Hurricane Diane packs a lot into its 90-minute running time. It’s the type of idea-driven play that in lesser hands might become more academic journal article than piece of theater, but writer Madeleine George and director Leigh Silverman have crafted the evening with a deceptively light touch. Not since Dr. Strangelove has humanity’s inevitable annihilation been such a good time.
Jeremy O. Harris makes an impressive splash with Slave Play, a fascinating, often hilarious, sometimes bumpy, and ultimately serious look at sex and power in modern interracial relationships. The New York Theatre Workshop production also whets one’s appetite for Daddy, a second play of Harris’s that will be seen in the spring at the Vineyard Theatre.
Light Shining in Buckinghamshire has lived many lives since Caryl Churchill wrote it 42 years ago. The piece’s ambition is grand, but its scope is intimate, allowing for immense freedom of interpretation. Director Rachel Chavkin’s revival at New York Theatre Workshop focuses on its chamber roots as an ensemble piece for six actors.
How deep can one hide the truth? Gabriel Jason Dean’s Terminus centers on the search for the “true true”—a phrase spoken by a few of the characters. It captures the essence of this well-written, thought-provoking play, the second in a seven-play cycle called The Attapulgus Elegies. The collection chronicles the lives of the residents of Attapulgus, Ga., over the course of the last two decades as the town slowly dwindles away.
“What’s the matter, Mary Jane?” Alanis Morissette sang in 1995. “You never seem to want to dance anymore.” She could have been singing to the eponymous protagonist of Amy Herzog’s understated new play, who would love to dance, or smoke pot, or hike in the mountains, but all her time and energy are taken up caring for her severely ill 2½-year old son, Alex.
Sojourners and Her Portmanteau, in repertory at the New York Theatre Workshop, want to be heard. Mfoniso Udofia’s plays, conceived of as part of a nine-play multigenerational chronicle (of which five have been written) of the Nigerian-American Ufot family, saunter from moment to moment, expanding each dramatic beat to examine it with microscopic curiosity. Though the result, as shaped by director Ed Sylvanus Iskandar and dramaturg Janice Paran, is often excruciatingly dry, the plays demand a witnessing of their American immigrants’ stories.