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  Unseen Reviews

The Gift Theatre
Thru - Apr 9, 2017

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The Gift Theatre

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  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
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Chicago Tribune- Somewhat Recommended

"...That conundrum is at the heart of Mona Mansour's "Unseen," in a world premiere at Gift Theatre. It bears a glancing resemblance to Donald Margulies' "Time Stands Still," which ran at Steppenwolf in 2012. As in Margulies' play, the protagonist in Mansour's piece is a female war photographer who bears scars from her work. However, in Mansour's drama, the scars are all psychic."
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Kerry Reid

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...Playwright Mona Mansour's ambition exceeds her craft in this promising but unsatisfying world-premiere one-act. Set mostly in Istanbul just before the 2016 failed coup, the story focuses on increasingly traumatized war-zone photographer Mia, her wise and patient girlfriend Derya, and her moneyed, semi-blinkered mother Jane. Mansour never shies from big issues, whether personal (addiction, PTSD), professional (journalistic ethics in the face of human suffering), or political (Americans' inbred penchant for isolationism)."
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Justin Hayford

NewCity Chicago- Somewhat Recommended

"..."Unseen" tackles many salient issues that will feel familiar to the world-weary and the well meaning: namely the privilege of being able to look away from horror and the lure of the self-flagellation Olympics, a competition that Mia seems bound and determined to win. As a world premiere, it's a promising start. Were it to open its shutter a little wider, it may be able to capture a truly important way of looking at and being in the world."
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...This is an interesting drama, particularly given how our world turns these days. Mansourís play provides a face for those brave photojournalists who risk their lives everyday using their cameras to tell dangerous, true stories set in exotic locales. Itís impossible for any informed, educated theatergoer to experience this play without recalling the headlines of the day. There is, within this play, something sadly unseen."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review- Highly Recommended

"...For me at least, Unseen was riveting. I was able to connect with the relationships and characters, interested in the setting, and affected by the struggles, both inside the apartment and out, while the mystery of Miaís situation played out on the stage. If youíre looking for a powerful, affecting night at the theater, this is one to see."
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Marielle Shaw

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Mansour's play wrestles with our responsibility to acknowledge the suffering of others as well as our responsibility to care for our own emotional well-being. Mia's occupation places her directly in the middle of this quagmire, and Unseen treats audiences to a variety of ethical positions about whether or not she should let herself connect to the subjects of her photos, even in the face of death. Ultimately, the play illustrates the heaviness of constantly juggling these queries, leading to an illuminating catharsis near the play's end."
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Brent Ervin-Eickhoff