Visiting | The Edge Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

Visiting Closing (Theater and Galleries) The Short List (Theater) Image

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 7 2017

Bipolar and drugged out of her mind, Penny (Sarah Wisterman) is on the roof of a mental hospital, ready to kill herself. If you start a play at that pitch of intensity, you’d better keep it up lest the thing fizz out on you like a dud firework. Instead, playwright Ed Proudfoot’s family melodrama, presented by Artemisia, reduces its protagonist's situation to a kind of awareness-raising case history, as if a jumble of mental health cant (“unconditional positive regard,” “self-efficacy,” “Rogerian theory”) could somehow make a play socially productive. Penny’s relatives are awful and vindictive cardboard cutout people who do nothing but insult each other and then get offended when someone returns the favor. Wisterman’s performance showcases a certain bravery and dexterity, but the family itself is hopeless, canned happy ending notwithstanding. —Max Maller

Price: $25


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