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AFTERMATH OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: September 16, 2009
Synopsis: With Aftermath, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen, the award winning creators of The Exonerated, return to the genre of documentary theatre with a powerful exploration of the Iraq war from the perspective of everyday Iraqi citizens and how their lives changed forever the day the Americans arrived in their country.
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
""The snapshots are thrust at us urgently, as if they were passports being shown at a border crossing, official proofs of national identity. Mostly, they are prosaic pictures of family members or houses. Sometimes a diploma will be offered up instead, or theater reviews clipped from newspapers or a membership card to a duck-hunting club. Later, other, more frightening, pictures will be shown, but they all serve the same function.""
"The impact that the American invasion of Iraq had on a handful of everyday Iraqi citizens is brought vividly to life in Aftermath, Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen's new documentary theater piece, now receiving its world premiere at New York Theater Workshop. Based upon interviews that Blank and Jensen conducted with refugees in Jordan, the piece occasionally struggles with the limitations inherent in the duo's project, but ultimately presents a compelling and at times disconcerting look at their subjects' experiences. "
"Supported by private grants and a commission from New York Theater Workshop, Jessica Blank and husband Erik Jensen went to Jordan last year to interview dozens of Iraqi refugees living in Amman. After translating and shaping the material, the scribes collaborated with NYTW on a series of readings that eventually became "Aftermath," a superbly staged and beautifully acted testimonial to the innocent victims of an ugly war. In putting a human face on the thousands of displaced civilians who lost their homes, their families and their history in a catastrophe not of their making, this powerful piece of agitprop theater challenges us all.
"Simple isn't easy, but playwrights Erik Jensen and Jessica Blank prove just how powerful it can be in their disquieting, moving, intensely human docudrama "Aftermath." Nine actors play eight refugees from the Iraq war and their translator. The text, taken from their own words, recounts the terrible toll war and its consequences have taken on them and their loved ones. It all makes for riveting and important theater.
"Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen have more energy than a toddler hopped up on Pop Rocks. That’s a good thing, considering everything they have going on. The married playwrights behind the Off Broadway hit The Exonerated—who have also found success as actors, directors, screenwriters and, in Blank’s case, a novelist—plan to add parenthood to their list of accomplishments sometime this winter. But first, they’re ushering a less literal baby into New York Theatre Workshop: Aftermath, a documentary play about Iraqis torn by war.
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