Why,… Read More ›
A table. A chair. Two bottles of water. An iPad. A man enters with a stack of papers. He sits. He turns on the iPad, reads a little, sighs, and begins an 86-minute profanity-fueled tirade about Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. On Sunday night, Manbites Dog Theater premiered a staged reading of The Trump… Read More ›
Playwright Kimber Lee’s 2014 Off-Broadway play brownsville song (b-side for tray) takes place in the neighborhood of Brownsville, in Brooklyn, NY. Jules Odendahl-James, the dramaturg for Manbites Dog Theater’s production of the play, quotes Lee as saying that Brownsville is the kind of place that only makes the news when something bad happens. Odendahl-James says… Read More ›
Lauren Gunderson’s two-person, ninety-minute one-act tells the story of two teens who forge an unlikely connection. There’s sick-at-home loner Caroline (Natalie Izlar) and athlete Anthony (Gerald Jones III); their story begins when Anthony comes to visit Caroline at her home and, at least ostensibly, to get her help with a project on Walt Whitman. Displaying… Read More ›
Manbites Dog Theater’s regional premiere of I and You by Lauren Gunderson is a story of two teenagers that will grip Triangle theatergoers in ways that must be experienced to understand. I and You is easily one of the cleverest plays local audiences will see, and it is unlikely anyone who sees it will ever… Read More ›
Spirits to Enforce, directed by Jeff Storer and onstage now at Manbites Dog Theater, has kind of a crazy premise: a group of superheroes is living underwater and desperately trying to solicit donations so they can put on a production of The Tempest. For most of the ninety minute play, viewers watch as these superheroes… Read More ›
Durham’s Manbites Dog Theater, which is known for its edgy — dare I say “controversial” — subject matter has brought us the regional premiere of Cock by British playwright Mike Bartlett. The title alone is enough to make the sensitive squirm, although after viewing the show, I hold to the title being pure shock value…. Read More ›
Manbites Dog Theater’s all-star presentation of “The New Electric Ballroom,” a 2008 tragicomedy by Dublin-born Irish playwright and screenwriter Enda Walsh puts sad and fronwy face on the loneliness and sexual frustration of three middle-aged spinster sisters sharing a cramped cottage in a small rural fishing village on the Irish coast. By day, they toil — and gossip — at the local cannery; but by night …
The regional premiere of “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them,” written by Filipino-American playwright A. Rey Pamatmat and jointly presented Dec. 1-17 by Manbites Dog Theater and the Duke University Department of Theater Studies, is an offbeat coming-of-age story about the plucky 12-year-old title character (played by Wanda Jin), her resourceful 16-year-old brother Kenny (Andy Chu), and Kenny’s somewhat geeky 16-year-old boyfriend Benji (Jacob W. Tobia).
On its website, Manbites Dog Theater writes, “All but abandoned in the American heartland, three kids struggle to create a makeshift family. And when the outside world barges in, the only things that can protect them are love, loyalty, and marksmanship.”
“Middletown’s” residents may be more flamboyant than their ancestors in Grover’s Corners, NH or the Spoon River region of Illinois, but the small-town lives that playwright Will Eno samples for “Middletown” are a fairly predictable cross-section of contemporary sitcom characters.
Welcome to “Middletown.” We’ve all been there. Life is always more complicated than it appears, and beneath the ordinary lies something epic, elusive, and mysterious.
Various and sundry vividly drawn 21st century characters perform a verbal striptease for the audience’s amusement. They lay bare their souls – often in very public places — by simultaneously giving voice to their uncensored internal monologues as well as their much more circumspect external monologues. The only problem is, some of these characters wear out their welcome long before their sketches are over.
Life is hard and lonely for everyone. We all feel desperate sometimes. We all die. These are all messages central to Will Eno’s collection of five short plays appropriately titled Oh the Humanity, and other exclamations. While there is nothing really wrong with Manbites Dog Theater Company’s presentation of the play, there isn’t much to… Read More ›
Marcia Edmundson and Chaunesti Webb Sparkle in Manbites Dog’s Regional Premiere of Jennifer Haley’s “Breadcrumbs”
Manbites Dog Theater’s provocative regional premiere of “Breadcrumbs,” a Fractured Fairy Tale penned by Los Angeles-based dramatist Jennifer Haley, sensitively staged by Manbites Dog artistic director Jeff Storer, and performed in a taut 75 minutes, without intermission, is a tangled and ultimately heartbreaking tale about a reclusive writer of fiction named Alida (Triangle theater veteran Marcia Edmundson) and a troubled young caregiver named Beth (Chaunesti Webb). Alida has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease; and Beth tries to be her friend and protector, but is sabotaged at every turn by Alida’s fierce independence and growing frustration and paranoia.
In Jennifer Haley’s “Breadcrumbs,” a reclusive fiction writer (Marcia Edmundson) and a disturbed young woman (Chaunesti Webb) share secrets of guilt, memory, and desire. The writer has early-onset Alzheimer’s, and must depend on this lost young woman for help while she struggles to complete her last story.