2018 Theater Preview: InterAct Theatre Company

interact-theatre-companyInteract Theatre Company continues to produce provocative contemporary plays exploring relevant political issues. It kicks off 2018 with an enticing and timely world premiere by local playwright MJ Kaufman. Kaufman’s last play, Destiny Estimate, was withdrawn from critical consideration by the InterAct Core Playwright days before its opening, but we expect no hiccups or second thoughts before InterAct’s January 24 opening night. interacttheatre.org

interact-sensitive-guysSensitive Guys by MJ Kaufman
directed by Evren Odcikin
January 19 – February 11

Is it enough just to be “working on your sh*t?” In the safe spaces of a small liberal arts college, the student-led Men’s Peer Education Group and women’s Survivor Support Group work together on an ambitious plan to eradicate all sexual violence everywhere in just five years. They’ve got it all together — until an incident throws their ideals into question. Five female and non-binary performers inhabit both male and female roles in this social satire about complicity and what it really takes to face the patriarchy.

Human Rites by Seth Rozin
directed by Harriet Power
March 23-April 15

In response to student protest, Michaela, an African-American dean at a major American university summons Alan, a renowned Jewish professor of cultural psychology, to request that he retract a controversial paper on female initiation rites in Africa. But dormant feelings of attraction and resentment from an illicit affair years earlier turns a heated battle over science and cultural pluralism into a heavyweight fight. Rozin’s provocative play shatters the ivory tower of academia, upending questions of privilege and Western morality. Premiered in Indianapolis in 2017; this is the second full production.

Draw The Circle by Mashuq Mushtaq Deen
directed by Chay Yew
June 1 – June 24, 2018

A trans male journey told entirely through the impressions of everyone around him in this virtuosic and poetic piece, originally developed in 2012 as part of InterAct’s Beyond the Frame Festival. Playwright and performer Mashuq Mushtaq Deen inhabits every character — from his bewildered American girlfriend to his traditional, Muslim family — each trying to understand gender transition by their own terms. Funny, intimate, and deeply moving, Draw the Circle is about survival, transition, and the difficulties that sometimes surround unconditional love.

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About the author

Christopher Munden

Your faithful correspondent and publisher Christopher Munden has written and edited for many publications, websites, and cultural institutions. He was an editor/publisher of the Philly Fiction book series, collections of short stories written by local writers and set in Philadelphia. He's also a soccer coach and a pretty good skier.