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  Dark Play or Stories for Boys at Flat Iron Arts Building

Dark Play or Stories for Boys

Flat Iron Arts Building
1579 N. Milwaukee Ave. Chicago

"Dark Play or Stories for Boys" follows a teenage boy's foray into the virtual world. His fictional internet identity begins as a harmless game, but the game takes on a frightening reality when real emotion overtakes his online relationship. When Nick's virtual world collides with the real world, his fantasies of love, intimacy, obsession and betrayal spiral into consequences that lead him to the brink of death.

Thru - Mar 11, 2012

Price: $15 - $25

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 312-226-9633

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins; no intermission

  Dark Play or Stories for Boys Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"... Murillo's play, first staged at the Humana Festival in Louisville in 2007, has had several productions around the country, but this is the Chicago premiere for the DePaul playwriting professor's piece. It's a good match with the tastes and sensibilities of Collaboraction — a company that has long been interested in exploring youth culture and the clash between virtual worlds and the stage. Director Anthony Moseley's spare staging — just four translucent panels frame the ends of the runway playing area, and there are minimal props — allows the 90-minute show to move with relentless drive."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Sun Times - Recommended

"...The five actors here are superb (and ideally chosen), and they sustain the sick spell cast by this story for its full 90 minutes. Sick, to be sure, but chilling and compelling."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Murillo's script introduces us to Nick, a college kid with a new girlfriend, some mysterious welts on his torso, and a propensity for lying. When the girlfriend asks about the welts, Nick agonizes over whether to tell her the truth while letting us in on a sordid tale of digital obsession. The play ends a little too coyly, but in Anthony Moseley's production getting there is a thrill."
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Tony Adler

Centerstage - Recommended

"... Collaboraction’s production, on the whole, is top notch. And Murillo’s script is too, for about 70 minutes. Unfortunately, the final 20 minutes unravel faster than a sweater in a nail factory. As Nick says at the beginning of the show, “Everyone has a gullibility threshold.” And the ending of this play pushed me way beyond mine. It’s really too bad; because Collaboraction’s production is so good that it deserves better."

Alex Huntsberger

Time Out Chicago - Recommended

"...For a play largely consisting of online conversations, Murillo’s 2007 cyberthriller is surprisingly packed and active. At times Murillo, a faculty member at DePaul’s Theatre School, tries to do too much: Nick’s mother’s homophobia is one unnecessary tangent. Yet the script’s energy and unpredictability compensate for its structural flaws. Joe Schermoly’s simple set design allows Michael Reed’s stunning lights to create a digital dreamscape; director Anthony Moseley uses the open space to emphasize both the freedom and distance of online communication."
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Oliver Sava

ChicagoCritic - Recommended

"...Without giving away too much, let me say that playwright Carlos Murillo structures the real world scenes plausibly as the scenario of love, obsession and betrayal unfolds in reality. McCartney and Kirby were outstanding in these scenes. The escalation of the dark play game eerily moves into the depths leading to the brink of death. The emotional and physical rush one of the players gets makes the game worthwhile."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Recommended

"... “dark play” manages to be both erotic and actual, astutely metaphorical and painfully literal, a morality play for 2D encounters. If you need to bungee-jump in order to feel alive,how dead are you already? If you “make up shit,” how real are you to yourself? Yes, people can only die in three dimensions--but they can kill in two."

Lawrence Bommer

Chicago Now - Highly Recommended

"...Mosley choreographs it with a high-speed internet connection pace. The talented ensemble zips in and out of past/present and online/real life. McCartney is continually yanked back in time to complete his narration. Sound Designer Stephen Ptacek aids the story with tunnel audio effects to distinguish live chat from live talk. DARK PLAYS OR STORIES FOR BOYS captivates with what it’s saying and how it’s saying it. I walked away amazed and dazed. And I’m not making sh#t up! This dark comedy will make me question how well I know that guy online or in my bed."
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Somewhat Recommended

"...There is an old saying that “Boys will be boys” and in the very dark play written by Carlos Murillo ( based on an actual event),”Dark Play or Stories For Boys”, now onstage at Collaboraction’s new home at The Flat Iron Arts Building in Bucktown, we are exposed to a young man’s journey into the world of the Internet through social media. Our main character, Nick ( a powerful performance by Clancy McCartney) has created a false identity for the Internet, a game of sorts that takes on its own life as the two worlds ( the real and the fictional) collide. One might call this a “coming of age” story, but with an added twist of the Internet and how one’s secret being can lead to paths unforeseen, emotional and filled with feelings that can be life changing."
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Alan Bresloff

Chicago Theater Beat - Highly Recommended

"... Director Anthony Mosely succeeds in pulling the audience into a narrative that grows ever more fantastical as its leading anti-hero morphs from a sullen adolescent playing juvenile internet pranks into a dangerously needy sociopath, intent on inciting his own death while simultaneously destroying the life of a gullible 16-year-old who has no idea what he’s become tangled with. That’s the nature of the “Dark Play” of the title – As Nick learns in drama class, a dark play is a game wherein not all of the players realize that they are, in fact, playing a game."

Catey Sullivan

  Dark Play or Stories for Boys Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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