Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New plays by LaBute, Gurney Among Shorts About Disabilities

Mary Theresa Archbold (Ginger), Anita Hollander (Rose) and Tiffan Borelli (Gorgeous) in Bekah Brunstetter's GORGEOUS, part of Tlast year's theater Breaking Through Barriers' SOME OF OUR PARTS at the Clurman Theatre (410 West 42nd Street). Photo by Carol Rosegg.
Theater Breaking Through Barriers (TBTB), the renowned Off-Broadway
company known for its productions that integrate able-bodied actors
with artists with disabilities, presents MORE OF OUR PARTS – its
second annual festival of short plays about disabilities and the
people affected by them.
The festival features world premieres by Neil LaBute,
A.R. Gurney, Bekah Brunstetter, Bruce Graham, Samuel D. Hunter, and
Jeffrey Sweet – with performances to run June 21 through July 1 at
Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre (410 West 42nd Street).

TBTB artistic director and founder Ike Schambelan, Tony-nominee Pamela Birch,
Christopher Burris, TBTB company member Christina Roussos, and Russell
Treyz, and direct.

The world-premiere plays, each commissioned by TBTB, include Bekah
A. R. Gurney's THE INTERVIEW; Samuel D. Hunter's GEESE; Neil LaBute's

The ensemble of MORE OF OUR PARTS includes Melanie Boland, Tiffan
Borelli, Donna Bullock, Shannon Devido, Stephen Drabicki, Joshua Eber,
Shawn Elliott, Warren Kelley, Shawn Randall, Jonathan Todd Ross,
Nicholas Viselli, and Blair Wing. The production features set design
by Bert Scott; costume design by Kristine Koury and dramaturgy by
Julius Novick. Brooke Elsinghorst is Production Stage Manager.
In Bekah Brunstetter's AFTER BREAKFAST, MAYBE, a young woman plots to
take over the world, while her mother serves her blueberry
smiley-faced pancakes. Christina Roussos directs.

In Bruce Graham's THE AHHHH FACTOR a producer and writer argue over
whether they should shoot a sex scene for a beautiful, deaf movie
star. Russell Treyz directs.

In A.R. Gurney's THE INTERVIEW, a young, deaf man has an admissions
interview at a prestigious college. Ike Schambelan directs.

Samuel D. Hunter's GEESE looks at a wheelchair-using young woman who
wants to save the geese in a city park. Christopher Burris directs.

In Neil LaBute’s THE WAGER, on their way home from a club in NYC, a
guy and his girlfriend are stopped by a homeless man and a game of
chance quickly begins to escalate into something more dangerous. Ike
Schambelan directs.

In Jeffrey Sweet’s A LITTLE FAMILY TIME a celebrated writer is forced
to introduce his fiancée to a corner of his life he has tried to keep
hidden. Patricia Birch directs.

Theater Breaking Through Barriers, formerly Theater by the Blind, is a
critically acclaimed company integrating able-bodied actors with
artists with disabilities. Founded in 1979, by Artistic Director Ike
Schambelan, the company's mission is to change the image of people
with disabilities from one of dependence to independence, to fight
stereotypes and misperceptions associated with disability, and to show
how vibrant, fluid and exuberant the work of artists with disabilities
can be.

MORE OF OUR PARTS runs June 21-July 1 at Theatre Row's Clurman Theatre
(410 West 42nd Street): Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm;
Friday at 8pm; Saturday at 3pm and 8pm; Sunday at 3pm. Tickets are
$19.25. For reservations, call 212-239-6200 or visit For additional information, visit

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Our reviews are professional reviews written without a religious bias. At the end of them, you can find a listing of language, content or theological issues that Christians might want to know about when deciding which shows to see.

** Mature indicates that the show has posted an advisory because of content. Usually this means I would recommend no one under the age of 16 attend.

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

Theater Critic Lauren Yarger

My Bio

Lauren Yarger has written, directed and produced numerous shows and special events for both secular and Christian audiences. She co-wrote a Christian musical version of “A Christmas Carol” which played to sold-out audiences of over 3,000 in Vermont and was awarded the 2000 Vermont Bessie (theater and film awards) for “People’s Choice for Theatre.” She also has written two other dinner theaters, sketches for church services and devotions for Christian artists.

Yarger trained for three years in the Broadway League’s Producer Development Program, completed the Commercial Theater Institute's Producing Three-Day Training and produced a one-woman musical about Mary Magdalene that toured nationally and closed with an off-Broadway run.

She was a Fellow at the National Critics Institute at the O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT. She writes reviews of Broadway and off-Broadway theater (the only ones you can find in the US with an added Christian perspective) at

She is editor of The Connecticut Arts Connection (, an award-winning website featuring theater and arts news for the state. She is a contributing editor for and is a theater reviewer for the Manchester Journal-Inquirer. She previously served as Connecticut theater editor for and as Connecticut and New York reviewer for American Theater Web.

Yarger is a book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and freelances for other sites. She is a member of the National Book Critics Circle.

She is a freelance writer and playwright and member of The Drama Desk, The Outer Critics Circle, The American Theater Critics Association and The League of Professional Theatre Women. She served as a judge for the SDX Awards presented by the Society of Professional Journalists. She also is a member of the Connecticut Critics Circle and the CT Press Club.

A former newspaper editor and graduate of the University of Missouri’s School of Journalism, Yarger also worked in arts management for the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts, the Hartford Symphony Orchestra and served for nine years as the Executive Director of Masterwork Productions, Inc. She lives with her husband in West Granby, CT. They have two adult children.


All material is copyright 2008- 2017 by Lauren Yarger. Reviews and articles may not be reprinted without permission. Contact


Key to Content Notes:

God's name taken in vain -- means God or Jesus is used in dialogue without speaking directly to or about them.

Language -- means some curse words are used. "Minor" usually means the words are not too strong or that it only occurs once or twice throughout the show.

Strong Language -- means some of the more heavy duty curse words are used.

Nudity -- means a man or woman's backside, a man's lower front or a woman's front are revealed.

Scantily clad -- means actors' private areas are technically covered, but I can see a lot of them.

Sexual Language -- means the dialogue contains sexually explicit language but there's no action.

Sexual Activity -- means a man and woman are performing sexual acts.

Adultery -- Means a married man or woman is involved sexually with someone besides their spouse. If this is depicted with sexual acts on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Sex Outside of Marriage -- means a man and woman are involved sexually without being married. If this is depicted sexually on stage, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Homosexuality -- means this is in the show, but not physically depicted.

Homosexual activity -- means two persons of the same sex are embracing/kissing. If they do more than that, the list would include "sexual activity" as well.

Cross Dresser -- Means someone is dressing as the opposite sex. If they do more than that on stage the listing would include the corresponding "sexual activity" and/or "homosexual activity" as well.

Cross Gender -- A man is playing a female part or a woman is playing a man's part.

Suggestive Dancing -- means dancing contains sexually suggestive moves.

Derogatory (category added Fall 2012) Language or circumstances where women are referred to or treated in a negative and demeaning manner.

Other content matters such as torture, suicide or rape will be noted, with details revealed only as necessary in the review itself.

The term "throughout" added to any of the above means it happens many times throughout the show.

Reviewing Policy

I receive free seats to Broadway and Off-Broadway shows made available to all voting members of the Outer Critics Circle and The Drama Desk, the two professional critics organizations with journalists covering NY theater. Journalistically, I provide an unbiased review and am under no obligation to make positive statements. Sometimes shows do not make tickets available to reviewers. If these are shows my readers want to know about (I review all Broadway shows and pertinent Off-Broadway shows), I will purchase a ticket. If a personal friend is involved in a production, I'll let you know, but it won't influence a review. If I feel there is a conflict, I won't review their portion of the production.

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