Sunday, January 15, 2012

Some Review Snipits for To Tree

My theatre company's premiere of Aaron Golden's To Tree is offically open. Reviews have come out since our hard press opening January 13 and I have to say I'm floored and humbled by the kind words from our local press representatives. Makes the work we do at The Brown Paper Box Co. feel graciously worth it when other people, audience members and otherwise, 'get' it. Here are a few of their kind words:

"Provocative...The strong, articulate and disciplined performance by Lance Newton is impressive. Christopher Hart’s nice guy and truthful take on friendship is winning. To Tree is a sly little work that creeps up and stimulates us into reexamining our meaning of life and what the essence of being human is about. This moving work is worth seeing as it begs further discussion on the ride home." - Tom Williams, Chicago Critic

"While there are some funny moments, one would have to call [To Tree] a “think piece” causing each audience member to re-examine their own thoughts about some of the topics discussed. The Brown Paper Box Co. is dedicated to creating plays that are thought provoking theatrical experiences with very simple sets, costumes and overall “glitz”, in order for the audience to be able to focus on the playwright’s words. In To Tree, they have accomplished this to the ultimate. Tickets range from $15-$20 (very affordable) and can be purchased at or This is a very small theater, so I suggest you not put off ordering your tickets." - Alan Bresloff, Around the Town Chicago

"At times To Tree is funny, but it is never silly and the story is always taken seriously. The fourth wall is also always respected and I think that this was a wise choice given the small confines of the Heartland Theater. The production also makes good use of limited resources as the set design consisted primarily of astro turf and bark wraps. Lighting and music is used effectively to separate scenes as well as to convey elapsed time. Bottom line: To Tree is recommended. Not everyone will appreciate this surreal and thought provoking play, but for those willing to give it a chance, they will not be disappointed." - Noel Schecter, Splash Magazine

"In the opening scene of To Tree, Julian Fisher (Lance Newton) appears on a sparse stage and begins to slowly and deliberately undress, one piece of clothing at a time, each carefully folded and stacked in a pile before he removes the next. He walks to center stage, where he literally plants his feet in a fold in the Astroturf that represents the outdoors, where he remains for the duration of the play. This is an absurdist play, one that relies almost entirely on dialogue, and is sparsely staged. Peter (Christopher Hart) becomes more likeable and interesting as the play unfolds, and the story becomes more believable the further we travel into it. This piece is thought provoking, absurd, and focuses largely the inner life of one man. I considered the fact that I, like Julian, had been sitting in one place the entire time. Guilt and redemption are represented through the metaphor of Julian’s transformation, leaving one to ponder the meaning of it all." - J. H. Palmer, Chicago Theater Beat

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