Human Terrain | Voice of the City | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Human Terrain Member Picks The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through July 9 2016

The odds are against Broken Nose Theatre’s shoestring production of Jennifer Blackmer’s play about the war in Iraq. It’s staged in an uninviting office space sans air-conditioning, with a makeshift set of folding metal furniture and strung-up sheets. But Blackmer’s taut, troubling story, about recently degreed anthropologist Mabry’s attempts to interpret and deescalate tensions between Iraqi locals and the U.S. combat troop with which she’s embedded, provides sharp-edged drama and juicy moral conundrums (the more Mabry engages empathically with Iraqis, the worse things go for everyone). Director Benjamin Brownson stages the intricate drama with perfect clarity and admirable reserve, and while Blackmer makes a few missteps—the ending comes from left field, and the only developed Iraqi character is a perpetual fount of philosophical wisdom—her work displays a palpable urgency. —Justin Hayford

Price: $1-$18, pay what you can

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