Daniel MacIvor’s 2002 OBIE Award-winning puzzle-play, “In on It,” now playing at Manbites Dog Theater in Durham, is an episodic but eye-opening and altogether extraordinary piece of theater in which less is definitely more. Its convoluted plot unfolds on a bare stage, and is performed in the round, with director Dana Marks skillfully maneuvering her intuitive and expressive cast of two (veteran actor Gregor McElvogue and newcomer Matthew Hager) around the stage, so that they can milk each episode for maximum dramatic effect.
According to 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.”