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Phuong Nguyen

ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME

September 1, 2022

Commissioned by the Ma-Yi Theater Company, Daniel K. Isaac’s brilliant "ONCE UPON A (korean) TIME" was born out of the actor-playwright’s realization that he knew way more about Shakespeare and the Western canon than his own rich Korean culture of folk tales and origin myths.  He has fashioned, over the course of five scenes, beautifully layered storytelling in situations clouded by utter despair, without sacrificing great brushstrokes of humor. [more]

Queen

June 19, 2022

Shekar’s script is extremely smart, funny at just the right moments, and morally gripping. Her characterizations of Ariel and Sanam are fully formed, uniquely individual and carefully complementary:  Ariel is a crunchy-granola, bee-loving, single mom who’s desperate to prove Monsanto’s guilt, and Sanam is intense, strong-minded and honest to a fault. Through the character of Arvind, Shekar introduces the notion to Sanam that she and Ariel are looking at their study through the impartial lens of confirmation bias. The character of Dr. Hayes adds just the right amount of antagonism, almost sinister. Although there’s lots of statistics jargon in the script, it never impedes the progress of the story, thanks to the actors and director Aneesha Kudtarkar, who skillfully shapes the piece, finely intertwining the performances to maximum impact. [more]