Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-09
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Skin for Skin
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2017-03-15

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Paul Pasulka. At: Agency Theater Collective at Rivendell Theatre, 5779 N. Ridge Ave. Tickets: 773-680-4596; WeAreTheAgency.org; $28. Runs through: April 2

This world premiere is a disturbing play, and partly effective because of that, but it isn't a good play.

The plot and characters are thin and it's one-sided in the extreme. Skin for Skin is set in Bagdad during the presidency of George W. Bush. There, a U.S. trucking contractor working for the military is imprisoned as a suspected al-Qaeda operative. He's denied habeas corpus rights and Geneva Convention war-captive protections. "He's not a prisoner of war, he's a terrorist," says his nasty captor, Col. Lewis ( Tony St. Clair ). You see, Mr. Ayyub ( Steve Silver ) came to the USA as a boy and is an American citizen, but he was born in Iraq, had Persian grandparents and is devoutly Islamic.

A psychologist ( Shariba Rivers ) coerced into interrogating Ayyub finds him safe, sane, sober and not withholding information, which Lewis does not want to hear. Instead, he subjects Ayyub to "enhanced interrogation" including waterboarding. Ayyub calls Lewis "nothing but an ignorant and vicious attack dog for your masters," which is precisely how playwright Paul Pasulka paints the ruthless and manipulative officer. Perhaps Pasulka has based Skin for Skin on true incidents and research; still it's difficult to believe that a senior American officer in the second Iraq War would be ignorant of the Koran and willfully insist that Ayyub's birth language is "Iraqi" rather than Arabic.

Pasulka makes the conflict between Ayyub and Lewis literally one of good versus evil. Ayyub is holy, just and long-suffering while Lewis is soulless, self-justifying and impatient; a man who exercises "omnipotence without omniscience" as Ayyub calls him out, power without perception. The one-sided injustice is infuriating and gut-wrenching, but it's arrived at far too cheaply and quickly. Two shadowy and incomplete characters, businessman Abdul Walli ( Sunny Anam ) and U.S. Army Lt. Milo ( Robert Hardaway ), appear in three early scenes setting up Ayyub for reasons that aren't apparent, motivated by corruption or jealousy. The absence of clear reasons "why" is a major weakness.

Pasulka also creates two enlisted characters who are Ayyub's guards and torturers, Sgt. Lindsey ( Hannah Tarr ) and Pvt. Michaels ( David Goodloe ). Pasulka has sketched them as thoughtless know-nothings interested only in marijuana, alcohol and sex, although Michaels develops a conscience by the end. It's an undeveloped detail that doesn't impact the story, as one really doesn't get to know any of the characters except Ayyub. They all represent positions rather than people in this chilling, perhaps-too-true but schematic work.

Under director Michael Menendian, St. Clair is imposing, smart and threatening as Lewis while Silver calmly and convincingly expresses Ayyub's bewilderment, anger and self-effacement. The supporting players are energetic in two-dimensional roles. The swift play runs 90 minutes.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Digital lottery, rush tickets for 'Fiddler' 2019-02-02 - Broadway In Chicago announced that there will be a digital lottery and rush tickets for the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, ...


Gay News

Carol Channing dies at 97 2019-01-15 - Broadway legend Carol Channing—who was known for her signature lead role in the Jerry Herman musical Hello, Dolly! and who continued performing into ...


Gay News

LGBTQ performance of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" one night Feb. 9 2019-01-15 - Chicago Theatre Workshop ( CTW ) with permission from authors, Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts will present a one-night only LGBTQ performance of ...


Gay News

Broadway's Corey Cott, Mikaela Bennett to lead Lyric Opera's West Side Story 2019-01-12 - CHICAGO ( January 9, 2019 )—Acclaimed Broadway performer Corey Cott and rising star Mikaela Bennett will headline Lyric Opera of Chicago's premiere of ...


Gay News

Victory Gardens Theater to premiere If I Forget 2019-01-11 - Chicago, IL— Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels announce an addition to the 2018-2019 Victory Gardens season—the Chicago Premiere of ...


Gay News

Hell in a Handbag presents Golden Girls, The Lost episodes, Valentine edition 2019-01-09 - CHICAGO ( January 8, 2019 ) — Chicago's favorite drag seniors start 2019 with LOVE in Hell in a Handbag Productions' beloved parody ...


Gay News

Novelist's fascination with history comes alive on stage 2019-01-09 - Novelist Emma Donoghue has had a long and rewarding relationship with Regency historical figure Anne Lister. Lister created a series of coded ...


Gay News

About Face heats January with 'Dada Woof Papa Hot' 2019-01-08 - Hot from the hands of writer Peter Parnell and director Keira Fromm comes a new About Face Theatre ( AFT ) take on ...


Gay News

Critics' Picks 2019-01-08 - Familiar, Steppenwolf Theatre, through Jan. 13. The wedding party includes three generations, two races ( one, South African immigrants ), it's snowing and ...


Gay News

'OUT on Stage' Jan. 17 on Dekkoo 2019-01-08 - OUT on Stage: The Series will debut Thursday, Jan. 17, on LGBT subscription-based streaming network Dekkoo. Zach Noe Towers hosts the show, which ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.