Mud by Maria Irene Fornes

ensemble theatre · 1140 productions · Ages 14+ · United States

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TYLER MICLEAN · June 16, 2013
This is an incredible theatre experience accompanied by an incredible script. "Mud" tells the story of essentially "struggle," and whether that's about finances, family, education, self doubt, physical disablements, or living it's a powerfully, universal topic that was so carefully focused and detailed in this production that I couldn't take my eyes off of it or keep my heart out of it. I won't ruin the play's sweet slopes and rough edged cliffs. It's a quietly emotional piece and a loudly convicting one as well. Each character plays a role in keeping the others alive and vice versa in a time and place that hits home. I am still a little shaken by some of the stage pictures and moments constructed by Shaya Mulcahy and her brilliant cast. Ann... full review

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MATTHEW FAULS certified reviewer · June 11, 2013
Mud written by Maria Irene Fornes (mentor to one of my favorites -- Karen Hartman) is a show that many know and respect. It's one that I have heard about but never got the chance to read or see performed. I'm glad I did this evening. This production was an interesting one. Many decisions were made that were both strong and weak but the fact that choices were made is something to be applauded. Directed by Shaya Mulcahy, her choices were very personal and fascinating. The blocking was her most notable feature of this production. At times, it didn't make sense and the space with the chair opposite of the main playing space wasn't clear. It was used rarely and I question the need for it and the door. I understand the need to cross the thresho... full review

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ALEX SCOTT certified reviewer · June 13, 2013
MUD is a great play, and one I've had the privilege of seeing done before, so I was excited to see another interpretation at this years Fringe. Unfortunately, this production left me feeling a little underwhelmed. The cast is fully committed to their characters, so props to them for giving it their all. They had some great physical moments that, although left me questioning the decision behind them, impressed. Here's where the show suffers though - each scene begins to look, sound, and feel like a broken record and there's almost no evidence of any direction throughout the process. Scene changes are FAR TOO LONG and a song plays VIOLENTLY on repeat throughout the entirety of the show. The actors feel more than comfortable stage right... full review

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MICHAEL SHAW FISHER certified reviewer · June 10, 2013
First off, I want to say that I had to leave before the end which had absolutely nothing to do with the quality of the work, I had just not scheduled my shows correctly. Apologies to the cast!! HOWEVER, I can at least say that it was somewhat painful for me to care myself away from the show, and it was so good that I've made plans to go back and watch the whole thing again. This is just an intimate nuanced production that really creates a world so simply and beautifully. It's an established play that probably a lot of theater majors know about, and although it had escaped me until now, I am officially a fan of Maria Irene Fornes.. Annie Hamilton especially did a phenomenal job delivering a heartbreaking performance throbbing with hone... full review

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ANONYMOUS certified reviewer · June 22, 2013
This production is amazing! The acting and direction are sublime!... full review

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BOB LEGGETT examiner.com · June 15, 2013
Another case of the title telling the story, as I left the theater with no clear understanding of what the play was about or what message the playwright was trying to convey. Kudos to the cast, who did their best without any clear sense of direction, much like the soldiers in basic training in the Bill Murray film Stripes. My biggest complaint was the constant repeating of the same song - through pre-show and during every scene changes. You can't tell me that was the only period song you could find. This show needs work.... full review

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ANONYMOUS certified reviewer · June 15, 2013
Mud is a profound play in which all three characters play the villain, fool, and the empathetic soul. Shaya Mulcahy is absolutely brilliant in her blocking, lighting, set design, and directing. The three actors have incredible chemistry and AJ Helfet steals the show after a surprise twist. There is so much wonderful there that can't be expressed in words here, you've really got to see it to understand how moving and powerful this work of art truly is. For only $5, an absolute must see.... full review

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CAITLIN HART · June 24, 2013
I checked "loved it" because I love the script - it is lyrical, poetic, visceral and smart. Kudos to Ms. Mulcahy for picking such a brave script and for putting her work out there while she is still in undergraduate school! Awesome! I am interested to see her work 5 years down the road. Onto a review of this production as if it was a professional piece, not a student show: The set design does not utilize the space; the lighting design does not support the story; sound design does not support the story, in fact, it hinders it. Playing the same song during every transition stifled the forward motion and unraveling of the play. It made us feel like we were stuck in the same place for the whole show when we should feel like we've journeyed throu... full review

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JEREMY MASCIA · June 24, 2013
I walked away feeling very despondent and dismal, some emotions I'm sure the playwright was trying to convey, but maybe not for the same reasons. As has been mentioned in previous reviews, the repeated song in between scenes really slowed the show down and gave me an unwelcoming sense of monotony. The lack of love the characters seemed to have for one another made them feel doomed from the start; not much of a journey for an audience member. I thought there was great intensity however, and the tone of piece was very well conveyed.... full review

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NINA HARADA · June 24, 2013
I wanted to love this play. The characters, the set, the lighting all intrigued me. I was definitely pulled in at the beginning. But as the play wore on, as many reviewers have mentioned, the repeated song and drawn out transitions felt monotonous (perhaps on purpose?) The director obviously made a choice with the way she crafted these scene changes but it was not clear what she was trying to say with them. I sort of felt that way throughout, with many of the choices-- like Mae constantly jumping on the table (why?) or Lloyd suddenly becoming violent with Mae (again, why?) My favorite moment was when Henry gives Mae the lipstick. I wish there were more moments like these where the characters were connecting, or at least striving for connecti... full review

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