"Off the Map" is not an easy play to do. It has something a little Chekhovian about it. A family, a friend, an unexpected visitor, isolated, with troubles personal, financial, even, suddenly, erotic.
If there were a pill you could take to make you love your job, would you use it? If you are as miserable as Meena Pierotti (Laura Singleton), a frustrated poet with an MFA wasting her life editing a livestock magazine, you might.
Playwright Brian Friel, best known for "Dancing at Lughnasa," wrote "Lovers" fairly early in his career. It's now being produced by West End Players Guild under Jan Meyer's sure-handed direction.
"Thou shalt not kill," the Commandment says. But what if you DO kill a whole lot of people and rather than officials arguing over the choice of "death drugs" you'll receive—oops, wait, that's a state of Missouri thing—you get a medal for your actions?
"The Hothouse" is a dark, sinister play with plenty of laughs to go around - classic early Pinter and very well done.
Lonesome Hollow is a small town in a natural bowl shaped by the hills around it. It seems peaceful here in a time identified as “soon-ish.” The residents have no particular duties that we can ascertain. Meals and housing are provided, as you would expect, for Lonesome Hollow is a prison.
For the last few years, smaller theatre companies seem to be in flux, coming and going, starting and stopping, or just in limbo for a while. But that’s not the case with West End Players Guild.
A lot of terrific acting happens in English playwright Chloe Moss's This Wide Night on the West End Players Guild's stage in the Union Avenue Christian Church. Things can get pretty intense in the 90 minutes or so of this two-character play.
I’m not sure how to classify Steven Dietz’s Inventing Van Gogh. It is an epistolary drama constructed in a multi-layered way with aspects of spiritualism and magic realism in the mix. It is didactic (it’s tricky to create dialogue from letters, which is what Dietz has done) but, despite his bona fides and they are impressive, he doesn’t seem up to making many of these speeches sound like anything other than what they are: words meant to be read and not spoken. I’ve only seen one other Dietz play—Becky’s New Car—and I didn’t think much of it either.
Though not as absurd as some of his plays, Ionesco’s “Exit The King” brings some issues to the stage that are thought-provoking and just edgy enough to make us think about the “art” and tragedy of death.