The Opportunities Of Extinction Reviews
Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended
"...Chanse doesn't suggest answers so much as reiillustrate the question through additional unnecessary metaphors, resulting in more philosophical musings than drama. Director Jen Poulin's hesitant Broken Nose production struggled to find its rhythms on opening night, partly because an understudy performed with script in hand. Only Echaka Agba as Mel delivered a performance with nuance and depth, as she routinely does."
Windy City Times- Recommended
"...Despite the brief performance time ( 100 minutes ), Chanse's analogies often exhibit the density of the LaBrea tar pits-let's not forget the extinction cycles, the incendiary hazards of invasive plants and the sloth trapped in a fumerole-but Aria Szalai-Raymond, Echaka Agba and, on opening night, understudy Vijay Sarathi parse their author's arguments with a delicate touch assuring our cognitive compliance, even during a dream sequence ( whose? ) involving guardianship of a baby ( human, or botanical? ) by self-absorbed citizens of poor parenting skills ( meaning us ). The technical team assembled for this Broken Nose world premiere production likewise keeps us grounded with its evocatively accurate representations of rain-shadow plains."
Around The Town Chicago- Recommended
"...This is a three character play, smoothly directed by Jen Poulin, dealing with a couple, going through some rough choices in their lives , on a camping trip in The Mojave Desert. At their camping ground, they meet a young woman, studying the impact of climate change on the Joshua Tree. Georgia ( Aria Szalai-Raymond ) appears to be very young, perhaps still a student, who is deeply concerned about her world and what is taking place."
NewCity Chicago- Highly Recommended
"...Every moment in Broken Nose Theatre’s production, directed by Jen Poulin, captures the absurd melancholy of life in the sixth mass extinction. Three humans in a desert wandering in and out of view, temporary and flawed, on the brink of demise, briefly connect. How beautiful."
Chicago Theatre Review- Somewhat Recommended
"...Directed with passion and determination by Jen Poulin, this 95-minute one-act starts out well, but, as it progresses, the play begins to feel a little rough and shaky. As the story eventually wraps up, it’s not clear what, if any, changes have taken place. We’re left with more questions than answers, which may be Sam Chanse’s intention in writing this play."
Third Coast Review- Somewhat Recommended
"...Extinction offers some nifty insights about technology and human nature from playwright Sam Chanse, but Jen Poulin's static staging doesn't give us much room to ponder. I also found myself disappointed when the scandal's details finally emerged; no fault of the production, but compared to recent real life controversies, the tweet in question just doesn't feel like it earns the supposed outrage implied here. Echaka Agaba delivers some standout moments as the conflicted wife of a man in free fall, but Richard Costes' clueless professor and Aria Szalai-Raymond's abrasive nature nerd never amount to characters you'd want to share a campfire with."
Picture This Post- Recommended
"...Per the title, this play is also a parallel lamentation on the fragility of our planet. This theme is introduced right at the start in a long (way, way too long, by this reviewer's lights) monologue by Georgia (played by Aria Szalai-Raymond), a 20 year old Park volunteer who has a keen interest and lots of knowledge about the near extinction of climate change-susceptible Joshua Trees. Many would describe Georgia as "on the spectrum", and perhaps juiced by hypomania that expresses itself in a most officious way. Perhaps playwright Sam Chanse was drawing a character well-known to her, but Georgia is likely not someone many in the audience will feel they know. Szalai-Raymond gives playing this Rain Man cousin part her all, but the script may not give her a character that allows her to show her full talents."