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man'smanA Man’s Man
Men bare all…their emotions

By Mark Jason Williams
Directed by Andrew Block

A one-night-only encore performance of the Planet Connections Award-winning play benefitting NYC Anti-Violence Project.

Latea Theater @ The Clemente
Tuesday 7/31 @ 7:45pm-9:15pm

 

 

 

 

A powerful, timely new drama about three generations of men bound by family obligations and the unexpected revelations that force them to question the pressures of conventional stereotypes as they face loss and love.


About Mark Jason Williams’ Recovery

“Poignant. Honest. Unique. Recovery stands out strongly as an authentic piece of theater armed with courage and a contagious sense of humor to confront even the most challenging situations.” –  ShowBusiness Weekly

“A reminder of the strength of human connections. Recovery strikes a balance between humor and truth. Patients, all facing love and loss differently, tell stories of anger, denial and sadness, but also of hope and strength and support. There are plenty of witty comebacks, charm and comedy.” – Washington City Paper

“Recovery has authenticity. Watching Michael and Kathleen undergo their cancer treatments triggers some very funny scenes, underscoring the old idea that tragedy and comedy are opposite sides of the same coin. One of the drama’s more poignant moments, in fact, plays out in a hospital room following Kathleen and Michael’s blood transfusions. Michael, whose attempts at seducing Kathleen have repeatedly failed, suddenly inflates a disposable examination glove and offers it as a pseudo-bouquet to Kathleen. It’s a disarming moment, and a profound one. Recovery reminds you that plays are not mass-produced commodities. – Curtain Up

“Wiliams doesn’t portray his characters as victims, but reminds us that they are all very much like us, despite having leukemia. We totally relate to [their] yearning for love which makes us root for these characters, not pity them. Overall, Recovery has a great raw emotional, universal quality.” – Indie Theater Now

“A powerful exploration through the emotional quagmire of long-term health care. The play allows us to see two people falling in love, forgetting for brief moments that they’re still patients. Theirs is an ongoing search for normalcy in tragedy, control within the uncontrollable, and a little bit of love in a world that’s shown them little. But they navigate, somehow, exchanging summer camp stories, staring contests, and life savers to punctuate the time in an endless Brechtian cycle of waiting rooms and relapses. Recovery’s structure is smart and defies expectations.” – DC Theatre Scene

About Mark Jason Williams’ Straight Faced Lies

“In an age where the family dynamic is being redefined in our society, Mark Jason Williams’ new play is a biting family comedy that explores LGBT themes and family loyalty. A Fringe show that will get you talking.” – Playbill

“Barbs fly, hurt feelings are exposed…and the script’s zingers keep us laughing.” – The Washington Post

“One of the best new plays of the year. This work is extremely well written: a vivid, larger-than-life, tragicomedies where our emotions turn on a dime as the characters battle each other and, more fundamentally, themselves. This is definitely a piece you’ll want to check out for yourself, especially if you’re interested in tracing the great American Family Drama from the days of another Williams (Tennessee) through the world of Inge and Albee right up to the more contemporary incarnations of Tracey Letts and Richard Greenberg. This Williams spins his tale with equal parts compassion, wit, and danger.” – Indie Theater Now

“Intense and personal…rather than heating up the stale clichés of family drama, Mark Jason Williams serves up a fresh and funny take on how complicated it can get when it comes to your own flesh and blood. Every character’s dialogue is consistently sharp and delivered with flair — making this a highly quotable show whose dialogue you might find yourself incorporating into conversation for days, perhaps weeks, to come. – The Villager

“Passionate, biting and deeply funny, Straight Faced Lies is equal parts fresh and familiar. What is more relatable than the madness of an American family dinner during the holidays? Lead by the comfortable and naturally funny dialogue of Williams’ script, it’s hard to not be drawn in right from the get-go. Fundamentally, Straight Faced Lies is about the bad we do to ourselves and each other, often driven by love, other times driven by selfishness. Thanks to honesty in the writing, it’s a show that dodges the cliché and stays fresh. – Theatre is Easy

“5 Stars; a Pick of the Fringe! The witty comedy offers up a Thanksgiving tale rife with familial induced chaos. As the story unfolds, challenging questions surrounding shame, deception, and utter insanity are seamlessly woven together. The dialogue was rich with puns for days. Each scene had an obvious intention, not one word was wasted and developed characters pulled the audience deeper into the family’s epic failures. It was obvious to me that the script was the foundation for the phenomenal show. Straight Faced Lies certainly left me craving more.” – DC Theatre Scene

“Straight Faced Lies is an all-around success. Despite the serious plotline of a broken family hashing out the past, Straight Faced Lies is hilarious – filled with puns, one-liners and innuendos that showcase playwright Williams’ talent and sense of humor.” – On Tap Magazine

“An excellent comedy / drama…what is refreshing and wonderful about Straight Faced Lies is that it ends honestly, a tribute to writer Mark Jason Williams. The creative team trusts the audience to realize that life can be messy and still enjoyable. – What’s On Off-Broadway

“A relatable triumph…Mark Jason Williams has crafted a play full of acerbic wit, biting comebacks, and plenty of family backstabbing. Snappy dialogue, superior plotting, and powerful use of space make “Straight Faced Lies” a delight.” – Stagebuddy


About the Playwright

Mark Jason Williams is an innovative, award-winning playwright who creates authentic, relevant theater that goes to the heart of the human condition. Drawing inspiration from Tennessee Williams, Paula Vogel, and Tony Kushner, Mark’s plays tackle complex moral and social issues with compelling drama, humor, and multidimensional, genuine characters. Mark is driven by the conviction that great theater happens when an audience makes an emotional connection to the play. His primary goal is to present fresh insights into the human experience through nuanced, multidimensional characters. Mark’s BFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts provides a strong, professional foundation for working with actors, directors, designers, and stage crew throughout the artistic process. Mark has brought his plays to audiences in significant venues in New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and Washington D.C. He is a three-time winner of the Planet Connections Award for Outstanding Playwriting. As an essayist, Mark’s work is published by the Washington Post, Denver Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Salon, Good Housekeeping, The Daily Dot, Out Magazine and more. www.markjasonwilliams.com

About the Director

Andrew Block is an award-winning, critically-acclaimed Director and Teacher, with an affinity for strong stories that grow from richly developed character and nuanced on-stage relationships. Equally experienced with new works, classics and musicals, his work possesses a collaborative spirit and is known for being intellectually challenging and viscerally stimulating. His multiple collaborations with playwrights and new works have led to publications, numerous new play awards, frequent extensions, and Off-Broadway transfers. Andrew Block received the 2011 Ovation and L.A. Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Director and Best Production for his world premiere production of Small Engine Repair. He has had critically-acclaimed and sold-out productions in The New York International Fringe Festival, including an extension to the Encore Series at the Lucille Lortel; Best Director and Best Play awards in a variety of NY festivals, and a GLAAD Media nomination for Outstanding Theatre. He was named one of the “Top Ten Off-Off Broadway Professionals in New York City” in 2011 by Review-Fix. His work has been seen Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, Washington DC, Texas, Chicago, and multiple NY theatre festivals. He is a founding member of Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles, called “one of the most ambitious and accomplished new theater companies” by Variety and one of the Best Companies of the Decade by L.A. Weekly. He is responsible for curating their late-night theatre series, Off the Clock, and creating the hit short-play festival, Shorts & Sweets. He currently resides in New York and is a member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Directing credits include: Company, Lost and Found, Recovery, The Shape of Things, Bingo With the Indians, Dancing at Lughnasa, Twelfth Night, Noises Off, City of Angels, Little Shop of Horrors, and Tartuffe.


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