War and terrorism have become facts of contemporary life, but New Stage Collective’s new production, Christopher Shinn’s intense Dying City, brings these themes to the stage in a very personal and individual manner.
Cincinnati Shakespeare actor Rob Jansen plays identical twins, Peter, a gay actor, and Craig, a soldier who has died in Iraq. CCM drama grad Julianna Bloodgood is Kelly, Craig’s widow and a psychologist in New York City. Director Drew Fracher, a past Cincinnati Entertainment Award winner, directs this powerful play about how the events of Sept. 11 and the Iraq War affect lives and beliefs.
Dying City explores themes of grief, politics and psychology. Alan Patrick Kenny, NSC’s producing artistic director, says, “Dying City is not a 'war play' but rather a haunting study of the very human process of grieving and loss. Since the start of the Iraq War, we’ve gained enough historical distance to examine its micro-impacts, socially and psychologically. This play delves into the inner lives of three fascinating characters as they reconcile love, war and grief.”
Fracher says that the two actors have “approached this play with great reverence to the dialogue and sensitivity to the characters. Working with such talented young actors and exploring the nuances of the script has been very rewarding.” Shinn, 33, has written eight plays since 1998; Dying City has been praised for its powerful writing. “The script paints the truth into the air, and our characters step in,” Bloodgood says.
Stepping in to watch this show sounds like a good idea. Through Jan. 25.
Read Rick Pender's review here.