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Riw Rakkulchon

38th Marathon of One-Act Plays: Series B

November 6, 2022

Ensemble Studio Theatre’s "38th Marathon of One-Act Plays," their first since 2019, is split up into two programs of five plays each, with an eleventh play, Vera Starbard’s “Yan Tután,” streaming free on-demand, in collaboration with Perseverance Theatre. Each of the plays in Program B is successful in telling us enough about the characters to make the audience care for them and empathize for what they experience in their short time on stage. ... The Marathon is a great venue for up-and-coming writers to hone their characterization skills. Some of these writers have already had full productions of other plays in their resumés, so for some their success is in full swing. Program B is a definite tease towards coming back to experience Program A. [more]

what you are now

March 21, 2022

As a play about neuroscience, Sam Chanse’s "what you are now" needs a great deal more data and information. As a play about the plight of Cambodian refugees, what are you now needs to be clearer and less convoluted, although ultimately it is quite powerful and moving. Informative about the startling situation of these refugees, the play needs to be seen and heard, but in this form it defeats its own purposes by being confusing in chronology and not offering the drama behind the science of trauma and memory. [more]

The White Dress

July 13, 2019

Packed with emotion, adolescent angst and eventfully picaresque, "The White Dress" is playwright Roger Q. Mason’s passionate autobiographical saga of a “gender non-conforming queer person of color.” It’s boldly presented and contains vivid performances, but the amorphous structure and idiosyncratic writing dilute its momentum. [more]

The Waiting Game

February 18, 2019

Welcome to "The Waiting Game," a play by Charles Gershman, which has the makings for a meaningful drama, but never really amounts to much. A large part of the problem is the nondescript and dull staging, as directed by Nathan Wright, which doesn’t really bring any of the characters alive. And then there’s the writing, also nondescript and dull, does nothing to make the characters real--nor does it contain anything resembling exposition. [more]