Archive for category Reviews
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.
My short one-act VERONICA’S DOLLS was performed as a staged reading on March 10 in New York at the Dramatist’s Guild Theatre as part of a festival of short plays about mental health that was produced by Piccione Arts. The event got a nice review in Five-Star Arts Journal.
Here’s what it said about VERONICA’S DOLLS:
“Veronica’s Dolls” A teenagers dolls come to life in a desperate effort to save her life after she attempts suicide. Starring, LOUISE HELLER, EMMA ROMEO, NICK CAPRIOTTI, GEMIA FOO, TRAVIS MARTIN. “Veronica’s Dolls” was most innovative and creative what with its conveyance of human feelings vis-a-vis inanimate objects. This piece happily was reminiscent of the popular Twilight Zone episode: “Five Characters in Search of an Exit”. EMMA ROMEO gave a nice characterization while NICK CAPRIOTTI was well in command of his lines and performance.
My 10-minute play DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN has just gotten this nice review on the New Play Exchange:
“ Clever and timely! This would make the perfect addition to any short play festival centered on “current events.”
— Rey Dabalsa
DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN
A parable about fake news. In this play, after the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline, the newspaper kept insisting Dewey really did win, publishing story after story about the Dewey administration. Now it’s eight years later . . . Cast: Four: Three male, one female.
* Produced Oct-Nov. 2018, Broom Street Theater, Madison, Wisconsin.
Here’s a review for my short Christmas play THE ONE-WORD CHRISTMAS CAROL that was posted on the New Play Exchange:
“If you haven’t partaken of Yancey’s one-word classics, they are a treat and this is a good place to start. Dickens himself would be proud. I particularly liked this glimpse into Belle’s family, and of course Scrooge’s back and forth with the Christmas ghosts always delight. Yancey makes it look deceptively easy but don’t be fooled, it’s HARD selecting the exactly right single word at a time to convey the spirit of a timeless story, move the plot forward and still have the entire project feel fresh and vibrant. Yancey is just the man for the undertaking.”
— Matthew Weaver
THE ONE-WORD CHRISTMAS CAROL
The traditional Christmas Carol story, more or less, told with each actor speaking a line of just a single word. Cast: Can be done with as few as six, or expanded larger, if you desire. With six, 4 male, 1 female, 1 non-gender. Feel free, of course, to use non-traditional casting.
Here’s a review posted on the New Play Exchange about my play MOON OVER MANITOBA:
“A lovely, lively adventure between two strong young women, one from Honduras, one from Canada, who make their way out of Texas north to avoid ICE and seek shelter in Winnipeg. Yancey, always so good in everything he writes, here does a masterful job of telling a full, epic story with just two performers and a hockey stick. Veronica and Isabella are characters we root for, want to protect and will follow no matter where or how far they go. In Yancey’s capable hands, they’re strong, smart … and still just teenagers fumbling their way to safety. Spectacularly well done.”
— Matthew Weaver
MOON OVER MANITOBA
A play about immigration, with a cast of two teen-age girls. Veronica is a teenager from Canada, whose father’s job has taken the family to Texas. She’s homesick for Manitoba. She meets Isabella, who turns out to have arrived recently, and illegally, from Honduras after a harrowing trip from Central America. The two girls know no one else and strike up a tentative friendship. When Isabella’s cousin, with whom she’s living, is arrested by immigration agents, Isabella flees to Veronica’s house. Veronica impetuously decides they should run away to Canada, which Veronica is sure will accept Isabella. That’s Act 1. Act 2 is their trip north, which is full of danger and unexpected developments. Cast: Two teenage girls, one Latina.