Jacob’s House Review: Doug Strassler, OffOffOnline

(Photo: Justin Hoch at jhoch.com. Pictured: Zack Calhoon, Anthony Wills Jr.)

Doug Strassler’s review for OffOffOnline is up, and while he has reservations about the play, he recommends the production (and shouldn’t you take his advice, oh reader?) Doug is another critic highly valued by Flux, with Jacob’s House his third review of our work.

Several of Doug’s criticism’s of the play itself mirror Aaron’s, including the belief the play could improve with future rewrites. After Aaron’s review, I took several long hard looks at the play, to see how much I agreed with some of his more interesting criticisms, and I’ve come to believe the plays works in exactly the way it wants to; it’s just some audience members and critics wish it worked differently.

For those who connect with the epic arc, episodic structure, and past/present mirroring, the play works well, and from critics, strangers, and some of the toughest opinions of my inner circle, the play is a favorite. On the other hand, for not only Aaron and Doug (and James) but several of my favorite playwright friends, the ambitions of the play diffuse its power.

But the play is finished because I’ve seen it work well with very different audiences, and whatever flaws exist are as much a catalyst of the play’s vitality as its strengths.

For favorite quotes, I simply love this take on director Kelly O’Donnell’s work:

“O’Donnell proves to be a visionary, able to stage the historic and modern day scenes around each other without confusing temporal perspective.”

Hear, hear. So, read the whole thing here, then get your tickets, and after you’ve seen the show, please share your thoughts here.

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