Daily Archives: October 25, 2012

Digging in the Dirt

Holly Twyford and Natlia Payne.

In today’s City Paper, I review the second entry in the Studio Theatre’s Lab Series for new plays, Bryony Lavery’s Dirt. She wrote the masterfully chilling unsettling kiddie-killer drama Frozen, which played at Studio back in 2006. She also wrote Beautiful Burnout, a boxing play that I’m eager to see because, well, I like stories that involve boxing for the same reason I love to box: metaphors for the bruising, thrilling experience of life itself don’t come any clearer.

I was a big admirer of Studio’s production of the first Studio Lab show, Duncan Macmillian‘s Lungs, which was at Studio at this time last year. Dirt has some thematic congruity with that play, but it isn’t quite as surefooted, at least not yet. There’s some wastage. But the good stuff is very good. Holly Twyford elevates everything she’s in and DC newcomer Natalia Payne is an actor I hope we’ll start seeing all over the place. She’s phenom-mana. Continue reading

Read my friend Rachel’s insightful story about objects left at the Vietnam Wall in the new issue of Washingtonian.

Rachel Manteuffel is a writer of upsetting talent. She’s also a good actor. We met when I interviewed her a few years ago for a video I made about a play she was in. But I was already a fan of her writing then. That’s the gift she has that I actually resent and feel threatened by.

​My only consolation is the knowledge — because we’re friends, you see; we talk — that her brilliance is not extempore. She works very, very hard to be this good. She earns it.

…and then she sends you a dashed off, steam-of-consciousness e-mail that’s funnier than anything you’ve ever flushed away a weekend sweating over. Continue reading