Alena Smith's Plucker focuses seriously on a group of 29-year-olds looking long and hard at issues of relationships and commitment, money and discarded dreams. This particular Smith and Jones form a fruitful partnership. Anna G. Jones' production is pleasingly sparky.
The Evening Standard, Fiona Mountford
The nonstop news cycle is the subject of Times 365:24:7, and given the frenetic activity onstage, it's apparent that hard news - covering it and consuming it - can be stressful. Though the main focus is on newspapers, this ambitious play, from the troupe Bone Orchard, also puts television news, talk radio and the blogosphere under its feverish scrutiny.
Full disclosure: Times 365:24:7 drew from interviews company members had with journalists, including David Giambusso, a staff reporter for The Star-Ledger in New Jersey and a freelancer for The New York Times, whose newsroom is one of the settings. But the production has far too much of a political agenda simply to provide a documentary examination of the lives of reporters.
Conceived and directed by Anna G. Jones and devised by the company, the play is a teeming mosaic, miraculously kept under two hours, with many actors in multiple roles.
The New York Times, Andy Webster
Ben Jonson’s 1606 comedy of greed and trickery [The Hackney Volpone], is not, by modern standards, what you would call mainstream theatre. But accessibility is the name of the game in this production by NYLon Projects which places professional actors in the show’s principal roles alongside an ensemble made up of non-thesps from the local community to give the production a Hackney spin.
Heirless Venetian gentleman Volpone (Jamel Rodriguez) feigns a terminal illness to receive lavish gifts from three legacy hunters, each of whom he leads to believe will be named the sole beneficiaries in his will.
Volpone’s deviousness is only equalled by his seemingly-loyal servant, Mosca (Babou Ceesay). These masters of mischief make an entertaining pairing, played with a roguish, slightly homoerotic chemistry. Nuts to their comeuppance; you want them to get away with it. Until the attempted sexual assault, that is.
Director Anna Jones wisely cuts the play’s lengthy sub-plot with Sir Politic Would-Be, giving the story a clear focus. With a minimal set, live piano music and costumes that mix modern and Jacobean elements, the show has a ragtag charm. This is an endearing production and one that doesn’t deserve to slip under the radar.
The Evening Standard, William Moore
“I thought The Brooklyn Bumpkin was amazing, and I would invite people to see it because if I thought it was good, then other people will do too.”
Mohammed, aged 10
Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp is written without any characters -- in the script a dash is used to mark the change in speaker. In this production together, making them into characters. This brilliant choice of organization gives the wandering dialogue a concrete basis in humanity, literally fleshing out the abstract themes of story telling, identity and modern apathy in security.
A solid ensemble cast under the guidance of an outstanding director tackle a difficult and jarring work, eventually finding transcendence in the bleak ambivalence of modernity.
Yale Daily News, Summer Banks