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BWW Review: ANIMALS at Williamstown Theatre Festival On Audible Theater

World Premiere Play by Stacy Osei-Kuffour

BWW Review: ANIMALS at Williamstown Theatre Festival On Audible Theater

Williamstown Theatre Festival's robust New Play and Musical Development Initiative provides support and professional opportunities to playwrights, composers, and other generative artists.

In this World Premiere of ANIMALS, a new play by Emmy Award nominee Stacy Osei-Kuffour, Lydia (Aja Naomi King) and Henry (Jason Butler Harner)'s dinner guests Coleen (Madeline Brewer) and Yaw / Jason (William Jackson Harper) are about to arrive when Henry's spontaneous marriage proposal threatens to burn the evening to a crisp. Wine bottles and years of unspoken tensions are uncorked, and, before the evening is through, Lydia must confront her long-held fears and feelings if she is going to commit to a future with Henry.

BWW Review: ANIMALS at Williamstown Theatre Festival On Audible Theater
Jason Butler Harner, Madeline Brewer
Aja Naomi King, William Jackson Harper

Directed by Obie Award Winner, Whitney White, the piece is billed as a comedy that "marches into the muddy intersection of romantic entanglement, identity, pride, and survival." For me the piece is something like the theatrical (verbal) equivalent of a mixed doubles tennis match. There are lots of volley's, some overhead smashes and an occasional Ace leaving the recipient unable to respond but stinging none the less. The four characters engage in relatively rapid-fire banter that includes a fair amount of intensity and emotion. The subject matter often deals with sensitive issues that include political correctness, cancel culture, race, roles, and even some romance. The dialogue is real, sometimes raw, rarely funny. The piece packs a lot of drama and emotion, but not much oomph, sizzle, or pizazz. ANIMALS presents something of a character study as it examines things done in the name of love. Those things, however, are not always pretty. As one character suggests: "you people are ANIMALS".

With a running time of 96 minutes, ANIMALS is now available to Audible listeners. Special access to all seven titles in the WTF Season on Audible will be made available to eligible donors. Visit www.wtfestival.org/support for more information.



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From This Author Marc Savitt