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Ellen McLaughlin

The Trojan Women

September 4, 2016

Written in 415 B.C. as a criticism of the Athenian capture of Melos and the subjugation of its population earlier that year, "The Trojan Women" has remained relevant throughout the last 2,500 years due to mankind’s penchant for war. Although Ellen McLaughlin’s new adaptation makes some changes to the Euripides original, it retains its power pertinent for our own time in the wake of the refugee crisis. While at times callow, Anne Cecelia Haney’s production for The Bats is persuasive, potent and poignant. It also provides an excellent introduction to the plays that make up Greek tragedy for those who have not experienced them on stage. [more]

Dear Elizabeth

December 1, 2015

The great mid-20th century American poets Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell were friends from 1947 until his sudden death 30 years later. As they were usually in different cities and countries (Bishop lived in Brazil for many years while Lowell lived in New York City and Boston), they wrote each other over 450 letters which were published in 2008 as "Words in Air: The Complete Correspondence between Elizabeth Bishop and Robert Lowell." Sarah Ruhl, an adventurous playwright whose plays tend to be very different from each other, has adapted the letters for the stage in a homage to writing and friendship called Dear Elizabeth in which all of the words are that of the poets. Kate Whorskey’s fascinating production for WP Theater (formerly The Women’s Project) has staged the play much in the manner of last year’s revival of A.R. Gurney’s "Love Letters" and also with revolving casts. [more]