Hackers on stage
Anyone who has been on an MIT campus tour has seen the pictures of great hacks of the past. Study here for a year, and you’re sure to see a hack with your own eyes. Yet despite the knowledge that hackers are fellow students, the people that crawl between the walls and pull high-tech pranks remain a mystery to most. In Hack, Punt, Tool, hackers take center stage in a story steeped in MIT mythology. This new musical is written, scored, and orchestrated by MIT students. For those who have ever wondered who was behind the abduction of the Caltech cannon or the many creative alterations to the dome, this is the show for you.
A study of scarlet
In her stage adaptation of Jung Chang’s Wild Swans, Alexandra Wood has crafted a vivid portrait of the political turmoil and uncertainty surrounding Mao Zedong’s rule in China. Chang’s memoir, which spans a century of history and covers the lives of three generations of women — her grandmother, her mother, and herself — is a lengthy one, but on the stage, the epic plays out in five acts and less than two hours.
Urine good hands?
Corporate profits soar. A corrupt politician is bribed into raising fees for a necessary service, at the expense of the people. The people’s protest is brutally suppressed by the police.
Intrigue in Boston
Next House presented their self-produced musical Curtains over CPW and last Sunday, in celebration of the dorm’s 30th anniversary. Curtains, originally written by Rupert Holmes, tells the tale of the murder case that occurs in a Boston theater. The star of the show, Jessica Cranshaw (Tiffany J. Lin ’11), is shot in the beginning of her performance and a detective by the name of Lieutenant Frank Cioffi (Staly Chin ’15) comes to unravel the mystery of the murder. Baffled by the fact that Cranshaw’s costars and director were glad that she passed away, the detective puts everyone on his suspects list. In this play, there are relationship issues with cast members, rekindling of love, mother-daughter issues, boat shows, and newspaper critics from The Boston Globe!
DARE to get high?
A time for experimentation, college life is rife with pleasures — legal or otherwise. Those proud graduates of DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) have already been introduced to the evils of drugs. Those who haven’t heard the stern warnings and strict admonitions can still be saved from the stroll down sin lane. Now, both can find a refresher course on the most pernicious gateway drug of them all.
How many MIT students does it take to tame the shrew?
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble prides itself on keeping a textual interpretation of the classic works while adding a modern twist to keep the plays fresh — and this is certainly true of their latest production, The Taming of the Shrew. The play follows the story of Katherina and Bianca, daughters of the wealthy lord Baptista. Because of Katherina’s shrewish disposition and Bianca’s desirability, Baptista decides that he will only marry off Bianca if Katherina gets a husband first. So begins a crazy journey of deception and false identities: Lucentio, Tranio, and Hortensio compete for Bianca’s hand in marriage, while Petruchio of Verona is the only suitor brave enough to deal with Katherina’s sass.
“Operation Epsilon” — Ten scientists, one stage
It’s the close of World War II. The British and Americans have imprisoned Germany’s top ten nuclear scientists in a lavish English estate, Farm Hall. Every room in the house, from the piano room to the parlor, is bugged. The Allies listen to the scientists’ conversations to determine how close Nazi Germany is to building an atomic bomb.
A story of loyalty, honor and deception
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble’s production of “Julius Caesar” premiered last Friday, with over twenty-five MIT students contributing to the show as either cast or crew. The story is about the conspiracy against Julius Caesar, and his assassination in 44 BC. Although it is a historical play, “Julius Caesar” does not focus significantly on the facts and logistics of the conspiracy, but instead illuminates the psychological basis and internal struggles of the characters in the play.
MIT Professor of Music and Theater Arts Jay R. Scheib’s newest production, Elektra, took stage this month at Kresge Little Theater, starring an all-MIT-student cast. The Greek myth inspired tale of heartache and revenge makes the audience cringe, laugh, and gasp as characters spit blood into each other’s faces, surgically remove someone’s heart, reunite with long-lost siblings, and commit murder. The performance both captivates and horrifies the audience while effectively articulating its tragic theme.
A charming romp through the troubles of adult life
The beloved theme song of the Internet, “The Internet is for Porn,” comes to MIT in the Musical Theater Guild’s production of Avenue Q. With a story about a group of friends with real-life problems, such as closeted homosexuality, porn addiction, and graduating with a liberal arts degree, the show mixes puppets, actors, and even a shadow theater in a hilarious pastiche of Sesame Street for adults.
Take the T to Harvard Square, walk down Brattle Street just far enough to escape the loud bustle of tourists, and you will find yourself at the Loeb Drama Center, home to the American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.). It’s difficult to imagine that such a star-struck theatre could exist on such a quiet street, but the building — a typical example of modern architecture, and easily overlooked — has housed many well-known names and acclaimed performances. Zachary Quinto played Tom in a staging of The Glass Menagerie that ran this April and March; in June, the A.R.T.’s production of Pippin claimed ten nominations and four wins at the 2013 Tony Awards. And on Sept. 20, I had the opportunity to view a play of similar casting and literary caliber: All The Way, written by Pulitzer-Prize winning playwright Robert Schenkkan, and starring Bryan Cranston of Breaking Bad fame.
Breathing life into a long-gone European empress
Whether it is just another attempt by feminist revisionist historians to rehabilitate female historical figures by distinguishing their personal views and deeds from that of their husbands or fathers, or merely an expression of the personal and professional views of Evelyne Lever, a leading contemporary French historian and author, Marie-Antoinette in Her Own Words at the very least invokes sympathy for her gruesome fate, if not also empathy for her long suffering through a passionless marriage and the backstabbing of cruel panjandrums in the 18th century French imperial court.
The Power of Duff
An ordinary anchorman leads a relatively ordinary life until one day when his father suddenly dies. Instead of closing one of his broadcast reports by traditionally thanking the audience for watching the news, he decides to break the norms and pray. The erratic decision receives glowing praise from the local community, and the story gets a special twist when the anchorman’s subsequent broadcast prayers come to life. With these new acquired powers, he decides that it is his duty to pray for other people’s sufferings and save the world.
A Hamlet reimagining
Introducing the redefinition of a penny for your thoughts. The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble’s performance of Hamlet reconceives the original play by Shakespeare and brings imagination to life. For those of you who have read the play about the Prince of Denmark before you may have found it to be highly emotional. The infamous line “to be or not to be” has been quoted many times over. Another nuance you may have noticed is that while there are many high-pressure and tension-filled scenes, there are also welcome traces of comic relief.
Dramashop presents One Acts
Last weekend MIT Dramashop continued a 56-year tradition, presenting one-act plays performed and directed by students. The night included four short plays, ranging from a slightly morbid tale of death and beauty to a comedy/drama between a hobo and an affluent screenplay writer. We walked away entertained, amused, and thoroughly impressed by our theatrically inclined peers.
The Forest of Eoren, a student-written production
“It’s like a Charlie’s Angels pose with stuffed animals”, says the director. “Remember, you’re the spokesdryad.”
What have we learned?
Is the modern housing crisis like the Great Depression? In House/Divided, The Builders Association attempts to understand the parallels between the financial panic of the late 2000s and the 1930s, with a fascinating script that draws inspiration from The Grapes of Wrath and innovative incorporation of media.
A moving romance in a chaotic world
Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia pairs the parallel stories of teenaged Thomasina Coverly (Keenan A. Sunderwirth ’14) and her tutor Septimus Hodge (Garett W. Schulte ’17) in an early 19th-century England in Sidley Park, and follows Hannah Jarvis (Katherine A. Roe ’14) in modern day. While Thomasina investigates determinism and physics near the turn of the century, Hannah uncovers the identity of Sidley Park’s mysterious hermit.
Baryshnikov returns to the stage
Man in a Case is an adaptation of two of Chekov’s lesser-known tales, “Man in a Case” and “About Love,” currently hosted by the always-improving ArtsEmerson.
I loathe Shakespeare. Shakespeare’s plays are generally over-performed, and I’ve seen far too many productions where actors speak Shakespeare’s archaic words in strange phrasings, making the plays inaccessible. Additionally, the plays generally lack interesting female characters and are often misogynistic. To say the least, I expected to be bored by A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Not enough depth
Theater, by virtue of its intimacy, is meant to teach us something about ourselves and others. While The Whale carefully reveals the life of an overweight man, it does so by obscuring two traditionally ignored groups, young women and Mormons.
MIT Shakespeare Ensemble presents Twelfth Night
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble’s performance of Twelfth Night was hilarious. The play tells the story of Viola, who pretends to be a man to get close to Orsino, whom she loves. However, Orsino loves Olivia, who falls in love with Cesario, who is really Viola — a confusing love triangle at best. For those of you more familiar with popular culture than Shakespeare, you may recall the movie She’s the Man, starring Amanda Bynes, which was based off of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. This production was as humorous as any Shakespearian comedy and was set in an interesting time — the 1960s or 1970s.
Traces at ArtsEmerson
In my dreams sometimes I fly. I just take a really long step and then the next without my feet ever touching the ground. It is a peculiar yet precious feeling. The Quebecois troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main (literally, the seven fingers of a hand), makes the dream a reality in their theater, dance, and circus crossover Traces, running in the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston’s Theatre District until October 12.
Love’s Labour’s Lost: A labor of love
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble put on their production of Love’s Labour’s Lost on March 19–22 in La Sala de Puerto Rico, directed by Liz Adams. Despite the challenges of performing one of Shakespeare’s more esoteric plays, the Ensemble executed it with both talent and enthusiasm.
Can I have the definition please?
I completely understood what director Hubert Hwang ’07 meant when he said that MIT students would probably really identify with at least one of the eight main characters in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The middle schoolers aren’t perfect, and while they have some impressive achievements under their belts, they have flaws, insecurities, and personal matters to deal with. We realize it isn’t fair to idolize them: admire them, sure, but don’t place god-like expectations upon them.
Double, double toil and trouble
Along the spectrum of villains and traitors, Macbeth falls somewhere between Brutus and Joffrey Baratheon. Spurred on by his wife’s ambitions, he murders his king, his best friend, and a whole family in order to gain and keep the throne. With all the aspirations of a would-be ruler, but none of the guts, Macbeth is truly an unsympathetic character. But what if someone other than Lady Macbeth were pulling his strings? What if the events of Shakespeare’s classic play were actually orchestrated by a cabal of witches?
An enchanting trip Into the Woods
For their fall production, MIT Musical Theatre Guild’s (MTG) took on Into the Woods, one of Stephen Sondheim’s most treasured musicals. It’s got fairy tale characters, an endless stream of wishes, and a charming sense of humor. The musical follows a childless baker and his wife, and their quest to break a witch’s curse, where they must journey through the mysterious woods to obtain a set of items for the witch. During their adventure through the woods, their paths intertwine with those of the characters from Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, Cinderella, and Rapunzel, and the plot thickens once the characters begin arguing over questions like “What is right?” and “What should I do with this giant in my backyard?”
Much Ado About Nothing: hormones and humor run rampant in Messina gaming lounge
Taking a theatrical journey to Messina, the traditional setting of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, was exactly what I needed by the end of this past week. It turned out to be a rather unexpected kind of Messina — a gaming lounge rather than a small Italian town. But hey, “all the world’s a stage,” and the Shakespeare Ensemble does a fantastic job of adapting one of the Bard’s most beloved comedies to ours.
The Wild Party
The piece is relatively fast-paced throughout, with one dramatic turn following another and songs flowing almost like a stream of consciousness.
Shakespeare meets Star Trek
The MIT Shakespeare Ensemble’s rendition of The Tempest was an infusion of the Bard and Star Trek. I’m usually not the biggest Shakespeare fan but I am a sci-fi nerd, and I enjoyed the many tributes to popular science fiction franchises throughout.
1776 delivers patriotic, playful production
In the midst of oppressive August heat, the MIT Gilbert & Sullivan Players took audiences back to another sweltering summer in a different northern city.
Everybody’s got the right to be morbid
Framed as a macabre carnival game, Assassins delves into the stories of men and women who attempted to assassinate presidents of the United States.
Hamilton, I don’t think we’re in 1776 anymore
Hamlet-on, a production by the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble, was completely written and rehearsed in 24 hours. A mashup of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s wildly popular musical Hamilton, the show proves both clever and hilarious.
Hit ’80s sitcom resurfaces in live stage adaptation
Set in a Boston bar, the sitcom Cheers dominated TV in the ’80s as the place to go where “everybody knows your name.” It’s back in a stage adaptation from Citi Performing Arts Center, debuting in Boston before embarking on a nationwide tour.
Connecting the dots in Sunday in the Park with George
A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, displayed at the Art Institute of Chicago, served as a theatrical and musical inspiration for Stephen Sondheim, who has been described as “the greatest and perhaps best-known artist in the American musical theater.” For actor Chanler-Berat (Broadway's Peter and the Starcatcher and Next to Normal) and director Peter DuBois (A Little Night Music), who hopped on a plane to view the original painting, it was a source of creative energy.
Oh, What a Night!
It’s one of those musicals that’ll have you humming its tunes all week long. Packed with energy and addicting melodies, Jersey Boys recounts the rise of one of America’s most beloved bands from the 1960s, The Four Seasons.
Love and murder adds up to a night of laughter
Even though the show packed in a fair amount of murder, the bloodshed only contributed to the musical’s hilariously over-the-top story set in Edwardian England.
Brooding pirates, a damsel in distress, and Le Jardin Animé en pointe
Le Corsaire (the Pirate) is a thrilling fantasy tale set in the Royal Ottoman era about a love triangle between a handsome corsair named Conrad, ruthless Said Pasha, and the beautiful maiden Medora.
An American in Paris dazzles Boston
An American in Paris nearly had me in tears. Not just once, or twice, or three times — I was continually overwhelmed with a range of ineffably blissful emotions. I'd be taking in the iconic music, the flawless dancing, the set, the acting, the story… and I'd be overcome with such an appreciation for being alive, in that theatre, sitting in that seat, experiencing such a beautiful performance.
Tiger Style follows two siblings as they explore their identites
The myth of the “tiger mom” took flight in the American imagination with the publication of Amy Chua’s Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, which sparked a nationwide controversy about the merits of Asian vs. Western parenting styles. Playwright Mike Lew “felt that it wasn’t being represented [fairly] in the media,” so he decided to write a play about it. He explores not only the myth of tiger parents and the question of what happens after the alleged Carnegie Hall recitals and Ivy League college graduations, but also the identity conundrum that faces Asian-Americans in the 21st century.
Do you bite your thumb at us, sir?
As the lights dim in La Sala on the second floor of the Stud, the spotlight focuses on a quiet scene in fair Verona (crafted by set designer Jakob Weisblat ‘18), where the age-old tragedy of star-crossed lovers is about to unfold. With their rendition of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble brings forth the time-worn themes of fate and free will, love and lust, that Shakespeare introduced in theaters centuries ago. The famed tragedy, directed by long-time theater veteran Francine Davis, brings the audience many laughs, tears, and the entire spectrum between the two.
Thuggery takes the stage and refuses to give it up
In this telling of political thuggery, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui is injected with humor in a way that makes it easy to forget the seriousness and wrongness of what is unfolding in the play.
Sharply funny comedy, terminal illness, and 17th century poetry take center stage
Wit is a tour de force of human experience that dares to pose difficult questions about life, death, and the uncertainty of human mortality
“Urine” for a good show
In the world of Urinetown, urination isn’t a right, but a privilege. It’s a place without privacy, where you simply cannot ever hope to “pee in peace.”
Revenge is a dish best served cold and with magical rain
It’s not the first time that Prospero’s gender was switched in an adaptation. In 2010, Julie Taymor’s film The Tempest cast Helen Mirren as the protagonist Prospero (known in the film as Prospera), a role traditionally acted by a man in Shakespeare’s original play of the same title. Here, the Actors’ Shakespeare Project has cast Marya Lowry, who juggles the various sides of our protagonist seamlessly and fits naturally into the script.
It’s all fun and games... unless you’re George and Martha
The script has held up well. With its raunchy humor and intensely flawed characters, Virginia Woolf? is reminiscent of modern television dramedies like You’re the Worst. Dysfunctional families and tragic marriages seem like modern staples, but for a play performed in the 1960s, it generated controversy for its language and portrayal of such flawed, unlikeable characters.
If you don’t like it, it’s your fault
Nine different characters. Sixteen different possible life trajectories. Over 10 hours of theatrical content. All of this managed by a cast of two.
Meet Augustine Early, your resident journalist sleazebag
The Atheist is a snide reminder about integrity and moral responsibility to journalists who are granted the power to control the flow of information.
Wait, you mean it’s not “Hack, Pun, Tool?”
Listen to Story Jack tell the tale of the greatest, most elaborate inside joke of the world: MIT’s hacker culture.
Happy theater, sad theater, weird theater
MIT Dramashop presents The One Acts, a collection of concise 30-minute plays that hit home hard.
MIT Stop Our Silence presents The Vagina Monologues
The Vagina Monologues began with a lively discussion of what vaginas are called in different majors. “In course 6, they call it the ‘Big O’.” “In course 12, they call it the ‘black hole.’
When all along, you’ve been telling the truth
Aptly subtitled as a “trivial comedy for serious people,” The Importance of Being Earnest is a satirical exploration of Victorian courtship and mistaken identity, a lighthearted play without the gravitas of Dorian Gray but with the same biting wit as Wilde’s other writings.
Exit, pursued by a bear
Every production of The Winter’s Tale interprets the instruction in its own way: as a man in a bear suit, a shadow seen in a flash of lightning, an evocative growl from offstage.
Words take root in people
EMW (East Meets West) Bookstore is a cozy community space and gallery located in Central Square that has hosted one of the longest running Asian American open mic night series in the country.
What to do when you cannot mend Every Piece of Me?
Every Piece of Me explores cultural clashes and the moments when communication collapses in a heartwarming drama.
Can religion and reason agree on love?
Paradise explores the clashing issues of science and tradition as it follows two unlikely friends through an academic and personal journey.
Sweet dreams are made of this: wonder
From Einstein’s Dreams, I took away less of an understanding of time and more of a mutual recognition, less of Einstein’s biography and more of his fiction.
Everything you’ve ever, and never, done
We define the moment and, reciprocally, the moment defines us. Constellations explores the infinite possibility that inhabits such a moment.
Coping with trauma abroad
A Guide for the Homesick
‘Oleanna’ returns to stir controversy
Inspired by Anita Hill’s sexual harassment allegations against Clarence Thomas and the accompanying public outrage, Oleanna explores the power dynamics between a student and her professor when she accuses him of sexual harassment after a private meeting concerning her grades.
Of monsters, math, and motherly love
The 15-year-old math-whiz with Asperger’s wants to find the person responsible for the death of Wellington, the dog found speared with a pitchfork on a gloomy night.
Hamlet does not condone the use of musical instruments as violence
This weak impression I had of the play 'Hamlet' greatly contrasted with The Shakespeare Ensemble’s performance: lively, emotional, funny, and viscerally moving at times. Yes, this Shakespeare play does not disappoint: (fake) blood and death abound!
‘Everybody’ loved MTA’s performance
Thanks to them, their director, and the crew that put the performance together and made it beautiful to behold, 'Everybody' led to a moment’s reflection and a unique experience for all.
A warm and communal ‘Christmas Carol’
Through Wise’s direction, 'A Christmas Carol ' goes to the heart of Christmas and theater, where a group of people enjoy a shared experience.
To the very brink of the constitution
What 'Hold These Truths' hopes to say is that it’s absolutely necessary to discover these answers for yourself and to fight for the rights that you think you deserve. As Hirabayashi remarked in the play, “It’s a matter of principle.”
This classic story will surely not bore you this time
It was this phrase that popped up so often during the production as though it heard me. Start to finish, every scene leaps out of the stage and into your heart. If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, Bedlam’s Sense & Sensibility is drenched with a frenetic vivacity.
“Shall I compare thee to a mummer’s play?”
Imagine a William Shakespeare (George Olesky) who isn’t quite as eloquent as his plethora of plays would imply. At the beginning of Shakespeare in Love, this is the version of Will we get: writer’s block, broke, and losing his faith in his own career as a playwright and a poet.
Step aside, Shakespeare, Dame Christie’s here
While clear in retrospect, the conclusion was monstrously difficult to guess, even with evidence as given (not salty about being wrong at all…).
‘Let X equal the cold’
With a previous run on Broadway, a Best Play Tony Award, a Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and a movie adaptation, this run of Proof has some very strong antecedents to live up to.
Lonely Planet review
Through both acts, Jody and Carl's friendship serves as a beautiful testament for how people are able to change one another.
Exploring both sides of the spectrum
If one thing can be said of the play, it is that 'Orlando' is one of the first modern attempts to examine gender. However, it does so by beating you over the head with its discoveries.
The million bright sides of life
We have seen tragedies and comedies, but Every Brilliant Thing is a tragicomedy that frames a tragedy through a comedic lens by pairing Krstansky’s outstanding acting with Macmillan’s unbridled optimism.
Claudia Rankine’s ‘The White Card’ bares the hypocrisy of a white family as they host a black photographer over dinner before the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Despite its promising premise, the play suffers from shallow characterization and forced dialogue, dulling what otherwise could have been a compelling narrative.
In the wake of calamity
The lingering pain that never goes away is now a play.
The most beautiful thing in the world
Horrific, touching, and deeply beautiful, Weissman’s production brings to life Rajiv Joseph’s play with such wonderful magic that it will mesmerize you from start to finish.
‘Villain, I have done thy mother!’
A kingdom divided, three daughters estranged, and a madwoman born in the midst of it all — MIT Shakespeare Ensemble presents Queen Lear, a telling story of the titular queen’s tragic downfall after she divides her empire among two of her three daughters.
A woman in the blue dress
You’ll want to see these two characters duke it out, letting their wits do the talking. It’s one power struggle after another in this play as Pillar and van Meegeren try to assert their dominance in this tiny prison cell.
The world in varying shades of gray
Halloween comes early to MIT, as Next Act uses a bit of necromancy to pull you into a musical that is anything but dead. An undead work of art in every sense of the word.
Scientists fight patriarchy by discovering astronomical theories
The universal struggles portrayed through these women reflect of how much has changed, and what issues persist, in our human endeavor to understand the universe.
A letter sent into the unknown. Two people with no chance of meeting. A production with a sweet ending.
Are we real or simply made of code?
So sure are you of your reality? This production reveals the likelihood — and failings — of highly detailed simulations.
A recipe for disaster
A musical whose best defining feature was the end.
All that’s left
Two men stand in front of a ruined synagogue as bombs go off in the background. They are the last two Jews in the city with their entire religion resting on their shoulders. But it’s a comedy.
Not in Kansas anymore
A funkalicious, soulful, jazz-packed version of one of the most wonderful stories in history.
‘I thought I could do it. I really thought I could.’
As one of MTG’s more realistic shows, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown portrays the worries, passions, and day-to-day life of unique characters. Their uniqueness provides a good balance of personalities, and there are some parts of every character that are relatable to the audience.
Her Name is Aurora
Kiss of the Spider Woman is an unabashedly queer play set in the darkest of places, prison.
Speaking her truth in grad school
Truth Values peeks into the life of Gioia, an MIT Ph.D. candidate in logic, from the moment she gets accepted till she leaves MIT with a master’s. Based in the author's own experiences at MIT, this autobiographical one-woman show portrays the rawness of MIT grad school as I've never seen in theaters before.
No offense, but get out
The trademark coarse-grained dialogue of Stephen Adly Guirgis returns in the New England premiere of Between Riverside and Crazy, an explosive comedy about an ex-cop bitterly fighting against eviction and injustice. Mounted by SpeakEasy Stage, the production is a thrilling and humorous depiction of urban life in New York with all of its challenges and contradictions.
Two rooms and a sea of troubles
'Hamnet' is a raw, intimate portrait of William Shakespeare’s only son who died at the age of 11 and has ever since been shrouded in mist. It paints in broad, metaphysical strokes the relationship between father and son, while skirting around explicit literary analysis.
Telling the truth in difficult times
Shagspeare is commissioned to write a play about the “true history” of a failed attempt to blow up Parliament that is valiantly uncovered and quashed by king — in other words, a good, clean piece of propaganda.
Frankenstein is an immaculate ode to its literary predecessor
Frankenstein has been spotted in Central Square Theater! Head on down in the month of October for your dose of spooky chills.
Setting boundaries and breaking laws
Maybe forgetting to call your mom is a bad thing after all.
Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot twist
Before you get the wrong idea, this is not a Spark Notes rendition of the Scottish play, nor is it a hip, new adaptation set in the Bronx or L.A. This modern verse translation is the result of a concerted effort to make Shakespeare more accessible by to translating his plays into contemporary English.
Corrupt with virtuous seasoning
This production of Measure for Measure, put on by Cheek by Jowl in collaboration with Moscow’s Pushkin Theater, has a hypnotic grace that will keep you transfixed throughout, whether you speak Russian or not (don’t worry, there are English surtitles).
‘The Chalk Cycle’ is a 3-in-1 drama about parenthood
MTA’s performance of The Chalk Cycle was a driving, emotional spectacle. The triple-threat cast — which could sing, dance and play violin — put on a brilliant show.
This memory is corrupt
What happened yesterday? Can you remember?
Bend and clap!
MTG’s ‘Legally Blonde’: The Musical is a fun-filled performance with a lively cast. It’s fun to watch the characters grow in meaningful ways while they navigate their way through the narrative’s racy situations.
Before he could fly, he was Peter. Watch as a boy learns to how to never grow up.
An American story of resilience and vulnerability, DACAmented
Anner waits until the audience is deeply acquainted with his sense of belonging in the United States, before giving us a scene set in Guatemala or a scene about his parent’s pasts. Some of the most impactful scenes are the ones showing what his mother went through to get to the United States; he rapidly switches between physicalizing her fear and pain and returning to his monologue retelling, escalating the tension and stress of the scene.
Running with the wolf pack
Sarah DeLappe’s ‘The Wolves’ displays the social dynamics of a girls’ soccer team with fully developed characters and engaging dialogue. Indeed, it is difficult to find a flaw in Lyric Stage’s impressive production of ‘The Wolves’ which boasts a stellar all-female cast and creative team.
Make some noise for ‘Small Mouth Sounds’
In Bess Wohl’s ‘Small Mouth Sounds,’ the play’s six characters partake in a spiritual retreat during which they are not allowed to speak. Guided by an unseen sermonizing guru, the six people hilariously struggle to adapt to their new lifestyle while desperately wanting to communicate their personal traumas.
Rumor has it…
Eight overdramatic men and women, a suicidal deputy mayor, and an unruly gun converge one night during a fated anniversary party. We all know what ensues: Rumors galore.
The squashed cabbage leaf prevails
Professor of phonetics, Henry Higgins (Eric Tucker), and his friend, Colonel Pickering (James Patrick Nelson), take up the challenge of teaching a flower girl, Eliza Doolittle (Vaishnavi Sharma), to speak like a duchess. This production of Pygmalion will make you laugh and will make you think — I recommend it wholeheartedly.
Falling slowly in love with ‘Once’
Based on the highly acclaimed 2007 indie film, ‘Once’ tells a fable of a budding romance between an Irish busker and a Czech immigrant. While the Speakeasy Stage production does not fully shrug off the reputation of the film, the exceptional musical performances remind of the joys only live theatre can provide.
Roll over Pushkin
If you’re looking for a sincere adaptation of Alexander Pushkin’s novel-in-verse, then this is not the production for you. However, if you are looking for humorous, light-hearted musical parody of a classic Russian story, then hitch up your troika, grab your palliative bottle of vodka, and direct your driver to the faraway land of Stoneham.
Fire, blood, and anguish
A thriller to end all thrillers.
My mother’s daughter
An unfortunately underwhelming performance that leaves you wanting more.
“Who will believe thee, Isabel?”
'Measure for Measure' is one of Shakespeare’s “problem plays” that, despite being categorized as a comedy, feels like anything but. This rendition by MIT Shakespeare Ensemble leaves us feeling as if we were helpless, as if we had witnessed a tragedy because, despite the comedic relief, despite her efforts, the fate of Isabella does not change.
The most important X-ray crystallography photo in history
From a metaphoric play of metaphoric ideas — “shapes within shapes,” as Dr. Franklin calls it — this production of Photograph 51 and the people whose stories it tells draws this race to discovery into and out of focus.
‘Cleave to no faith when faith brings blood’
"The Crucible" is a poignant reminder that the villains are not only those who yell the loudest, but those who bestow their sanction on the accusers. Bedlam makes this play shine through its thoughtful, textured realization of the characters, its sustained suspense, and its intimate engagement with the audience.
How did you get into college?
A modern spin on a Shakespearean classic
The Shakespeare Ensemble’s production of ‘Twelfth Night’ is a decidedly humorous and delightful experience that takes plenty of inspiration from life at MIT.
‘The Iliad’ according to your bitter, well-oiled uncle
Pulling off a two-hour one-man show is no mean feat, requiring endurance, a compelling character and/or a killer storyline. When the storyline is one of the most familiar in existence, every other aspect of the production needs to pull its weight.
The adventures of Omelette and the gang
Had the acting been bad, this show would have been downright painful to sit through, but instead, it was delightful and hilarious thanks to the incredible skill of the ASP actors.
In the belly of the whale
In the spirit of the novel it’s based on, this musical, organized into four parts, packs in an absolute bonanza of bizarre and beautiful things into a 3.5-hour multi-genre extravaganza.
‘The Cake’: slow to bake, but layered with sweetness
Inspired by her father's own opposition to same-sex marriage and her own Southern upbringing, Brunstetter presents dialogue that speaks to the trauma of growing up queer in a Christian community.
‘Sweat’: a brilliant production that steels the show
Middle-aged mothers Tracey and Cynthia have each put in around 20 years at Olstead’s, the local steel plant, clocking in as soon as they graduated high school. When the managers decide that it’s time to cut salaries and bring in migrant workers to replace the old-timers — and when even the worker’s unions decide to fight back — tensions start to rise.
A movie and a play and a graphic novel rolled into one
‘Plata Quemada’ is truly a living graphic novel, born somewhere between a film noir thriller and a theatrical play, and something worth experiencing.
‘Twas a dark and stormy audio play
When the sky hangs heavy with clouds, when the wind trembles in the trees, when thunder shakes the air: Grab a cup of your favorite brew, settle by a window that frames the approach of winter, and absorb this auditory drama of murder, masculinity, and madness.
MIT Shakespeare Ensemble takes on the YouTube stage
The virtual production keeps the spirit of the Shakespeare Ensemble alive, finding new opportunities for creativity, humor, and acting within the medium of video.
What happened in 1809?
Arcadia was a wonderful display of the talents of LOST in their abilities to bring characters to life and reel the audience into the story.
A classic love story, unraveled
While lighthearted, this is not a love story. The violence takes center stage, suffocating the budding infatuation.
Blue Man Group splashes into rhythm
“The character doesn’t speak. You have to be very expressive with just your body, and you get to really play with all of the implicit body language stuff that is active in everyday life and interactions. It really comes to the forefront in a Blue Man Group show when you’re not able to use words and yet you have to carry along a story and make sure the audience is there with you, understanding what you’re trying to put across.”