Teddy Behind the Scenes

November 1st, 2015

The brilliant Donmar “Behind the Scenes” guide for Teddy Ferrara is online.


Teddy Tweets 3

October 31st, 2015

This will be the last round-up of Teddy tweets as the play enters the second month of its run. I’m so thrilled with the audience responses to Dominic Cooke’s incredible production. Earlier entries: 12.

: “really tapped into lots of different memories and emotions”

: “truly gripping, a rollercoaster of emotions”

: “so, so important”

: “thought-provoking and bold”

: “everyone should go see #TeddyFerrara. the story should b told far & wide”

: “very provocative, modern… Eye opener. Hilarious. Must see!”

: “provoking and brave”

: “thought provoking play. Honest and funny”

: “realistic, un-glamorized, un-romanticized depiction of gay relationships & life”

: “powerful writing. #thoughtprovoking stuff”

: “such an amazing and inspiring play”

: “great play about feeling disconnected, superficiality, betrayal”

: “heartwarming and tragic”

: “exceptional”

: “simply excellent! Just the right mix of humour and gravitas”

: “great play even though it’s left me feeling depressed right now”

: “fantastic play examining homophobia on a U.S. campus”

Luke Newberry and Oliver Johnstone

Luke Newberry and Oliver Johnstone

FT on Longterm Writer-Director Collaborations

October 28th, 2015

This Matt Trueman piece for FT includes some nice details about my long-term working relationship with the great Dominic Cooke.

Dominic Cooke (Director) and Christopher Shinn (Author)

Teddy Tweets 2

October 22nd, 2015

: “a challenging, rich, brave play”

: “clever and funny whilst provoking some very serious issues and ideas”

: “fabulous; thought provoking & interesting”

: “a crucible of home truths & searching questions”

: “thoughtful and haunting”

: “hard hitting and challenging”

: “strong provocative writing”

: “fascinated by the text of Teddy Ferrara, very bold and brave, also insightful”

: “good laughs along w/a heavy dose of reality”

: “honest and beautiful”

: “amazed at how accurately they’ve managed to represent the complexities of LGBTQ+ society”

: “smart, sophisticated & v rich with issues + ideas”

: “clever play that has serious message about politics and truth”

: “questions the identify of victims versus villains and where to jab our collective fingers of blame”

: “brilliantly plotted”

: “really interesting play”

Griffyn Gilligan

Griffyn Gilligan

John Belluso Reminiscence

October 20th, 2015

For American Theatre’s issue on disability I wrote a remembrance of my friendship with the late, disabled playwright John Belluso.

John Belluso

John Belluso

Dying City in Cambridge

October 18th, 2015

Izzy Ryan, Cambridge Student: While still intensely internalised and personal, American playwright Christopher Shinn somehow adds a powerfully political edge to the plot, sharply criticising the Iraq War where Craig is killed. The undercurrent of homophobia adds to the unsettling feel of the play. We watch as the passive aggression of all three characters grows to match the horror of the war but remains subtle and delicate.

Jacob Haddad, The Tab: Although the play is only an hour long, you are left both emotionally and physically drained; surprising for sedentary entertainment. The audience is constantly involved in piecing things together up until the shock revelation of the end, figuring out past from present, so that it’s more of a mental and psychological workout than passive spectating.

Opening Closing

October 16th, 2015

Made it back from London in time for the closing performance of An Opening in Time in Hartford. A moving return after a month away, and wonderful to have so many friends up to see the final show — including a mini Where Do We Live reunion with Luke Macfarlane and Jacob Pitts!

Luke Macfarlane and Jacob Pitts

Luke Macfarlane and Jacob Pitts

Teddy Tweets

October 11th, 2015

: “what a thought provoking play #TeddyFerrara is. Super #queer very political and oh-so-now”

: “smart, complex, stimulating play, not a simplistic rainbow-flag-waving piece”

: “loved #TeddyFerrara! It’s queer rather than gay + about politics not relationships”

“brave and fascinating and provocative and timely”

: “fantastic, important, provocative play”

: “stimulating campus play about identity, equality, technology & intimacy”

: “engaging exposé of the hypocrisy often lying behind the rhetoric of tolerance”

: “most thought provoking theatre I’ve seen in a while”

: “still so moved by #TeddyFerrara last night. Rich informed writing”

: “brilliant, gripping, complicated play”

: “witty, sharp eyed, slyly casual, with this strange momentum that creeps up and moves you”

: “brilliantly written”

: #TeddyFerrara is funny, moving, important and so very good”

: “expertly handling some tough issues. Bravo!

: “brilliant writing”

“a play that surprises, challenges, and haunts”

: “may be the most important play I’ve yet seen at the Donmar”

Ryan McParland

Ryan McParland

Teddy Ferrara in London

October 8th, 2015

Kate Kellaway, Observer: Christopher Shinn’s clever play explores loneliness, belonging, gay stereotyping, victimhood and communication in a technological age… A brave, gripping, provocative play.

Michael Billington, Guardian: Christopher Shinn’s fierce, polemical play was inspired by the 2010 case of Tyler Clementi… Shinn’s play has a passionate sincerity and demolishes the myth that we live in a cosy new world of sexual tolerance. Shinn paints a comprehensive picture of a world in which homophobic bullying leads to depression and even death, but where no one starts to address the real causes.

Rosalind Stone, Londonist: Despite the jokes — and almost every line is quotable — Teddy Ferrara is downright unenjoyable for the same reason that it is great: its meticulousness as social commentary. Every element carries ironising force… There is no let-up from the constant cringes. Shinn doesn’t leave us room to sympathise with his characters: it’s as though they’re his vehicles for bombarding us with acute observations on the nuanced cruelties in human nature. Everyone’s desperate for change but the vibe’s too glib for anyone to offer sincere, viable solutions. It’s an honest reconnoitre into a world of pain and an abyss of deafening silence.

Michael Coveney, WhatsOnStage: Shinn is saying a lot about American society in this heated microcosm, but he also manages some tart and touching personal stuff… The ironic point is that it’s still hard to be gay and happy even as society bends over backwards, so to speak, to accommodate diversity, difference and even promiscuous life-style with soft soap and David Cameron-style pieties about gay marriage and inclusiveness.

Carole Woddis, ReviewsGate: Shinn finds fresh and disturbing angles that encompass suicide, closeted gays amongst `straights’, and most discomforting of all, attitudes towards disability and transgender in the gay community.

Tim Bano, Exeunt: A wide-ranging, far-reaching play that makes the case for society, or at least university societies, finding themselves at a transitional point… Teddy Ferrara induces an uneasy tension between the individual and universal, without ever attempting to resolve it.

Tasha Clare, A Younger Theatre: Teddy Ferrara at the Donmar is a rare thing: utterly absorbing, politically urgent and polished to a tee… This is a balanced examination into the unglamorous, very real and difficult side of being young and different right now, and what is at stake if we ignore these voices.

Paul Taylor, Independent: Sociologically provocative… Shinn’s play is a clever take on whether the rhetoric of tolerance still surpasses the reality as the deceased are appropriated by different interest-groups.

Sarah Hemming, Financial Times: The play tackles urgent subjects… Shinn unpicks the diversity of experiences, opinions and agendas that make catch-all solutions impossible.



Teddy Ferrara Press Night

October 8th, 2015

Had a wonderful opening at the Donmar. Especially happy to have had Andrew Scott and Daniel Evans in attendance. I’ve been so lucky to work with such extraordinary actors in London.