FML: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater)

When: Saturdays, Sundays. Continues through March 18 2012

Jo is a teenage lesbian attending a La Grange Catholic high school she calls "Saint Paul the Unbearable." She mostly keeps to herself, saving the important stuff for her graphic novel, which is her version of what Carson McCullers called the "inside room"—the private fantasy world where nobody can get at you. Of course, some bullies get at her anyway. Written in teenage argot, Sarah Gubbins's script balances humor and pathos and manages to handle a serious subject without sounding like a PSA. Joanie Schultz's Steppenwolf for Young Adults staging benefits from sensitive performances as well as Mike Tutaj's simple yet striking projections of Jo's sketches. The only thing missing is fear. Jo's ordeal is awkward and humiliating, but I never sensed the overwhelming terror that real bullying engenders. —Zac Thompson

Price: $15-$20

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