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Author: Irene Nelson

“Brilliant Lies” Laid Bare at Firescape Theatre, S.F.

“Brilliant Lies” Laid Bare at Firescape Theatre, S.F.

Playwright David Williamson Grapples with Sex and Power by Irene Nelson For thirty years I worked for unions—representing members on both sides of sexual harassment charges. For me, Firescape Theatre’s “Brilliant Lies” achieves the impossible by taking us past the bullshit and into the realites of these showdowns. David Williamson shows how facts matter little, while the “lies” reveal far more than they mask. It’s how a person feels about the facts that matters. It’s what motivates the lies that…

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“Home” Sweet Home at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, S.F.

“Home” Sweet Home at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, S.F.

Samm-Art Williams Delivers a Lyrical Epic of Great Migrations by Irene Nelson The words of Samm-Art Williams’ “Home” knock me out—down-home country dialogue or poetic narrative, it’s all woven into the rhythm and movement of the blues, jazz, and spirituals. Sly, humorous story-telling and sweet memories combine with shockingly bad times to make “Home” a powerful journey. Myers Clark, Tristan Cunningham, Britney Frazier give “Home” the welcome it deserves under the strong direction of Aldo Billingslea. Williams loves street theater,…

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“Autobiography of a Terrorist”: Tricky Times, at Golden Thread, S.F.

“Autobiography of a Terrorist”: Tricky Times, at Golden Thread, S.F.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh Laughs at Himself, and US, Too  by Irene Nelson My seat mate poked me, snorted and said,”Look at the program. This actor bio has her thanking her sorority sisters, do you believe it?” I had already read the director’s intro about speaking as a “White man” whose “duty” was to allow “those whose voices are silenced…be heard through mine.”  Huh? But then an actor (Damien Separi) introduces himself as the “playwright,” explaining he will be portraying his experience…

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“The Encounter” with an Amazon Tribe Enchants, at Curran Theatre, S.F.

“The Encounter” with an Amazon Tribe Enchants, at Curran Theatre, S.F.

Simon McBurney Gears Up Sounds of Amazon Beaming by Irene Nelson We see a man standing on stage in front of us, but through our headphones we actually hear him standing behind us, then to our right, and then to our left. Simon McBurney, still standing onstage, now tells us that he will blow in our right ears and we will feel his warm breath—and we do. We cannot call it illusion since he appears openly before us and explains…

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