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Ben Gassman

BEN GASSMAN is a playwright from Queens.

You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase!

It’s been 11 years since John Rocker (if the name means nothing, think Eastbound and Down) got off the 7 train and shared his nuanced thoughts on that elevated conduit of multiculturalism in the January, 2000 issue of Sports Illustrated.

In Dialogue

At Wrest in the Middle of Time with Will Eno

“So, there’s birth and death, but, really, another way to say that is that there’s this one event we probably don’t remember, and this other one we may not really experience. Described like that you sort of wonder why we put so much emphasis on those two points.”

Perché No Pass a Night Formal You at the Hotel Colors?

The Hotel Colors is a kind of translation play—not a play that has been performed or published in another language and then translated, but rather a play which could only really exist in the fog between translations.

Three Serious Ladies, Finally In the Same Room: Julia Jarcho's Nomads

The circumference of the earth is 24,901 miles. This seems like a lot if you’re driving through a mile or two of dense city at rush hour, or walking a mile or two from village to potable water and then back with a basket full of it. And seems like not so much if you are a junior executive at a boutique bank flying first class on a Gulf state airline to make a deal in Jo’Burg on Tuesday and then on to Osaka on Thursday.

The Howls and Sounds of our Little-Kiss Lives:
Ariel Stess’s I’m Pretty Fucked Up

Little-kiss lives. I’m a sucker for broken alliteration and this phrase popped out of Ariel Stess’s play Mother Milk—an adaptation of Aeschylus’s Oresteia set amidst American college town domestic squabbles and at what seemed like a family frat party with brother and sister playing grotesque and hilarious drinking games—and tackled me, some Tuesday evening in the late winter of 2009.

Digging Through Sin:
Ally Collier Tunnels Down Underland

Ally Collier’s last play, Take Me Home, literally took place in a New York City taxicab. Modesto Flaco Jimenez, the Brooklyn-born actor who drove around the audience members (only three of us at a time), also has a hack license and has worked behind the wheel of a cab. The play was completely steeped in this city where she’s been living for the past 10 years.

America: A Performance in Five Miltons

What does it mean to be an American? Back in 2012, Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour found themselves exasperated but inspired by this question.

Letter From Queens:
Reflections on a Homegrown Disruption

Two women on the street in Astoria at 6:30 in the morning: “What did Obama ever do for me?” “What did her husband, the first one, ever do for me?” “And she’s a lunatic.” I come back with coffee and the super looks up from collecting leaves, gives me a fist raised in victory, and exclaims something I pretend not to hear. His wife shakes her head at him.

At Wrest in the Middle of Time with Will Eno

“So, there’s birth and death, but, really, another way to say that is that there’s this one event we probably don’t remember, and this other one we may not really experience. Described like that you sort of wonder why we put so much emphasis on those two points.”

The Imminent Implosion of 13P

In mid-July, 13P (13 Playwrights’ Inc.), will open its 13th and final production, Melancholy Play, written by the current artistic director, Sarah Ruhl. Then, from a perch of success—the focus of much critical attention and praise, with a cultivated audience, secure in its funding—a success that many comparatively young theater companies surely find enviable…13P will implode.

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The Brooklyn Rail

MAR 2020

All Issues