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In the News
It’s not every play with major social themes like this one that could metaphorically mix the classical with the clowning as successfully as this work, and it’s not every playwright who could carry this off with such fearless focus and energy. Parks knows her sources well and utilizes them with all the aplomb and dexterity of a master juggler with a firm eye on the jugular. Pity the temerity of a theatergoer who’s unwilling or unable to surrender to the almost-lost art of storytelling at its purist.
Grappling with a series of moral issues – between races, between spouses, between friends -- during the Civil War, "Father Comes Home" is gripping and tense, throwing an ugly past up in our 21st-century faces.
Even after three hours of watching on Wednesday, I was ready to see more. That’s the mark of a good story.
"We have to reframe this. We can’t allow people who have told the story incorrectly or have left out important details [to] win the day. Sometimes, we have to go back in and say … ‘This is a little more complex.’”
As a musician and an ardent lover of jazz, Suzan-Lori Parks approaches playwriting as if she’s composing a piece of music. In writing “Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3),” her historical trilogy set during the Civil War, she was channeling something deep inside her, “following that voice and not asking too many questions.”
Pulitizer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks hones 'Father comes Home' at the A.R.T. in Cambridge (January 18, 2015)
Pulitzer winner Suzan-Lori Parks' new play, Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), opens Friday at the American Repertory Theater's Loeb Drama Center in Cambridge.
Eve Ensler's new play poses the question "What is garbage?" in a plea for enlightened consumerism.
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.
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.
Dig Boston: The Freegan Dialogues - Olivia Thirlby Stars In - and Believes In - Eve Ensler's New Play "O.P.C." (December 3, 2014)
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.”