Minnesota Fringe Festival 2011

My Fringe

Green Eyes

Anna Sundberg & Matt Rein present

Written by Tennessee Williams

Producer's website

Drama

Contains Nudity, Violence, Adult language

For ages 18+

Young newlyweds ravage each other sexually and emotionally after the chaotic first night of their honeymoon. Phoenix Theater Project's regional premiere of "the kinkiest play Tennessee Williams ever wrote."

Although Green Eyes runs just shy of 25 minutes, this masterful script sizzles with sexual and physical tension. As part of The Phoenix Theater Projects mission to build community through the collaborative creation of theater, we will be following each performance with a discussion.

Jef Hall-Flavin
Role: Director
Recent directing projects include A Streetcar Named Desire and The Clean House, both of which he staged in New Zealand; and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Park Square Theatre in his home town of St. Paul, Minnesota. Jef is the Festival Director for the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival (Massachusetts), where he directed Eugene O’Neill’s Different, as well as three world-premiere Tennessee Williams one-act plays, The Parade (2006), Green Eyes (2008), and The Enemy: Time (2009). As Associate Director of The Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, D.C., he directed As You Like It in a co-production with the Kennedy Center, and restaged Mark Lamos’ production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Shakespeare Free-For-All, and at the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival. Jef developed and directed a touring production commissioned by the Guthrie Theater called The Stuff of Dreams, and was also the artistic director of Outward Spiral Theatre Company in Minneapolis from 1998 - 2003, where he directed and produced ten plays, including a critically acclaimed production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Jaimi Paige
Role: Girl

Matt Rein
Role: Boy

Ezekiel Ashamu
Role: A Waiter

Katharine Horowitz
Role: Sound Designer
Katharine Horowitz has been designing sound for theatre in the Twin Cities and Minnesota region for more than ten years. She has designed for Mixed Blood Theatre, Park Square Theatre, History Theatre, Torch Theater, Red Eye Theatre, The Minnesota Jewish Theatre Company, Walking Shadow Theatre Company, Gremlin Theatre, Illusion Theatre, The Great River Shakespeare Festival, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival, and Arena Stages New Play Festival in Washington DC. Katharine holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa. She was recently named one of Metro Magazine’s Artists to Watch of 2011.

Clare Brauch
Role: Costume Designer

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Intense
by Kale Ganann Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is a powerful performance, with two engaged and intense actors giving it their all. If I were to nitpick, it would be the exaggerated 'Southern' accents - why does every performer doing Williams or most any Southern character have to sound like Foghorn Leghorn? Still, that's the stereotype - like how all Minnesotans have the 'ya, you betcha' thing, so I guess it's forgivable, but it's a minor mar on an otherwise perfect piece.

Williams meets Pinter
by Daniel Pinkerton Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A terrific play full of intriguing ambiguities. What *did* happen last night? Is she a streetwalker or into rough trade? Do they play a sort of sexual game where she invents stories to fan the flames of his jealousy and arouse him? The setting, a hotel room in New Orleans, may be purest Tennessee Williams, but the moral, psychological, and narrative ambiguity put this tense, arresting drama right smack in Pinter territory.

This terrific production was beautifully directed by Hall-Flavin and 100% convincingly acted by Paige and Rein. Perhaps it should have been paired with another short play, but still it's easily the best drama I've seen at the Fringe since 2009's DUMBWAITER.

Short and not so sweet
by Will Weisert Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
More of a vignette than a play, this production was raw Williams. Jaimie Paige and Mat Rein are perfect, effectively channeling the raw emotions at are at the core of each of his scripts.

Powerful!
by Tristine Miller Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Short show as it may, and the discussion I did not stay, I'm glad I caught this one-act play! I found something edgy and raw and real this Fringe. The energy and passion between the two characters was mezmerizing. I enjoyed the questions it left me with!

Thought Provoking! Stay for discussion!
by Marie Cooney Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
"Green Eye" is a gem of a play, and we are extremely fortunate to have this newly found script as part of the MN Fringe Festival. Thank you very much to all who made this show and audience discussion possible. For me, the proof of a successful and provocative work of art is when the audience leaves with more questions than answers. The brilliance of the performance and the ambiguity of the writing leads one to want to discuss the packed in text and subtext long after one leaves the theater. Best wishes to you all as you bring this play, which bubbles over with irony, drama, and tension, to other venues. Thanks.

Sexy and Thought-Provoking
by Kara Greshwalk Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Holy WOW. 'Green Eyes' truly gets to the nasty, primal side of human nature, and pulls no punches in doing so. The action takes place in a cheap motel room. The actors, barely dressed, play out a sexual game of cat and mouse. It's a lovely, yet brutal little slice of life, and the small cast carries it off beautifully and convincingly. In particular, I loved how Matt Rein wasn't your typical Marlon Brando type, but a flesh-and-blood human being clearly shell-shocked by Vietnam. I think the post-show discussion can be a little hit or miss, depending on the audience, but either way, this is a show not to be missed.

Mainstream playwright =/= mainstream
by Katherine Pederson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I felt lucky to be able to see this play on a stage, instead of just reading the script. It pulled me in and was definitely worth the trip.

So glad for this
by Andrew Watkins Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Williams will always be the person who lodged theater into me. Thanks for playing this rare piece. The post show discussion was a nice touch too.

See This Show!
by Jim Pounds Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Yes, it's frustratingly short and leaves so many questions unanswered which frustrated me no end. But it's a good sign when you want to know and see more of a play rather than the opposite. I love Matt Rein and he is great in this but Jaimi Page is absolutely mesmerizing. She is now a Los Angeles based actress and I urge everyone to see the last performance because who knows how long it will be before we have Jaimi's brilliance to enjoy again.

Provocative yet truthful
by Richard Holcomb Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Wish the show would have been longer - excellent presentation of Viet Nam war era reality and what happened to soldiers and those who would use them.

Intense
by Dixie Treichel Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Tennesee for sure. A great short by the master. I would like to see more of these. Well acted with intensity.

Enthralling and Completely Engaging
by Liz Blank Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
– You may potentially find yourself potentially aroused during this performance. At least that is what we learned during the discussion part that some MNtans have been reporting back. The comment in a review that they did not like that the discussion went to Domestic Violence, What?? I am surprised that it did not go there for our discussion, but there was a very educated Tennessee William’s discussion that happened that was very educational and interesting.

So Emotionally Charged
by Levi Morris Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show (all 25 minutes of it) blew me away.

From the moment I walked into the theatre, the actors were already on stage and the tension was obvious. But when the emotional journey started and these two actors built the story of this married couple, jealousy, fear, and passion I was glued to my chair. Such a REAL, powerful performance. Such great great work! Congrats.

See this show if you want to see a refelction of real life and the complexities of an destructive relationship.

when tom is good, he's very good
by Mark Browning Milner Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
absolutely killer. in addition to everyone else's comments, having the actors onstage from the minute the house opens is brilliant - jaime paige as she sleeps is ravishingly disturbing to watch, and matt rein smolders as an emotionally and physically threatening ticking time bomb. even before the house manager does her bit you're simultaneously thinking "what's gonna happen?" and "i'm not sure i wanna see this..." "wow!" all the way around. do. not. miss. this. show.

SEE THIS SHOW.
by Ted Eschweiler Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Like many of the reviewers have already noted, this isn't a long piece, but it's the richest and most well rendered show I've seen all week. What a privilege it was to see a Tennessee Williams work emerge after so long.

Rein and Paige make a perfectly dysfunctional pairing, embodying Williams' characters and words with a vitality and truthfulness that had me riveted throughout.

Marvelous.

Green Eyes
by David Wilson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Pure Tennessee Williams. The story is ambiguous,
the people flawed, wounded. Jaime Paige is one of the finest actresses MN has produced. Matt Rein is brilliant. The dialogue and action of the sketch ring true and are, therefore, difficult to watch. There's no clue to who's telling the truth. Like many of Mr. Williams characters they are unable to face themselves. The ending is unresolved by the violent sexual collision. I praise Jaime, Matt and Ezekial bringing us such beautiful, difficult theater so brilliantly. Davis Wilson

Quick Blast of Intensity
by David Peterjohn Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
It's clever this play lasts 25 mins with an optional talkback. You can easily make it to another show with that head-start.

Those 25 mins are easily enough. Rein and Paige are electric here. The tension is palpable and believable throughout. The characters' back and forth will rivet you. In fact, one criticism of mine is Paige's delivery of her story comes off not as naturally as when she and Matt are talking directly to each other.

Some small flaws exist. The music that opens and closes the play sticks out like a sore thumb. It just doesn't fit. Too hokey. Ashamu plays a waiter with hair that is definitely not from that era, and his stage voice is too quiet.

The set is simple. It needs to be. This quick blast of intensity is a must see.

A Tennessee Williams treat
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
What a wonderful surprise to find this newly available Tennessee Williams play on the Fringe schedule. Wonderful acting -- WONDERFUL -- that connects the dots (or at least some of them, certainly as many as you'd want connected for you) between the brutal words and action of this intense, angry, sad play that exposes the fine line between love and cruelty. Exceptional.

Don't miss this one
by Jesse Jacob Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Matt and Jaimi's performances are fantastic. Yes it's short, but it's amazing. Jaimi, wow, can't wait to see what you do next!

A quality show with time for dinner!
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
As I've told many people, quality is more important than length. If you believe that, then put this in an open slot on your schedule and you won't be disappointed.

Tennessee Williams done justice.
by Richard Jackson Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Beautiful performances by Jaimi Paige and Matt Rein and masterful direction by Jeff Hall-Flavin. This very short 1-act is pregnant with tension and immensely powerful. See it.

Solid Drama, Wonderful Actors
by Mark Long Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Don't let reports of the length of the play influence you. This is brutal Tennessee Williams done very well.

Solid, intense drama
by Scott Pakudaitis Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Strong acting & superb direction maximize the tension in this short play.

Best Show I've Seen at the Fringe So Far
by Matt Pettis Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
And I'd see it again.

The acting is fantastic, and you can tell that they are professional -- I'd say Guthrie-caliber acting. The play is, as advertised, short and intense, but I wouldn't classify it as "kinky." It seems that this is quintessentially Tennessee Williams, and evokes his earlier works like "Streetcare Named Desire" and "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof."

I think the discussion about domestic violence is a bit misplaced here (and I don't intend to minimize the problem of domestic violence). This play seems to me no more nor less about domestic violence than Williams' other plays are. It contains violence, but the characters appear to be much more matched in power than is typical in domestic violence.

Again, fantastic play with the caliber of a Williams play with excellent actors, and packed into 20 minutes. And I'll say that that audience really did like it, though it didn't seem like the type of audience to write web reviews, so I think I'm capturing the feeling of the attendees with this review based on their/our interaction in the discussion after the play.

Very well done, but too short
by Michael Lewis Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This was a really excellent performance, and the full theater reflected that. Superb acting set this show apart from others in the Fringe. However, it is only 20 minutes long (to their credit, they did warn people of this at the door). They offered a Q&A to discuss the play afterwards, but to be honest, I thought their performance was so good that no Q&A was necessary. What I would have liked to see was an additional short one-act play that dealt with similar themes. Then, maybe a Q&A might have more value. It was short and powerful, but I wanted more.

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Schedule
Saturday, 8/68:30 p.m.This performance is audio described
Sunday, 8/74:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, 8/1010:00 p.m. 
Friday, 8/125:30 p.m. 
Sunday, 8/147:00 p.m. 
Venue

Gremlin Theatre venue information
2400 University Av W


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