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Billy McEntee

BILLY MCENTEE is a freelance arts journalist whose articles have appeared in Vanity Fair, American Theatre, and Indiewire, among others. He is the art editor for Greenpointers and works at Playwrights Horizons.

All Roads (And Genres) Lead To TIGUE

Instrumental music, when expertly crafted, often shimmers with something beneath its surface, a spring-loaded energy set for flight. Without words to act as release, the body turns to other solutions—dance, most notably, but in the case of Brooklyn-based band TIGUE, perhaps something more surreal.

Gathering Round The Hearth: New Theater, Strong Women, and Fiery Plays

The Hearth, Greer’s new theater company that she co-founded with Emma Miller is creating a fire for female artists to gather around. Or, more literally, “The Hearth tells the stories of women,” as the company’s website states.

Sam Hunter Brings Two New Plays—and a Meal—to Rattlestick

Sam Hunter’s plays are tightly constructed, hauntingly beautiful, and hold a striking alchemy of contradictions: his works are small, despite the vast lands on which they’re set, and they’re also poignant, despite—or perhaps because of—their lack of sentimentality.

Jeremy O. Harris Continues His Firecracker Season with “Daddy”

With two searing world premieres in one season, Jeremy O. Harris isn’t making a splash; he’s summoning a tidal wave.

In Their Changing Village, Two Artists Reflect on a Lost Hospital

Prior to rehearsing for Novenas for a Lost Hospital, cast member Ken Barnett saw his relationship to the titular medical center, St. Vincent’s, as twofold.

Trickling Up: The Theater Community Uplifts its Own

Theaters have been shuttered for a record number of days: with Broadway venues currently closed through at least June 7—and many Off-Broadway theaters following suit—we are quickly approaching our 100th day without communing together. It has had a devastating effect on the industry, and none have felt this seismic shift more acutely than its artists.

The Universe Doesn't Cast Leading Roles: Zhu Yi's You Never Touched the Dirt

In her surreal new comedy You Never Touched the Dirt, the wealthy Lis have lived detached from the land that nurtures them while also paying exorbitant prices to enjoy its unspoiled splendor in a private lakeside community somewhere outside Shanghai. Zhu Yi’s play is a bonkers, tilted, and utterly delightful eclogue; naturally, experimental mainstay Ken Rus Schmoll directs this New York premiere that bows at Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks starting June 3.

Let Constraints Set You Free

The play feels simultaneously apiece with our politically confused world and also contained totally unto itself. “I'm interested in writing plays that feel like microcosms of the ‘larger world,’” Einspanier said. “At the time of writing, I was thinking a lot about the struggle towards kindness. We talk a lot about conflict (drama!) in the theater—I wanted to explore care, and how we might embody it onstage.”

In Pursuit of the Urgently Inexplicable

Arbery—tender, clement, and an exposed nerve who shines with a quiet charisma—does not intend to be the center of attention, even as his career is exploding, and so it seems fair that he wouldn't force a principal role on anyone else, even a fictional character.

In Conversation

Looking Back, and Forward, as Ma-Yi Celebrates 30 Years of Innovative Work

The Obie and Lucille Lortel award-winning theater company started out in 1989 producing solely the work of Filipino American writers; while that has evolved, so has the theater’s definition of what a “Ma-Yi play” is. And that’s a strength: in a company whose ethos and blessings are fortified by its creators, each new playwright brings with them—to Ma-Yi’s numerous productions and artistic programs—their own world and experiences to expand and delight the company’s evolving landscape of thought-provoking, envelope-pushing American plays.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MAY 2020

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