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Fulfillment Center
Fulfillment Center

Fulfillment Center
A Red Orchid Theatre
Thru - Mar 24, 2019

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A Red Orchid Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune- Highly Recommended

"...A Red Orchid's taut, 105-minute staging is very richly directed by Jess McLeod, currently on staff at "Hamilton," where she maintains the Chicago production. I imagine this assignment was a welcome contrast -a chance to work in a small space with four fine actors and create a piece about how inhumanly hard it can be to find emotional sustenance when you're traversing aisles, hours after hour, frantically trying to fulfill someone else's prime obligation."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...Jess McLeod's taut, volatile production for A Red Orchid Theatre features some truly excellent beat-by-beat scene work by a cast adept at humanizing some incredibly flawed human beings. And for all of Fulfillment Center's Joni Mitchell-scored angst, the glimmers of compassion and intimacy shared between characters read as authentic and earned."
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Dan Jakes

Windy City Times- Recommended

"...Some may argue nothing really happens in Fulfillment Center; I would counter everything happens. Life works that way: secrets gradually revealed, feelings confessed one word or gesture at a time. Director McLeod, currently at the helm of Chicago's resident production of Hamilton, aces a completely different kind of story here. At the heart of every story is its characters, who want something, anything, everything. From its first monologue to its final, heartbreaking words, Fulfillment Center illustrates an environment of isolation and the regular people trying to push through it."
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Lauren Emily Whalen

NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"...More broadly, Koogler is interested in whether his audience will consider the inner lives of folks who have drawn the short straw of identity politics. Jose Nateras plays a perennially stressed overseer at an Amazonesque warehouse facility, the pivot upon which the economic and dramatic action of the play turns. Natalie West is a flighty woman “of a certain age,” her own relentless good nature serving as a sweater of resilience over the bruise of anguish. Steve Schine is taciturn and dour, blue as his collar. And Toya Turner is a self-diagnosing, housebound millennial who indulges in self-sabotage as she pulls and pushes people (herself included) with little regard for their autonomy."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...Throughout a series of individual scenes, four characters desperately try to make meaningful connections with someone else. Their efforts are familiar, honest and heartbreaking, but for all their attempts each character ends up alone. There are moments of awkwardness, of uneasiness and even an air of sinister motivation. The people in Abe Koogler’s drama aren’t perfect or completely innocent; but their sincere need to find someone else in this crazy world, with whom to share their hopes and dreams, makes this play worth the time it takes to navigate the loneliness."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Koogler's script and McLeod's direction benefit by Sarah JHP Watkins' stripped-down set. The design, or lack thereof, demonstrates the importance of strong acting and direction. With a blank adobe-toned stone wall as backdrop, furnishings are just a bench and an assortment of corrugated boxes that serve as tables and desks. Mike Durst's lighting creates moods for daytime and campground evening settings. Brando Triantafillou's sound design and original music bring in touches of music from Suzan's past and John's car radio."
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Nancy Bishop

PicksInSix- Recommended

"...In the end, we all seek fulfillment in everything we do. The benefit of our choices and the relationships we make is not always up to us. Despite our feeling of satisfaction for a job well done, it is often not enough in the eyes of others, whose own level of fulfillment may not be realized. So, perhaps the point is, when all else fails, accept the reality that the road to true fulfillment has many paths along the way. No matter which one you choose, being truthful, compassionate and understanding will get you a long way every time."
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Ed Tracy