Neighbors on the Lower East Side struggle to live in an increasingly fractured city.
“An exceptionally fine new play that probes with clarity and compassion the lives of a handful of New Yorkers just before, and just after, the events of September 11… Shinn captures, as no playwright yet has, the strange, terrible continuity of those days in New York – how, for most people, little really changed, even as we were being told that everything had.” – Charles Isherwood, Variety
“An honest, insightful, and necessary play.” – Peter Santilli, Associated Press
“Get past the fellatios, masturbations, alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine, and marijuana that occupy a group of 20-something New Yorkers and get hooked on vivid characters seeking connections in a world of sudden brutality.” – David A. Rosenberg, Backstage
“Christopher Shinn writes with unstinting curiosity, asking what it means to ignore the community in which you live and wondering why empathy seems to be going out of style.” – Kate Kellaway, Observer
“Shinn knows how to be provocative – and I’m not even talking about the onstage handjobs, bareback sex, and abundant drug use. No, it’s the ideas and character interactions in his play that make you stop and think… Consistently entertaining and intellectually stimulating.” – Dan Bacalzo, Theatermania
“A rousing inquiry into neighbourliness, into what happens when you try to help those worse off than yourself.” – Jonathan Gibbs, Independent
“A deeply haunting play about a city struggling against darkness. It’s not simply because its events occur either side of 9/11 that this play hits us where we live now. More disturbing is one’s awareness as the play unfolds that all its talk of doing good can’t preempt a fractiousness and dissonance that are part of New York’s inherent beat.” – Matt Wolf, Variety
world premiere: Royal Court Theatre, 2002
pictured: Vineyard Theatre, 2004. Directed by Christopher Shinn. Photos by Carol Rosegg.
This play is also included in the anthology “Where Do We Live and other plays.”