Posts Tagged ‘CATF’

Is There an I in Robot?: UNCANNY VALLEY at CATF

By the second decade of this century, AI is probably more of a party trick than a real presence (we don’t particularly mind having our computers and robots look and act like computers and robots), but Turing’s Test has long been passed, in a variety of ways. We are on to next steps: Thomas Gibbons’ new play Uncanny Valley explores what those steps are, and the philosophical, moral, and existential questions they pose.

An Overstuffed ONE NIGHT at CATF

There are the bones here of a perfectly respectable play about rape and what comes after in the U.S. military and veterans’ system. The play does a fine job of showing how command will undercharge the perpetrators and penalize victims; how urgent requests for veterans’ benefits will become lost in the system; and how the supposed advocates for the victims will be deadened by the way the system has made them ineffective. Perhaps more originally, there is a real exploration of the dynamics of military rape itself, of the question why rape is so prevalent in that environment. Frankly, I did not understand why playwright Fuller felt the need to revert to the revelation-of-dark-secrets template at all. A straightforward telling of the tale would have sufficed nicely.


Theater Reviews Page | Previous Theater Review | Next Theater Review Death By Tranny?: DEAD AND BREATHING at CATF Posted on July 14, 2014 The question is posed in the first few minutes of Chisa Hutchinson‘s Dead and Breathing: Can Carolyn, a wealthy black widow dying by inches of cancer, persuade Veronika, her at-home hospice nurse, to kill her? […]

Old Hat But Interesting: Shepard’s HEARTLESS at Shepherdstown’s CATF

I am not sure what Shepard is doing in Shepherdstown. The Contemporary American Theater Festival held there is dedicated to performing ‘new American plays.’ There’s nothing new to me about Sam Shepard’s play Heartless; it seems distinctly old hat. I went back to a review I wrote of one of his plays for my college newspaper in 1970, and a number of the things I wrote about that play (The Holy Ghostly) could be said about Heartless. I commented how characters migrate into each other, how they become composites of various characters, how there is no predictable logic to their interactions, and how the drama loses the sense of being story-telling about distinct persons. I compared what Shepard did to abstract painting. And, on the evidence of Heartless, it’s still true.

Likeable Frenemies in St. Germain’s SCOTT AND HEM at CATF

‘Every good story’s a war story,’ says a character in Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah, premiering at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. That certainly seems to be playwright Mark St. Germain’s approach in imagining a 1937 encounter between writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.

Of Dual Citizenship and Pulled Rugs: MODERN TERRORISM at CATF

All of them, then, have one foot in Muslim culture and one in the Western culture Muslim terrorists affect to despise, and that is part of the point author Jon Kern is making about them. Whether they like it or not, they are dual citizens. What enrages them is also a part of them, and it means that in waging war on Americans, they are also waging war on themselves.

Art, Life, and the Meaning of It All Up For Discussion – and Combat – in H2O at CATF

H2O will leave you dealing not only with your feelings about the characters, but also reconsidering art, life, and The Meaning of It All.