Review Roundup: Lincoln Center/LCT3's POWER STRIP - What Did the Critics Think?

By: Oct. 22, 2019
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Power Strip

Lincoln Center Theater/LCT3 presents Power Strip, a new play by Sylvia Khoury and directed by Tyne Rafaeli.

POWER STRIP features Peter Ganim, Darius Homayoun, Ali Lopez-Sohaili, and Dina Shihabi and will have sets by Arnulfo Maldonado, costumes by Dede Ayite, lighting by Jen Schriever and sound by Matt Hubbs.

In Power Strip, Yasmin, a young Syrian refugee (to be played by Dina Shihabi) spends her days tethered to an electric Power Strip in a Greek refugee camp. Once a middle-class student in Aleppo whose life was dictated by the expectations of men, her sheltered existence has been shattered by a brutal civil war. In the war-torn world of the refugee camp, Yasmin finds that she must betray everything she once knew and valued in order to survive.

Let's see what the critics are saying...

Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times: The notion of female moral and sexual purity - and the way male pride and predation are bound up in that - is a central theme of "Power Strip," and it's to Rafaeli's credit that it becomes apparent only gradually. Where the playwright gives too much away on the page, the director cleverly fosters ambiguity in service of a more potent reveal. Yasmin, on her lonely hillside, understands that in both the culture she's leaving and the one she's determined to enter, traditional ideas about women and their agency are stubborn things, deeply and often subtly embedded in the stories we've repeated for millenniums.

David Finkle, New York Stage Review: The cast-dressed by Dede Ayite, well lighted by Jen Schriever and with Matt Hubbs' properly jolting sounds-does right by the script. Shihabi is, of course, first and foremost. There isn't a single moment for patrons to doubt that her Yasmin isn't capable of everything she does, everything she says she can do and anything an observer wonders if she can do. (Incidentally, no fight director is credited.) The male ensemble members are every gesture and word up to snuff.

Kathleen Campion, New York Theatre Guide: There is a remarkable authenticity to Power Strip. While it is awash in epic ideas and informed by a revolutionary thread, the performance has the bleak feel of real people trapped in perpetual duress. It sends you out into the night pondering.

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