Last year, in one of the most exciting Off-Broadway debuts of the season, the Ensemble Studio Theatre staged Abby Rosebrock’s Dido of Idaho, a darkly comic manifesto on feminism in the face of infidelity, and morals in the face of family dysfunction. Rosebrock has now returned with another new work, a character-driven drama called Blue Ridge, presented by the Atlantic Theater Company.
The Soho Rep had been staging vital productions out of its small Walker Street theater in Tribeca for a quarter century when it was discovered, in 2016, that the company had been in violation of an occupancy limit of 70 people. Through a combination of fund-raising and city agency support, the company has now returned to its home space, which includes a new fire-safety system. It is a fitting improvement, because flames are the essential metaphor of Aleshea Harris’s explosive Is God Is. In this allegorical tale of vengeance and family honor, twin sisters, burned both literally and figuratively, create an inferno that swallows nearly everyone they meet.
The ambitious Foundry Theatre has chosen an ideal location for its production of W. David Hancock’s two-character drama Master. The design of Brooklyn’s Irondale Center, a former worship and religious-education space in the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church (a gem of 19th-century architecture), strains heavenward with worn ecclesiastical grandeur. It’s an environment likely to put arriving spectators in a reflective mood appropriate for playing their parts as tacit mourners in an immersive performance piece that depicts a memorial service and gallery retrospective honoring James Leroy Clemens.