Smart Review: WHEN WE WERE YOUNG AND UNAFRAID

On the heels of the recent list of 46 plays by female playwrights released by the Kilroys, here is my review of Sarah Treem’s gripping new feminist play, When We Were Young and Unafraid. Read it below or over at Theatre Is Easy .com!

When We Were Young and Unafraid

Morgan Saylor, Zoe Kazan, Patch Darragh, and Cherry Jones in ‘When We Were Young and Unafraid’. Photo by Joan Marcus.

BOTTOM LINE: This riveting and fearsome new play takes on feminism, women’s expectations, and domestic abuse — and wins.

Our story begins with a familiar scene. A mother is teasing her high school daughter about prom. She’s not going, the daughter declares. It is 1972, not long before Roe v. Wade, and she is steeped in “women’s lib.” And then a bell chimes, suddenly and softly, and they hear a knock. The mother reveals a trapdoor under the living room rug, and our story truly begins.

The reveal that this modest home doubles as a hiding place for battered women is the first of many in When We Were Young and Unafraid, Sarah Treem’s striking new play at Manhattan Theatre Club. As fearless as its title, her writing personifies different facets of the most primal power dynamic in the history of mankind. (Or, I should say, womankind.)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Smart Review: THE GLASS MENAGERIE

(A version of this review was published on playstosee.com, a theater criticism website based in the UK.)

The Glass Menagerie at the Booth Theatre

The Glass Menagerie at the Booth Theatre

John Tiffany is a magician. His powers of enchantment as a theater director can leave an audience spellbound. He can conjure thoughts, ideas, even people, out of thin air. His sleight-of-hand can make you think you’re revisiting a Tennessee Williams play you know better than all those other high school drama assignments. And then with a slight flourish, he takes your breath away.

Continue reading