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Tag: Jeff Storer

Vanya (Thaddaeus Allen Edwards) causes concern among his friends (Rhetta Greene, Faye Goodwin, Lakeisha Coffey, and Jock Brocki) in Manbites Dog's production of Life Sucks (photo by Alan Dehmer)

The Audience Is the Thing in Life Sucks at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham

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 ›

Jon (Michael Brocki) is lost in memories of his late wife Tess (Lenore Field) (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Rewriting the Future in Manbites Dog’s Marjorie Prime

“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 ›

Manbites Dog Theater's production of Marjorie Prime stars Marcia Edmundson as Marjorie and Derrick Ivey as Walter, an artificial intelligence modeled after her late husband (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Jordan Harrison’s Marjorie Prime Is Both Entertaining and Thought-Provoking

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 ›

The Open House at Manbites Dog stars (clockwise from top) Michael Brocki, Marcia Edmundson, J Evarts, and Matthew Hager (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Awkwardness Turns into Satisfaction at Manbites Dog’s The Open House

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 ›

Manbites Dog Theater's staged reading of The Trump Card stars Carl Martin (photo by Manbites Dog)

Mike Daisey’s Trump Card at Manbites Dog Is Captivating, Pertinent, and Funny as Hell

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 ›

Manbites Dog Theater of Durham will present the regional premiere of brownsville song (b-side for tray), written by Kimber Lee and directed by Jeff Storer, on Feb. 25-28 and March 3-6 and 9-12

Manbites Dog Theater’s Production of brownsville song (b-side for tray) Is Powerful and Profound

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 ›

Strong Direction and Acting Liven Up Lauren Gunderson’s Weak Script for “I and You”

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 stars Natalie Izlar and Gerald Jones III (photo by Jules Odendahl-James)

“I and You” Is Easily One of the Cleverest Plays That Triangle Theatergoers Will See This Season

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” Is Hard to Follow, But Ultimately Worth a Watch

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 ›

Manbites Dog Theater of Durham will present the regional premiere of "Cock" on Oct. 3-5, 10-13, and 16-19

“Cock” Is a Handful for Manbites Dog, But Buy a Ticket, Because There’s Nothing Else Like It

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 ›

The all-star cast of "The New Electric Ballroom" includes (from left) Triangle crowd favorites Katja Hill as Ada, Marcia Edmundson as Breda, and Derrick Ivey as Patsy (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Enda Walsh’s “The New Electric Ballroom” Turns the Lonely Lives of Three Sisters Into a Dark Comedy

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 …

Wanda Jin plays the title role in "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them"

A. Rey Pamatmat’s “Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” Teaches Important Lessons in Tolerance

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).

Wanda Jin plays the title role in "Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them"

“Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them” Is an Offbeat Coming-of-Age Comedy by A. Rey Pamatmat

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" runs Oct. 6-9 and 12-15 (image by Bethany Bash)

Will Eno’s 2010 Dramedy “Middletown” Looks at Small-Town Life, Circa 2010, with a Gimlet Eye

“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.

"Middletown" opens Sept. 29th (image by Bethany Bash)

Will Eno’s “Middletown” Is a Deeply Moving and Profoundly Comic Look at Small-Town Life

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.

"Oh, the Humanity and Other Exclamations" ends Dec. 18th

“Oh, the Humanity and Other Exclamations” Wallows in Existential Angst

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.

Oh the Humanity, and other exclamations Falls Flat

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 ›

Chaunesti Webb as Beth (left) and Marcia Edmundson as Alida (photo by Alan Dehmer of Woods Edge Photography)

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.

“Breadcrumbs” Is a Moving Play About Mothers, Daughters, and the Moonlit Woods of the Past

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.