‘Cardboard Piano’ A Romance That Reckons With Historical Pain

In Hansol Jung’s Cardboard Piano, produced by Timeline Theatre and directed by Mechelle Moe, we find ourselves trapped in a church without a redeemer. Two teen girls, one the daughter of an American missionary, the other a Ugandan, exchange vows by cande light on the eve of the millennium. Chris (Kearstyn Keller) is the typical preacher’s kid, stubborn and questioning of her identity in relation to her father’s, a bit naïve with the heart of a runaway. Adiel (Adia Alli) a young Ugandan girl is a persuasive quick thinker, harboring compassion and calm, all necessary traits for a young girl surviving in a war-torn country.  Together, their chemistry and love are infectious, but this proves dangerous in a country collapsed by colonialism, mind and body. In Uganda, homosexuality is not only a sin, but illegal. Continue reading “‘Cardboard Piano’ A Romance That Reckons With Historical Pain”

A Captivating Everyman and His Harms: ‘I Call My Brothers’ at Interrobang

How would you feel if you lived every day of your life as someone who fits the media description of a terrorist? What would this do to your mental health? In playwright Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s Chicago premiere of I Call My Brothers at Interrobang Theatre Project, we witness a 24 hour reality that is all too familiar to people of color. Under the direction of Abhi Shrestha, this play aims to amplify the experience of brown folks demonized and policed based on their appearance. Continue reading “A Captivating Everyman and His Harms: ‘I Call My Brothers’ at Interrobang”

Meet The Keys – Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel

Get to know Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel, a recent Alumni of The Key Young Critics Mentorship Program! Each writer wrote a multimedia review about a piece of pop culture currently capturing their imagination that you can read at the end of Yasmin’s profile. We’d like to thank Angelica Jade Bastien at Vulture for sharing her insights on media reviewing with us. Check out more of Yasmin and her cohort’s writing in our Key Reviews section!

Name: Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel
Age: 22, Aries 

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

What, in your opinion, is the purpose of arts criticism?: Arts criticism is the way by which the ephemeral production of artists can be stamped into a place and time for posterity. By writing on the arts, we are creating a separate cannon that serves to document the who, what, where, when, how, and why of art for the present and future. Though criticism is viewed as assessing the quality of the work, it should also aim to root the production in our world. This means writing on the artists and acknowledging their social locations, their personal lenses. Continue reading “Meet The Keys – Yasmin Zacaria Mikhaiel”

Key Reviews: ‘Rightlynd’ at Victory Gardens Theater

These are the fourth set of reviews from this year’s The Key: Young Critics Mentorship Program. Members of this cohort are: Sierra Carlson, Yasmin Mikhaiel, Aaron Lockman, Elon Sloan, and Lonnae Hickman. All reviews are workshopped and edited by co-facilitators Oliver Sava and Regina Victor. Check out their reviews of Rightlynd at Victory Gardens Theater below! 
Continue reading “Key Reviews: ‘Rightlynd’ at Victory Gardens Theater”

Male Fragility Fuels The Explosive ‘Fun Harmless Warmachine’

This review was penned by one of our current writers in The Key: Young Critics Mentorship Program. They are able to sign up for additional shows to grow their criticism portfolio with us. Read The Key Reviews from Fall 2018 here. 

Upon reading the synopsis, many would wonder if Fun Harmless Warmachine is the play we need right now. It’s the tale of the supposed “nice guy,” a gamer working a job he hates in a world where the words of women leave him baffled and angry. With this formula in mind, it is not too hard to believe Tom gets sucked into a toxic online community, known as the Order of the Sword, which first functions as a digital place of refuge, a place to confide in like-minded gamers. This story is based on #Gamergate, a notable controversy you should look up before the show—though the program offers a list of videogame definitions to fill in some of the blanks. Continue reading “Male Fragility Fuels The Explosive ‘Fun Harmless Warmachine’”

Key Reviews: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

 

These are the second set of reviews from this year’s The Key: Young Critics Mentorship Program. Members of this cohort are: Sierra Carlson, Yasmin Mikhaiel, Aaron Lockman, Elon Sloan, and Lonnae Hickman. All reviews are workshopped and edited by co-facilitators Oliver Sava and Regina Victor. Check out their reviews of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Firebrand Theatre in collaboration with Timeline Theatre below! Continue reading “Key Reviews: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”

Key Reviews: Caroline, Or Change

These are the first reviews from the second session of The Key: Young Critics Mentorship Program. This year’s cohort is Sierra Carlson, Yasmin Mikhaiel, Aaron Lockman, Elon Sloan, and Lonnae Hickman. All reviews are workshopped and edited by co-facilitators Oliver Sava and Regina Victor. Check out their reviews of Caroline, or Change at Firebrand Theatre in collaboration with Timeline Theatre below!
Continue reading “Key Reviews: Caroline, Or Change”