Sweat OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Jenny Graham
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    July 29, 2015
    Closing:
    October 31, 2015

    Theater: Oregon Shakespeare Festival / 15 South Pioneer Street, Ashland, OR, 97520

    Synopsis: 

    A group of close friends shares everything: drinks, secrets and laughs. But when rumors of layoffs shake up the factory where they work, the fragile bonds of their community begin to splinter and a horrific crime sends shock waves across two generations. This powerful world premiere by acclaimed playwright Lynn Nottage (Ruined, Intimate Apparel) explores America’s industrial decline at the turn of the millennium with a look inside a Pennsylvania town whose people struggle to reclaim what’s lost, find redemption and redefine themselves in a new century.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Sweat

    Lynn Nottage’s ‘Sweat’ Examines Lives Unraveling by Industry’s Demise

    Charles Isherwood

    August 16, 2015: “Sweat,” the title of Lynn Nottage’s scorching new play, refers to the hard labor that its characters have put in for decades, only to find their modest livelihoods threatened by the evaporation of manufacturing jobs in America. But members of the audience may find themselves getting a little moist with anxiety as this extraordinarily moving drama hurtles toward its conclusion with the awful inevitability of Greek tragedy. Certainly I found myself squirming in my seat as I watched the forces of fate, or, to be more specific, the mechanics of 21st-century American capitalism bear down on these characters with the brutal power of a jackhammer smashing through concrete. Ms. Nottage, who won a Pulitzer Prize for “Ruined,” her terrific drama about the human cost of a civil war in Africa, has surpassed even that achievement with “Sweat,” which is making its premiere at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival here in a blazingly well-acted production directed by Kate Whoriskey, who also directed the premiere production of “Ruined.” (“Sweat,” co-commissioned by Arena Stage in Washington, opens there in January.)

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