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Tag: Manbites Dog Theater

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 ›

Emily Anderson (left) and Skylar Gudasz star as Orlando and Sasha in Orlando by Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando at Manbites Dog Is Comedic, Queer, and Contemplative

In the Russian tradition of Stanislavski, the actor says, “I will tell you a story about me.” In the German tradition of Brecht, the actor says, “I will tell you a story about them.” In the Vietnamese tradition, the actor says, “You and I will tell each other a story about all of us.” From… Read More ›

Emily Anderson (left) and Skylar Gudasz star as Orlando and Sasha in Orlando by Sarah Ruhl

Orlando at Manbites Dog Bends Genders Like Gumby

One of the reasons classic literature and drama exists is because it works on a number of different levels; and each time you read/watch/visualize/experience that classic piece, you are able to see yet another aspect of it that you might have missed previously. Virginia Woolf is one of those masterful writers who not only writes… 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 ›

Walt Disney (Derrick Ivey) describes his vision of a future utopia (photo by Alan Dehmer)

Lucas Hnath’s The Death of Walt Disney at Manbites Dog Theater Is Splendidly Bizarre

“I’m Walt Disney. This is a screenplay I wrote. It’s about me.” Manbites Dog Theater’s production of A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, presented in association with StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance, is not what it says it is. It is, in fact, a fictional play in… Read More ›

The Seagull by Anton Chekhov inspired The New Colossus by Tamara Kissane (photo by Jaybird O'Berski)

Little Green Pig’s Presentation of The New Colossus by Tamara Kissane Is Colossally Confusing

Tamara Kissane’s play The New Colossus opened on May 19th at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham as part of Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern’s 2016 season. Directed by Dana Marks, an internationally known performer and director, the play was adapted from Anton Chekhov’s 1896 play The Seagull. Chekhov’s first production of The Seagull was disastrous,… Read More ›

In the virtual reality of The Nether, Iris (Marleigh Purgar-McDonald) teaches a new game to Woodnut (Lazarus Simmons) (photo Alan Dehmer)

Manbites Dog’s Provocative Presentation of The Nether Is Extremely Well Acted and Well Designed

Manbites Dog Theater’s presentation of The Nether is a dark vision of the future, our near, rapidly approaching future. It is a future in which the Internet has split into various realms where most of us spend our daily lives. At school and work and even at play, most living is done through the new… 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 ›

Rob Jansen will perform his one-man show, The Tramp's New World, on Dec. 5,6, 10-13, and 16-19 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham

Rob Jansen’s Performance in The Tramp’s New World at Manbites Dog Is Stunning and Engrossing

In 1949, James Agee wrote an apocalyptic screenplay in which Charlie Chaplin’s Little Tramp was the sole survivor of the ultimate nuclear bomb explosion, the one that destroyed all human life but this one character. Chaplin passed it over, thinking that no one was interested in The Tramp anymore. It is prudent to recall that… Read More ›

The Acting Is Superb in Little Green Pig’s Surreal World Premiere of “And the Ass Saw the Angel”

Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern’s world premiere of John Fidel Justice and Jaybird O’Berski’s adaptation of Nick Cave’s novel, And the Ass Saw the Angel, is a surreal telling of the grotesque story of a boy’s life — told through a series of significant episodes. The boy is Euchrid Eucrow (played by Emily Holladay Anderson)…. Read More ›

“And the Ass Saw the Angel” Is Clumsily Adapted But Intriguing

Religion can be confusing, muddled, and even incomprehensible at times. If that is the message that Little Green Pig, in its production of And the Ass Saw the Angel, directed by Dana Marks, and onstage now at Manbites Dog Theater, means to get across, then it succeeds entirely…if only by having an appropriately confusing, muddled,… Read More ›

Annie the American (played by Faye Goodwin) is fed by her "not quite Auntie Yaroslava," a.k.a. Baba Yaga (played by Carly Prentis Jones) (photo by Alan Dehmer)

The Actors in Manbites Dog Theater’s Rejuvenated “Fairytale” Are All Female — and All Remarkable

Fairytales are never sweet. Think of the cannibalism in Hansel and Gretel, the bullying in Cinderella, snf the child abuse that Snow White endures. Fairytales show children the line between fantasy and reality, but they also serve as entertainment for those adults who now have the age and wisdom to see the supernatural elements and… Read More ›

Manbites Dog Theater will present "Paris 76," an original cabaret directed by Jay O’Berski, on March 19-21 and 26-29 and April 1-4

Manbites Dog Theater’s “Paris 76” Is a Unique, Talented, Mixed Bag of a Show

When Jay O’Berski is at the helm, you know you’re in for a unique experience. The bold and fearless creator of Manbites Dog Theater’s production of Paris 76: An Original Cabaret is the artistic director to the always inventive Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern; and when he moonlights at Manbites Dog, a leading producer of… Read More ›

VECTOR will present "Habitus," an interactive installation/performance created by choreographer Leah Wilks and visual artist Jon Haas, Jan. 8-10 and 15-17 at Manbites Dog (photo by Tim Walter)

VECTOR Explores Anger, Education, and Identity in “Habitus” on Jan. 8-10 and 15-17 at Manbites Dog

Upon entering the lobby of Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, you can tell you’re in for an interesting evening. After checking in with the box office, you are presented with a clipboard and a ticket. You have assignments to complete while you wait; rows of chairs face a giant projection wall, on which video splices… 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 ›

StreetSigns Center for Literature and Performance will present "If My Feet Have Lost the Ground," a new puppetry performance created and directed by Torry Bend, on Oct. 16-18 and 24-26 and Oct. 29-Nov. 1 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham

Torry Bend’s “If My Feet Have Lost the Ground” Is Unusual and Fascinating Theater at Manbites Dog

Torry Bend’s If My Feet Have Lost the Ground is a fascinating work of puppetry and technology that speaks to the heart. The human heart as metaphor for the very core of existence. The current Streetsigns Center for Literature and Performance production, now playing at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, NC, seems to suggest that… Read More ›

Tarantino's Yellow Speedo

LGP Addresses Taboo Topics in a Fresh, Engaging, and Captivating Way in “Tarantino’s Yellow Speedo”

Local playwright and author Monica Byrne is having quite the year. Last week, her debut novel, The Girl in the Road, was released; just days later, her newest play, Tarantino’s Yellow Speedo, had its world premiere at Manbites Dog Theater, produced by the boundary-shattering Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. A couple years ago, LGP helmed… 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 ›

Madeleine Lambert stars in "Grounded," a one-woman show written by George Brant and directed by Talya Klein, on March 20-April 5 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham (photo by Jon Haas)

“Grounded” at Manbites Dog Theater Asks, What Happens When Eye-in-the-Sky Makes War Easy?

With Grounded, now playing in Durham, NC’s Manbites Dog Theater, under the direction of Talya Klein, playwright George Brant has suddenly become the best-known new playwright in America. Grounded is a penetrating examination of how warfare is changing from face-to-face confrontations — even at the distance between warplanes and targets — to the technologically supported… Read More ›

Hoi Polloi's new performance piece "Republic" stars (from left) Jason Quarles as Glaucon, Lori E. Parquet as Socrates, and Jess Barbagallo as Boy (photo by Michael Zirkle)

Hoi Polloi Transforms Plato’s “Republic” into an Unusual and Entertaining Performance Piece

As part of their “Other Voices Series,” Manbites Dog Theater has brought in Duke Performances’ presentation of the Brooklyn, NY theater company Hoi Polloi’s rendition of a portion of the ancient Greek philosopher Plato’s mighty work Republic.

“Best of Enemies” Is Potentially Life-Changing

Mark St. Germain’s “The Best of Enemies,” based on the book of the same name by Osha Gray Davidson, focuses on the integration of Durham City schools back in 1971, but more than that, it tells the story of two real-life people, Ann Atwater (Lakeisha Coffey), a very vocal civil rights activist, and C.P. Ellis… 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 ›

Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern will present "Derklöwnschpankeneffekt: Two Plays for Klöwn" on March 28-30 and April 4-6 at Manbites Dog Theater

Jay O’Berski and Jeffrey Detwiler Are Delightful in “Derklöwnschpankeneffekt: Two Plays for Klöwn”

Jay O’Berski and Jeffrey Detwiler have become the Triangle’s princes of pratfall, first for Shakespeare & Originals and now for Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern. In physical comedy, they are this area’s equivalent of Laurel & Hardy and Abbott & Costello (although both are imperially thin). But when it comes to hurling verbal brickbats, they most resemble the insufferably cheeky and impishly irreverent Marx Brothers.

Trick or Treat?: Jeffrey M. Jones’ “Seventy Scenes of Halloween” at Manbites Dog Has a Little of Both

Trick or treat? Manbites Dog Theater’s inaugural production, “Seventy Scenes of Halloween” by Jeffrey M. Jones has a little of both. First staged in December of 1987 and repeated on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-9, 12-13, and 15, 2012, under the new direction of Akiva Fox and Adam Sobsey, “Seventy Scenes of Halloween” mixes mirth with terror in a series numbered scenes, performed almost completely out of order. That’s the play’s principal gimmick, and it can be confusing as to what is real and what is a dream, etc.

Manbites Dog Theater of Durham, NC first staged "Seventy Scenes of Halloween" by Jeffrey M. Jones in December 1987 (photo by Jon Haas)

Manbites Dog Theater Is Reprising Its First Show, Jeffrey M. Jones’ “Seventy Scenes of Halloween”

In celebration of 25 seasons of producing cutting-edge theater in the Bull City, Manbites Dog Theater will reprise its very first production, “Seventy Scenes of Halloween” by Jeffrey M. Jones, on Nov. 29-Dec. 1 and Dec. 6-9, 12-13, and 15. Akiva Fox and Adam Sobsey will co-direct a cast that includes Emily Hill, Carl Martin, Dan VanHoozer, and Amber J. Wood.

“The Paper Hat Game” Is Ingenious and Truly Original, a Must-See Toy-Theater Presentation

Ingenious and truly original, “The Paper Hat Game” is a toy-theater piece for children of all ages — and “For the Ages.” Creator and director Torry R. Bend, video designer member Raquel Salvatella de Prada, and cohorts have given a face to a faceless male subway commuter in present-day America, and transformed his story into a timeless tale. If Triangle Theater Review had a five-star system to rate the excellence of theatrical productions, “The Paper Hat Game” would get six!

"The Paper Hat Game" is a toy-theater creation

Torry Bend’s New Toy-Theater Piece, “The Paper Hat Game,” Features Videos by Raquel Salvatella de Prada

Torry R. Bend will present her new toy-theater creation, “The Paper Hat Game,” with video design by her fellow Duke University faculty member Raquel Salvatella de Prada, on Oct. 18-21 and 24-28 and Nov. 1-3 at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham as part of Manbites Dog’s critically acclaimed Other Voices Series of productions by guest artists and companies.