Basra Boy: “The lithe and limber Sticklin plays the 18-year-old slacker Speedy in this world premiere of a play by Belfast native Rosemary Jenkinson.” The Weir: “Skillfully directed by Keegan’s founding artistic director, Mark A. Rhea, it co-stars his wife, the astonishingly talented Susan Marie Rhea …”
This “Basra Boy” succeeds for two reasons: Jenkinson’s ability to write a humorous, poignant but unsentimental play about a close-knit pair of friends and the nostalgia one of those friends feels when the communication between them is lost; and Sticklin’s boundless energy, his ability to sustain convoluted emotions and to shift rapidly from scene to scene and persona to persona, taking the audience on a whirlwind tour of one not-so-bad boy’s life.
In a succinct 70 minutes that pulse with slangy lyricism, “Basra Boy” paints a vibrant portrait of an exuberant teenager and his quirky, down-at-heels community. As brought to life by director Abigail Isaac and the appealing performer Josh Sticklin, who portrays multiple characters, it’s a piece that starts as a funny, antic romp and ends asit’s a piece that starts as a funny, antic romp and ends as a touching tribute to friendship and to the process of growing up…
Set in one location in real time, The Weir is the kind of interior, Irish-to-its-chilly-bones piece at which Keegan Theatre excels.” Under the direction of Mark A. Rhea, the cast all scale their performances appropriately. The comfort and the contempt arising from their lives of small-town proximity registers. As Jack, Kevin Adams seems to resent
“Magnetic Ghost stories: Keegan Theatre’s production of THE WEIR hooks the playgoer with its subtle and provocative writing … Subtle, magnetic …McPherson is expert at unsettled equilibrium, and this production gets that … the audience is transfixed”
“Isaac has crafted the production beautifully to make every scene fold into another with minimum fuss and lightning speed. She is aided by the energetic and fearless Sticklin …This is a play not to be missed, and, moment for moment, it’s a performance packed with dynamite and delight.”
The Washington Post “Subtle but magnetic … the audience is transfixed as the characters, one at a time, sink into long, spellbinding speeches recounting eerie, inexplicable events … Rhea and the actors do know how to use stillness to advantage … As a piece of dramatic writing, “The Weir” is exquisite – gripping and deeply
The Washington Post “In a succinct 70 minutes that pulse with slangy lyricism, “Basra Boy” paints a vibrant portrait of an exuberant teenager and his quirky, down-at-heels community. As brought to life by director Abigail Isaac and the appealing performer Josh Sticklin, who portrays multiple characters, it’s a piece that starts as a funny, antic
In “Basra Boy,” Keegan Theatre’s new production, a teen aches to join the army, if only to escape the boredom and sheer claustrophobia of small-town life. If the story of a young man bound for the Mideast has a familiar ring, perhaps that’s because it could have easily been set in Topeka or Tennessee or Texas.
But “Basra Boy” takes place in Belfast, home of playwright Rosemary Jenkinson, who has witnessed the current wars affect her own insular community.
The Keegan Theatre’s production carries on the play’s award-winning tradition, dropping its incredibly-talented cast into a cozy, intimate rural Irish pub and letting the players take it from there …
“The Weir” is art, entertainment, and a spiritual quest all rolled up into one deceptively simple bundle …”.