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Artenisia at Edge Theatre
Thru - May 7, 2017

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Artenisia at Edge Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Reader- Somewhat Recommended

"...Bipolar and drugged out of her mind, Penny (Sarah Wisterman) is on the roof of a mental hospital, ready to kill herself. If you start a play at that pitch of intensity, you'd better keep it up lest the thing fizz out on you like a dud firework. Instead, playwright Ed Proudfoot's family melodrama, presented by Artemisia, reduces its protagonist's situation to a kind of awareness-raising case history, as if a jumble of mental health cant ("unconditional positive regard," "self-efficacy," "Rogerian theory") could somehow make a play socially productive."
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Max Maller

Windy City Times- Somewhat Recommended

"...Artemisia director Carrie Lee Patterson has wisely assembled a cast with the collective expertise to convey the dysfunctional fallout arising from this incurable illness without slipping into operatic histrionics ( except when Lauren or Penny are in the throes of a seizure, telenovela-strength passion being a major component thereof ). The results may emerge somewhat nebulous—those striving to follow the trajectory of its mosaic leaps back and forth in time risk sustaining whiplash—but if Proudfoot's case study sends playgoers home knowing more about the disease under scrutiny than when they arrived, it's a step toward diminishing the toll it continues to exact in our society."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

Splash Magazine- Recommended

"...The actors deliver strong work. In particular, Sarah Wisterman is excellent as Penny, bringing nuance, energy, and vulnerability in spades as she depicts the young woman at various stages of her life, including times of intense emotional distress. Artemisia founder and executive artistic director Julie Proudfoot is deeply compelling as suicidal mother Lauren, and Carin Silkaitis is hilarious as the queer, foulmouthed Holly."
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Jessie Bond

NewCity Chicago- Not Recommended

"...Told at various points in the life of Penny (Sarah Wisterman), what supposedly draws the five women of "Visiting" together is the history left by the unseen matriarch of their family. This history and their intimacy with it, however, is poorly communicated. Between the panicked, stock manic episode Penny suffers (complete with strobe lights and sirens, a motif that adds nothing to our experience of these episodes) and the long-winded monologues that each character has about their pain and traumas, there's an admirable heart here, though it's impossible to suss out any coherent meaning."
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Jay Van Ort

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...The goal of this remarkably capable and sincere theatrical company is to produce plays that empower women. The group is always on the look for new works or classics that can be presented with a definite feminine point of view. With Ed Proudfoot’s latest drama, Artemisia has once again achieved their mission. Here, the company has put names and faces to a disease that afflicts so many around the world. Audiences may find entertainment in the lighter moments of this moving drama; but it’s the playwright’s unflinching look at bipolar disorder, all its symptoms and treatments, and how it affects everyone around, that makes this powerful piece a startling, striking evening of theatre."
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Colin Douglas

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...Perhaps one of the primary values of this play is that it could allow members of families in the audience to understand each other without having to live out identical confrontations. Another value is that, by fully acknowledging the difficulties mental illness causes, Visiting actually earns the right to call its ending life-affirming. It’s not simplistic and we don’t get the feeling that it’s a happily-ever-after, but it does show that mentally ill people have a lot to live for and can enrich the lives of others."
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Jacob Davis