Archive for category Reviews
This came in the form of a rejection notice, but a very happy one, from a New York theatre:
“We so appreciated its arresting theatrical premise, thoughtful character work, and head-on engagement with urgent contemporary crises.”
Ultimately, though, THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT was deemed not the right fit for that particular company. It happens. But the company didn’t need to say anything, much less such nice words.
The Ambassadors, a theatre company in London, included my 10-minute play THE CHRISTMAS GOAT as a staged reading in its December event at the New Wimbledon Theatre in London. Producer Graham Hill sends these kind words:
“So many people came up to me afterwards and commented on how much they’d enjoyed the piece and how funny and engaging your writing was. The thing I personally love about your writing is that you don’t approach ideas and themes from the obvious angle and I think this is what hooks the audience so quickly.”
Fellow playwright Melinda Gros recently attended the Quannapowitt Players Suburban Holidays festival in Reading, Massachusetts where my one-act THE GIRL WHO MADE EMUS BELIEVE THEY COULD FLY was produced Nov. 29-30, Dec. 1, 5-7, 2019. She sends this happy message:
“I saw the production this weekend – the company did a very nice job – and your play is terrific! I don’t know much about emus, but the actors made them very avian and hysterical, especially the ballet-dancing emu. Congrats!”
My 10-minute play THE SANDSTORM has garnered two nice reviews on the New Play Exchange, one from Ohio playwright John Busser and the other from New York playwright Scott Sickles:
“Short, sad and oh so relevant. I was moved by the simplicity of the narrative and the characters, in just a few pages, had me concerned about their fate. Not a showy play at all, it is quiet but powerful.”
— John Busser
“O, how I love a good apocalypse! This one’s just getting started, but the play also has other things I love: smart people, bureaucracy, science and culture! And best of all, the characters have dimension! An investigation is in progress but it leads to unexpected admissions and even impactful lessons learned. As they face the certainty of a rather grave future, Yancey again instills his play with a bright hope in the deep darkness. Even in that darkness, this effervescent piece did my heart an otherworld of good!”
— Scott Sickles
My 10-minute play THE MATH LESSON got a nice review from New York playwright Scott Sickles on the New Play Exchange:
“An elegant and concise sci-fi drama illustrating what’s at the root of everything wrong in the world, namely institutionalized ignorance. Yancey shows us a savvily-defiant teacher called to task over a subversive math problem. The power struggle is palpable and infuriating. Meanwhile, two normal girls simply observe the changes in the world around them, unaware that their planet is in a show but certain freefall. The play infuses doom with hope, and pays tribute to the beauty of their world and ours. Much like the math teacher, THE MATH LESSON is a sublime protest. A genuinely important short play!”
— Scott Sickles
Here are photos from a 2017 production in Chicago.
The Virginia playwright Royal Shiree — a graduate of the celebrated MFA program at Hollins University — has posted this review of my play EXTRACTED on the New Play Exchange:
“ To say “Extracted” is an allegory is an understatement. The symbolism represented in forms of colors, characters, poems, and even location touches upon the current state of confusion and conflict. The use of a truck profoundly suggests how fast and far-reaching ideologies fester; sports is a common theme and implies much more than a game with a flavor of masculinity. To quote and reference history is disturbing to our present and forces us to look inward and recognize ourselves. This would be interesting to see the director’s perspective on staging this. ”
— Royal Shiree
New York audiences will get a chance on Nov. 16, when there’s a staged reading of the script through the auspices of Equity Library Theater at NYPL-Belafonte, 203 West 115th St.
Previously, EXTRACTED was a semi-finalist in the Southwest Theatre Productions competition in Austin, Texas.
My 10-minute play THE DEBATE AT BOSWORTH FIELD just got a very nice review on the New Play Exchange:
“I had the pleasure of seeing this play performed three times at a recent festival in Manchester England where my play was also being produced. This hilarious, absurdist play had the English audience laughing non-stop. I love these kind of plays that take literary characters out of context. We see Richard the III with new eyes while enjoying the familiarity of his history. Mr. Yancey skillfully builds the comedy to the perfect final line.”
— Arianna Rose
My 10-play play THE DEBATE AT BOSWORTH FIELD just got a very nice review on the New Play Exchange:
“A delightful historical romp! Like Monty Python meets the History Channel – What fun characters, and cracking dialogue. Yancey’s imaginative set-up finds us out on Bosworth Field – the declarative WIN for Lancaster over York, duh – in this all-too-relevant satire. Thank you to this bold author for stuffing a short play with tons of characters! It’s hilarious, with all the farcical strings pulling in criss-crossing dimensions. You can say a ten-minute play can only have 2-3 characters, but then you wouldn’t have this epically hilarious gem! No wonder it was recently selected for a competitive festival. It’s a hoot.”
— Rachael Carnes
The festival she references is the Fight Like a Girl festival in Manchester, Great Britain in August (it’s a fund-raiser for cancer research). Here’s a synopsis:
THE DEBATE AT BOSWORTH FIELD
Imagine if Richard III and Henry Tudor had met in a campaign-style debate instead. This time, Richard wins. Cast: 8 – 5 male, 2 female, 1 non-gender.
My 10-minute play THAT PLAY ABOUT THE GURGLING MUD PIT has gotten this nice review on the New Play Exchange:
“We’re not sucking the audience into a gurgling mud pit.” Yancey wholeheartedly embraces his meta concept and, in doing so, shines the spotlight on crucial theatrical positions in a very appealing way. It’s a scream as we learn more and more about the gurgling mud pit play, and the crew reacts to each bit of new information. A very good way to inform the audience about the hidden heroes who bring shows together, and an excellent way to celebrate all that goes into a production. ”
— Matthew Weaver
THAT PLAY ABOUT THE GURGLING MUD PIT
A director tries to explain a new play to the crew. Opinions vary. A meta-play about theatre. Cast: Five – all non-gender.
* Scheduled to be produced by The 10-10 New Plays Festival, Chagrin Valley Little Theatre, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, June-July 2019.
My play EXTRACTED was a semi-finalist in the Southwest Theatre Productions competition in Austin, Texas. Six plays were finalists, so in theory my play could have finished as high as seventh. This marks the second time this play has gotten some recognition (just no productions yet). Earlier a theatre in New York passed on the script but sent word that “We quite enjoyed the play’s precise comic sensibility and symbolic meditation on contemporary America.”
Here’s the synopsis of the show:
A dark allegorical tale about modern politics and immigration. An American truck driver sleeping in his cab at a truckstop in southern California is awoken by two teenage girls, Sam and Libby. He thinks they’re truckstop prostitutes and tries to run them away. Instead, the one explains that she has rescued her sister from drug gangs in Los Angeles and is trying to take her home to safety in New York. The rescued sister is our allegorical Statue of Liberty. In fact, she has not been rescued; she has been drugged against her will, for reciting — and practicing — the poem at the statue’s base: “give me your tired, your poor . . . ” As the roadtrip across North American unfolds, we see that the older sister is not, in fact, a protector and rescuer, but rather her kidnapper, who is trying to brainwash her. Along the way, the keep running into another truck driver, who is taking the same route across the country, and a mysterious woman. In the climactic scene, Sam has hired a tattoo artist to blot out “The New Colossus” poem that Libby has tattooed on her. Just then the two mystery figures burst in — revealing themselves to be special agents for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are mounting a hostage rescue and extraction to take Libby to safety in Canada. They are joined by a Mexican intelligence agent, as well, who they had previously met along the way at a truckstop. Cast: Eight — Five female (including who can pass for teens, and one Latina adult), three male.