In the News

Eve Ensler's new play poses the question "What is garbage?" in a plea for enlightened consumerism.
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Political correctness is a hostile phrase. It is used as a dismissal of those who criticize the systems of power. The phrase is used to squash and indict those who question and criticize. They are pigeonholed as being too pure, too uncompromising, too demanding, too narrow. Ensler takes the phrase and ups the ante to an obsession. She turns the tables and fuses them inside out: OPC becomes the diagnosis for those who care too much.
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Sure, there are preachy moments, but for the most part Ensler finds the tricky balance between drama and comedy, between making some serious points and inducing some genuine laughs. The actors, main and supporting, nail it. The characters, while exaggerated at times, are not caricatures, and all of them evolve their positions over the course of the play.
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For Thirlby, a Shakespearean-trained stage and screen actor who is known for Juno and Dredd, this character is the one she’s been looking for. “Oftentimes when you read a great role,” she says, “you never get the opportunity to play it, so this is exciting for me.”
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“How are we to survive as a species if we insist on destroying the world we love?”
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When she thinks she’s right, she’s certain of it. No doubts, no fretting about self-sabotage. While some have knocked her work as self-indulgent or annoying at times, she has an exceptionally vivid sense of herself as a writer who exists on another plane from dramaturgical nit-pickers.
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The actress, who's appearing in A.R.T.'s new show, says she picked up a few tips from her character.
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“It’s possible to see something that is raw and rough, but amazing,” she says. “Artists are given the chance to take chances and be fearless. The theater artists at ART know they got here by having had the chance to take risks earlier in their careers. We want to create that opportunity for others. Theater artists need places where they can take risks.”
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Jeannette Bayardelle plays multiple characters and wrote the text and music for “Shida,’’ about a fledgling writer.
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