Daniel MacIvor’s 2002 OBIE Winner “In on It” Is a Wonderfully Theatrical Two-Man Show

Matthew Hager (left) and Gregor McElvogue star in "In on It" at Manbites Dog Theater May 24-June9 (photo by Alex Maness)
Matthew Hager (left) and Gregor McElvogue star in "In on It" at Manbites Dog Theater May 24-June9 (photo by Alex Maness)
Matthew Hager (left) and Gregor McElvogue star in "In on It" at Manbites Dog Theater May 24-June9 (photo by Alex Maness)
Matthew Hager (left) and Gregor McElvogue star in "In on It" at Manbites Dog Theater May 24-June 9 (photo by Alex Maness)

On May 24-26, May 31-June 3, and June 6-9, Manbites Dog Theater of Durham, NC will conclude its four-show 2011-12 season with In on It, a wonderfully theatrical two-man show by prize-winning 49-year-old Canadian actor, playwright, screenwriter, and theater and film director Daniel MacIvor.

First produced in 2001 by da da kamera, a Toronto theater company that MacIvor helped found and then served as artistic director, In on It premiered at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, Vancouver, B.C. In 2002, the warmly applauded Off-Broadway debut production of In on It earned MacIvor an OBIE Award and a GLAAD award.

Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern managing director Dana Marks will direct the Manbites Dog Theater production of In on It, which stars Matthew Hager and Gregor McElvogue.

When the curtain rises, Manbites Dog Theater says on its website, “Two men struggle to create a play. Two lovers fight to save a relationship. And a man with nothing left to lose makes plans for the end. Three mysteriously intertwining stories about love, loss, and laughter.”

And the Playwrights Guild of Canada describes In on It as: “A spiraling narrative about a dying man trying to make plans for the end, a pair of lovers trying to make it work and two men trying to make a play. A world where accidents happen. A story about control. A play that keeps its options open.”

Either way, the dramatic possibilities of In on It are intriguing. But then as Anne Nothof of Athabasca University writes in an article on the play in the Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia: “Daniel MacIvor’s In on It … is a realization of the imaginative potential of ‘poor theatre.’ Two actors and a jacket on a bare stage evoke a world of love and loss; the ‘things that happen out of careful planning’ and the ‘things that happen over which we have no control’ — the arbitrary, unintentional, optional, life-changing things…. [This 2001 play] is a highly entertaining, engrossing, heart-breaking work — moving from intimate conversational style to histrionics, from ironic reflection and criticism to candid confession, from melodrama and parody to minimalist suggestive gesture. In on It makes you glad to be ‘in on’ this play — alive and at the theatre.”

Manbites Dog Theater presents IN ON IT at 8:15 p.m. May 24 Preview, 8:15 p.m. May 25 and 26, 8:15 p.m. May 31-June 2, 3:15 p.m. June 3, and 8:15 p.m. June 6-9 at Manbites Dog Theater, 703 Foster St., Durham, North Carolina 27701.

TICKETS: $12 weeknights and $17 Friday-Saturday, except May 24th pay-what-you-can preview (door sales only, $5 minimum), $5 Student Rush Tickets, and $2 discount for seniors 62+ and active-duty military personnel.

BOX OFFICE: 919-682-3343 or http://manbitesdogtheater.tix.com/Schedule.asp?OrganizationNumber=150.

SHOW: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/386/.

SEASON: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/season/.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/.

DIRECTIONS/PARKING: http://www.manbitesdogtheater.org/find/.


The Play: http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=In On It (Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia).

The Playwright: http://danielmacivor.com/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2006/07/Daniel_MacIvor_Bio_October_2011.pdf (official bio), http://www.canadiantheatre.com/dict.pl?term=Daniel MacIvor (Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia), http://www.playwrightsguild.ca/playwright/daniel-macivor (Playwrights Guild of Canada), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daniel_MacIvor (Wikipedia).

The Director: http://www.artistsresourceagency.com/html/female_talent___dana_marks.html (Artists Resource Agency).


Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.

By Robert W. McDowell

Robert W. McDowell is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer, editor, and critic. He has written theater, film, book, and music previews and reviews for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, and Classical Voice of North Carolina, all based in Raleigh. In 1980-91, he covered business, industry, government, and education for (We the People of) North Carolina magazine, published monthly by N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry. In April 2001, McDowell started Robert's Reviews, a FREE weekly e-mail newsletter that provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of the performing arts in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina, which includes Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and Carrboro. Triangle Review is the latest-and-greatest version of McDowell's original newsletter. (To start your FREE subscription, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) From December 1980 until September 2017, McDowell served on the board of directors of The Cinema, Inc., a Raleigh-based nonprofit film society formed in 1966. He currently publishes a weekly list of FREE advance screenings of movies in the Triangle area. (To have your e-mail address added to this FREE list, e-mail robertm748[at]aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.) McDowell also co-edited and supervised the production of Jim Valvano's Guide to Great Eating (JTV Enterprises, 1984), a 224-page sports celebrity cookbook; and he served as a fact checker for Valvano: They Gave Me a Lifetime Contract, and Then They Declared Me Dead (Pocket Books, 1991).