Reviews: Strengths And Stumbles In Six Plays

“Branden Jacobs-Jenkins manages something rather astounding: he speaks to an audience exhausted from family plays and race-relations-themed plays, and makes us take another look at a genre we thought we’d had enough of.”

Review: ‘Gnit’ Plays Well With A Classic Tale

“In one particularly inspired move, Eno conflates the crowds of citizens who mock and harass Peter into a single role named Town, handled here with terrific multiple-personality comic brio by Danny Wolohan.”

HumanaFest in Six Words

Our colleague Lou Harry is one heckuva wordsmith — and he’s always up for a creative challenge.  In that spirit, I asked him to write six-word reviews for each show in the festival.  Here’s what he came up with:          O Guru Guru Guru…          Twisted life straightened via […]

Weight of History: The Playwright Confronts

Waves whoosh in and out, and seabirds cry over the speakers. Sand piles up and spills over corners and floor the floor of the set. A young man looks around in terror as he collects branches to build a raft. Another, slightly older man watches from the shadows. We’re in Haiti during the regime of Papa […]

Different Angle, Different Play: Cry Old Kingdom‘s mysterious McGuffin

One idea that Center Stage artistic director Kwame Kwei-Armah returned to repeatedly in the panel of Humana Festival play directors he moderated on Friday afternoon is that in the theater, a director’s work is often invisible. He’s right: The image in the collective imagination of a filmmaker peering through a lens slung around his neck […]

Swollen Egos Stride the Stage

“The most intriguing works in the festival, now under the direction of Les Waters, take the audience on engrossing journeys through the thick underbrush of the human psyche as it is shaped by family, society and the divided impulses of the self.”

Review: Which Play Should You See This Final Weekend?

“As a rule, I’ll take big, audacious plays over smaller, safer ones—even if ambition sometimes leads to missteps.”

Chris Arnott’s Engine 31 review: Cry Old Kingdom

It’s hard to know what to think about Jeff Augustin’s spare human drama of turmoil and unrest and shattered hopes in 1964 Haiti (“a couple of hours outside of Port-au-Prince”). It’s hard to know because this misshapen production keeps shifting its acton from the center to the fringes. It buries important plot points within understated […]

Lou Harry’s Engine 31 review: Cry Old Kingdom

In Jeff Augustin’s Cry Old Kingdom, Edwin (Andy Lucien) is an artist believed dead by the oppressive Haitian government while his full-of-life wife, Judith (Natalie Paul), yearns for revolution. Life gets more complicated for the couple when Edwin encounters a young man, Henri (Jonathan Majors), collecting wood to build a boat to escape to America. […]

Review: ‘Cry Old Kingdom’ is profound on many levels

“It’s a dramatic illustration of the way political repression undermines and corrupts human relationships.  It’s also a forceful illustration of both the futility of attempting to remain apart from life and the cost of doing so.”

Interview with ‘Cry Old Kingdom’ playwright Jeff Augustin [AUDIO]

“What is the role of an artist during times of great tyranny?”

Review: Pursuit of freedom, justice drives ‘Cry Old Kingdom’

“Jeff Augustin’s ‘Cry Old Kingdom’ is a sparkling example of why so many theater people descend on Louisville every spring.”

Review: ‘Cry Old Kingdom’ a promising debut

“Directed by Tom Dugdale, ‘Cry Old Kingdom’ is the ambitious story of three individuals searching for a clear pathway through a terrifying political climate. It’s a strong, if slightly uneven, debut from a young playwright with great potential.”

Review: ‘Cry Old Kingdom’ looks at freedom in Haiti

“‘Cry Old Kingdom,’ a new play by Jeff Augustin that opened Sunday in its world premiere in Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival of New American Plays, goes beyond the present-day Haiti to put his audience smack inside three lives wrenched by a chaotic chapter in the country’s political troubles.”

Discovering Haiti: Immigrants’ son explores time of oppression

“In middle school I started reading about Duvalier and the Tonton Macoutes (the paramilitary force). It was a time of tyranny, and I became fascinated with it, especially considering the way my mom and grandma romanticized Haiti.”