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Lacy Warner

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Fun Home, simply put, is an incredible musical, perfectly embodying the liminal space that exists in all families—the space where you feel pain and joy, frustration and liberation all at the same time. This is, essentially, the space that defines what it feels like to go back home again. Families are both the most familiar and the most tenuous parts of our identities, and Fun Home digs deep to get at the truth of who...
A few months ago at the “Stalking The Essay,” conference at Columbia University, Marilynne Robinson spoke about the lost cultural civilization of the Midwest, and America’s habit of forgetting its own history. In Jenny Schwartz’s new musical, Iow@ (with music by Todd Almond and directed by Ken Rus Schmoll) she too, points her characters towards corn stalks, and caucuses. Unfortunately, in this uneven production, the Midwestern magic is lost on the audience. Jenny Schwartz is...
Branden Jacobs-Jenkins knows how to end a play. The last scene of  his 2010 play Neighbors (Public Lab) had The Crows, a black family in blackface—Mammy, Zip Coon, Sambo, Topsy and Jim—finally perform “the show” they’d been semi-rehearsing. As it turned out “the show” was the family staring straight at the audience for almost fifteen minutes as “Whistling Dixie” played in the background. When I saw Neighbors, I squirmed under the gaze of the...

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