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  The Effect at Strawdog Theatre

The Effect

Strawdog Theatre
1802 W. Berenice Chicago

Hearts pounding, thoughts racing, and sleepless nights. Connie and Tristan are falling in love - or are they? Stuck in a clinical trial for an antidepressant, it's hard to know what is love and what is the drug. As the trial's supervising doctors untangle this relationship, everyone involved has to question what they know.

Thru - Nov 23, 2019

Price: $35

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 773-528-9696

Running Time: 1hr, 45mins

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  The Effect Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Recommended

"...I wouldn’t say that “The Effect” wholly stands up to realistic scrutiny (there sure are some very loose protocols at work at this trial), but then that’s not the intent. Plays that truly are thoughtful about depression and feeling, and that genuinely want to look at things outside the usual binaries, are as rare as a good date. This is one."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Cary Shoda and Justine C. Turner as the doctors become more interesting in the second act, as their relationships with each other and their patients deepen. The pace of dialogue and acting doesn't always serve the subtlety of the script. Yet director Elly Green's cast and the production team have crafted an important performance that leaves a lasting impression."
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Josh Flanders

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...The challenge presented in the performance of this symposial material, illustrated by a mere four people, within a stage picture consisting of two hospital beds and an observation window, is to render them sufficiently deserving of our sympathetic investment for the duration. Director Elly Green elicits superlative text interpretation from her cast—Sam Hubbard and Danielle Pereira as the vulnerable young lovers, Cary Shoda and Justine C. Turner as their allegedly-mature counselors—for every minute of the two hours necessary to achieve the irony of a quest in search of "happiness" ( or absence of sadness, at least ) ending in severe damage to all the participants, innocent victims and guilty stewards alike."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Theatre By Numbers - Highly Recommended

"...“The Effect” could well be called an experiment on audience bias. It challenges those watching, and if the production does not come to any firm conclusions, that is as it should be. When posing questions about what we all do to make our lives livable, the answer lies ultimately in each of us."
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Sarah Bowden

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...Have you ever done a health care study group? One where they are giving you a dose of something and you are not told if it is the real drug or perhaps, a placebo. Try to imagine being the person that is brought in for the study and rather than going home and coming back as needed, you are asked to reside in what may be or may have been an insane asylum. In the Chicago premiers of Lucy Prebble’s “The Effect”now on the stage at Strawdog Theatre Company, we are asked to peer into the lives of two young people who share only their date of birth as they are brought in to do such a test."
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...In Strawdog's production, directed by Elly Green, the chemistry is palpable, with the reckless abandon of fellow subject Tristan (Sam Hubbard), the perfect foil for Connie's cerebral caution, with doctors James and Toby Sealy (Cary Shoda) reflecting more seasoned perspectives on the problems this piece presents. Yeaji Kim's excellent set design and projections make the most of the black box space."
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Irene Hsiao

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...In this shrewd and gripping tale, that’s part love story and part scientific debate, Lucy Prebble’s drama could easily be subtitled Doctor Heal Thyself. The playwright has much to say about our continued growing reliance upon medication and the skepticism that surrounds this addiction. She also seems to question whether a doctor who suffers, herself, from a particular malady, should be involved in any form of treatment for that illness. It’s a fascinating two hours of human connection and intellectual entertainment."
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Colin Douglas - Recommended

"...The Effect is modern love tale that deeply absorbs the reality of prescribed medications and its weight in our society. These new medicines, its shady providers or overuse by the consumer, brings new questions for this generation and others following to answer. We must find a balance between ourselves and this new medicine. Establish a way we use them to aid us through our everyday lives and not hinder or disrupt. The Effect takes on this subject with intellect, humor, and plenty of heart."
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Michael Chandler

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...The script by Lucy Prebble features clever, quick dialogue and interesting, seesaw relationships between two young patients and two middle-aged doctors. It’s a highly watchable show marked by Elly Green’s sharp direction and timing and superb lighting design that adds complexity to the minimalist set design. In particular, a love scene at the end of act one is strikingly punctuated with a series of quick blackouts."
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Nancy Bishop

Storefront Rebellion - Recommended

"...Prebble's plotting is a bit schematic, but that seems purposeful; director Elly Green generally uses the graph-paper neatness to her production's advantage. Pereira and Hubbard radiate a persuasive and charming chemistry, but their characters are the guinea pigs here; it's Turner's layered, conflicted and wholly moving turn as Dr. James that yields clinically proven results."
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Kris Vire

Chicago On Stage - Highly Recommended

"...The actors, too, do a fine job, though the men are not called upon to reveal as much as the women. Hubbard and Pereira make a convincing flirtatious couple with Hubbard’s confident Tristan breaking down both Connie’s inhibitions and her connection to the missing boyfriend. Meanwhile, Pereira shows a ton of range as her character undergoes a wide variety of powerful emotional experiences throughout the play. Similarly, while Shoda’s Toby feels every bit the power player in charge of this trial as well as the compassionate ex-lover who blames his breaking up with Lorna for her difficulties, Turner is faced with a slowly devolving character succumbing to a depression she refuses to treat."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post - Highly Recommended

"...You too may conclude that Director Elly Green gets incisive performances from all four of her actors. Sam Hubbard as Tristan is all twitchy nerves and euphoric self-confidence. He’s also hilarious. Daniella Pereira’s Connie is more analytical and loves to analyze others, but is much less confident in her assessments. They balance each other well, even if their attraction is being driven by pharmaceutical intervention or just the natural rush of a new experience."
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Jacob Davis

  The Effect 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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