Josh Carpenter

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Mattie Hawkinson (as Penthea), Josh Carpenter (as Orgilus), Gregory Isaac (as Bassanes). Photo by Shawn May.

THE BROKEN HEART (Quintessence): Dark matter

Melancholy John Ford was more ‘himself’ and less ‘Shakespearean’ than other less bold Cavalier dramatists.

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HANDLE WITH CARE (Montgomery Theater): 60-second review

HANDLE WITH CARE is brilliantly seasoned with humor—the type found when differing cultures collide.

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DOCTOR FAUSTUS (Quintessence): If you want to know everything, go to hell

A remarkably original and gloriously entertaining version of the Marlowe play.

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SAINT JOAN (Quintessence): The Maid’s new clothes

George Bernard Shaw’s play is presented in rich tonalities of color, light, positioning, and sound. It is wide awake.

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THE MANDRAKE (Quintessence): A Machiavellian sex satire

What could be so funny in a play written nearly 500 years ago? There is something for everyone to either laugh or balk at in this bawdy production of a play by Machiavelli.

Photo by Shawn May.

ROMEO AND JULIET (Quintessence): What fray was here?

In the eyes of director Alexander Burns this doomed romance never stood a chance.

Ken Sandberg, Connor Hammond (as d'Artagnan), Parke Fech. Photo by Alexander Iziliaev.

THE THREE MUSKETEERS (Quintessence): Swordplay and horseplay combine in a breezy adaptation

As always with an Alexander Burns production, imagery is rife, props are creative, and jokes come as much from sight gags as from dialogue.

Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth with Ben Dibble as Banquo. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Rare emotion and rarer straightforwardness [critical mass review #5]

The elements which displease other writers are what makes this production a success, according to Michael Fisher in review five of the ongoing Critical Mass series.

Ensemble in Arden Theatre Company's production of MACBETH. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Numb from the neck down, well almost [critical mass review #3]

Jessica Foley gives this week’s critical mass take on MACBETH at the Arden, part of a new review series on Phindie.

Judith Lightfoot Clarke as Lady Macbeth with Ian Merrill Peakes as Macbeth. Photo by Mark Garvin.

MACBETH (Arden): Fast but not furious [critical mass review #2]

Alexander Burns’ production of MACBETH at Arden Theatre Company is energetic and visually engaging, but it lacks ferocity and substance.

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MACBETH (Arden): Bloody bold and resolute [critical mass review #1]

Burns maintains the energy and pacing of his best work for Quintessence and takes full advantage of the Arden’s high production values to create an exuberant and understandable version of Shakespeare’s masterpiece.

Josh Carpenter (left) as Pip and Sally Mercer as Miss Havisham in the Arden Theatre Company’s GREAT EXPECTATIONS. Photo by Mark Garvin.

GREAT EXPECTATIONS (Arden): Exceeds all expectations

With a perfect combination of passion, pride, storytelling, and imagination, the Arden Theatre Company’s production of GREAT EXPECTATIONS is a thrilling night of theater.

Ian Merrill Peakes, Mary Martello, and Paul L. Nolan in Arden Theatre Company’s Incorruptible by Michael Hollinger. Photo by Mark Garvin

INCORRUPTIBLE (Arden): Laughter in the monastery

The set of Michael Hollinger’s witty INCORRUPTIBLE looks like it has been there for hundreds of years, transporting one back to the days of monks and minstrels. At the Abbey…

Photo by Shawn May

MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA (Quintessence): America’s Ghosts Return to Haunt

There are plenty of things to thrill over in Quintessence Theatre Group’s stirring, and impressively-performed, MOURNING BECOMES ELECTRA. Director Alex Burns and his well-picked ensemble continue to impress.

Josh Carpenter (as Marlow), Sonja Field (as Kate Hardcastle) in SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER. Photo by Alexander Burns.

SHE STOOPS TO CONQUER (Quintessence): A contemporary 18th-century comedy

SHE STOOPS is an 18th-century comedy of manners and mistaken identities by Oliver Goldsmith. It is considered by many to be the most enduring of 18th-century plays (name another you’ve…

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HAMLET (Quintessence): Brevity is the soul of it

Hip, fast-paced, with a frat-boy-cool lead: these aren’t usually phrases to describe HAMLET. But Quintessence Theatre Group’s heavily edited version takes a bare bodkin to Shakespeare’s story of revenge and existential crisis in the state of Denmark.