My Play Reviews
Ghosts of Bogota
by Diana Burbano
This is the kind of quirky, intoxicating theatre that can draw (and did on opening night) a young multi-cultural audience to a literary genre mostly attended by older white folk--a play that asks compelling questions. What a breath of fresh air! How quirky? Diana (per the play's dialogue) might not have wanted to write a play in magical realism, but it is. Suffice it to say that one of the characters is a disembodied live head of Jesus. Brush up on your Spanish before you see this play. There's a lot of it, but anything you must know is mostly explained by the English surrounding it.
Cyrano de Bergerac
Adaptation by Kate Hawkes and Scott Coopwood
Red Earth Theatre, Sedona, Arizona
Kate Hawkes and Scott Coopwood's adaptation of the original 4-hour script is remarkable and Red Earth Theatre's 2022 production had power and heart. Details created by the sound technician, set outdoors in the courtyard of Tlaquepaque of Sedona, Arizona drew us into the emotional headspace of the characters. Taken to another time and place, surrounded by Tlaquepaque's already ethereal setting, one is easily drawn in The new spare script, far more suited to the attention span of modern audiences deserves attention by theatres across the country.
by Nelson Diaz-Marcano
find it on New Play Exchange
Wow! Drawn by the title, I just read this play on New Play Exchange and everything about it is perfect, and the way it weaves together and responds to the issues of gun control, racism, war, twisted truth, and Hurricane Maria (both actual and metaphorical) and its effect on the people of Puerto Rico is astonishing. I speak Spanish, not perfectly and I am not Puerto Rican, but it seems to me that Diaz-Mariano's dialogue is absolutely right, and it carries the story along so you can't stop reading. I agree with Rachael Carnes who also reviewed the play on NPE, "this play is a freight train." It's the kind of play that encourages me to improve so that one day I might write a play as powerful as this. Paper Towels needs to be produced and now!
by Jez Butterworth
The Gielgud Theatre, London
Best play I've ever seen. I'm sorry I didn't write a review as soon as I got home to my friends in Welwyn Garden City. Five out of five stars even though I could only hear or understand half the dialogue! This perfect script has humor, pathos, tenderness, deep family, love, conflict, physicality, melancholy, loss, music, dance, magic, old stories, lost memories, and of course my heritage as an Irish woman. And the cast--astonishing!. See it. In the UK if possible.
Shelter in Place
by Rachael Carnes
find it on New Play Exchange
The interaction of the immediacy of being right inside a school shooting and the indifferent facts of what happens when a semi-automatic gun creates havoc inside soft human flesh is only one of the things that makes this play so powerful. There are also the words to the children, "It's okay. Shh;" the emotionless words of the shooter in response to the small child who doesn't want to be there, "Well, you're here"; and the end, which is the beginning, "Shelter in place."