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Berkshires


  • Originally published 07/21/2013

    A Scorching History of Rape in America

    Extremities Unicorn Theater 6 East Street Stockbridge, MassachusettsThe first seventeen minutes of Bill Mastrosimone’s savage play Extremities keep theatergoers on the edge of their seats. A stranger invades the home of a young woman he knows is alone and attempts to rape her. He is kneeling over her on the living room rug, his thick legs pinning her to the floor, his hands ripping at her clothes. She utters ear splitting screams of terror, flails her exposed legs wildly in the air and begs for her life.Then, suddenly, she is able to reach for a can of bug repellent and sprays her assailant in the face, disabling him. She springs to her feet, gets behind him and, before he can recover, ties him up. She tosses him into her empty fireplace, ties the iron grill to the wall and holds him captive, determined to kill him in revenge for what he did to her.

  • Originally published 07/21/2013

    When Does a War End for the Veterans?

    Heroes Shakespeare and Company 70 Kemble Street Lenox, MassachusettsWhen does a war end for the men who fought it?That’s the question in French writer Gerald Sibleyras play Heroes, translated by Tom Stoppard, which just opened at Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshires. The setting is 1959 somewhere in France. Three veterans of World War One, Phillipe, Gustave and Henri, reminisce about the war every day on the veranda of the Old Soldiers home where they live. Henry has been there 25 years and Phillipe ten. Gustave arrived six months ago.Sibleyras’ fine play seems slow moving and tepid at first. It appears to be the story of three perfectly harmless and lovable old men spending their golden years glorying in their wartime heroism long ago, cheered by all. As the minutes slip way, though, you see them as badly damaged individuals whose problems grow as each day passes. They don’t do anything well except re-fight World War One and act as much as soldiers as they can remember.

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