Manbites Dog Theater’s Swansong, Wakey, Wakey, Is a Grand Mix of Beauty and Sorrow, Joy and Fear, Love and Pain and Hope

Derrick Ivey and Lakeisha Coffey star in Wakey, Wakey (photo by Alan Dehmer)

How does a theater company with 31 years’ worth of stellar productions say goodbye to the community? By choosing a show about saying goodbye as their final presentation. Manbites Dog Theater’s rendition of Wakey, Wakey, written by Will Eno and directed by Jeff M. Storer, is a stream-of-consciousness play that draws the audience in right… Continue reading Manbites Dog Theater’s Swansong, Wakey, Wakey, Is a Grand Mix of Beauty and Sorrow, Joy and Fear, Love and Pain and Hope

Manbites Dog’s Wakey, Wakey Is Absolutely Phenomenal

How odd it is for a play to begin with a character wondering if he has reached his end. Such is the case with Manbites Dog Theater’s production of Will Eno’s Wakey, Wakey — it begins with a character lying helplessly prone on the stage, uttering the words, “Is it now? I thought I had… Continue reading Manbites Dog’s Wakey, Wakey Is Absolutely Phenomenal

Howard L. Craft’s The Miraculous and the Mundane Opened to Cheers, Tears, and a Standing Ovation

Trevor Johnson and Lakeisha Coffey star as Percy and Chloe (photo by Ed Hunt)

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆ If a play by an American black author has stood the test of time, it is almost certainly about domestic life — a palatable subject for white ticket-buyers. Durham, NC’s own Howard L. Craft reveals the lives of black workers in Orange Light and the Off-Broadway Freight: The Five… Continue reading Howard L. Craft’s The Miraculous and the Mundane Opened to Cheers, Tears, and a Standing Ovation

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

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)

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

Rewriting the Future in Manbites Dog’s Marjorie Prime

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

“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… Continue reading Rewriting the Future in Manbites Dog’s Marjorie Prime