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Back When Back Then

Back When Back Then

Back When Back Then

The rigid definition of masculinity, and its grave consequences to men’s psyches are the play’s themes. A father and son clash violently on a set marked by ricks of domestic rubbish that threaten to topple at a touch; like the men themselves, overladen with unexamined memories and unexpressed emotions. Guilt and recrimination trigger a frightening release of pent-up energy, and the two men circle each other in turns as stalker and game. The father, crippled by sorrow for the violence of a half-lived past, commands both terror and respect, while the son, with his own demands, counters his father’s scramble for dignity.

 

 

Reviews

Jack Black, Kim Gillingham, Raymond J. Barry

“The ideas expressed here are both exhilarating and cathartic. This is speech at its most theatrically extreme. One leaves Theater For The New City not knowing whether to go home, or out for a stiff drink.” BACK WHEN-BACK THEN, Ricky Spears, In Theater, New York City, November 28, 1997.

“This disturbing, ritualized, pas de deux is written by Barry, who seems to have taken lessons in domestic nightmare from Edward Albee.” Helen Meany, BACK WHEN-BACK THEN, The Irish Times, October 12, 2000, Dublin, Ireland.

“BACK WHEN-BACK THEN is an astonishing play. It is imbued with a lyricism all but banished from an American stage frozen in naturalism.” Stephan Silvis, Willamette Weekly, Portland, Oregon, February 11, 1997.

“The tension … bounces between a soft, ethereal self-awareness, and a harsh verbal violence… The language is rich and elliptical.” BACK WHEN-BACK THEN, Barry Johnson, The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon, February 11, 1997.

“Barry has a terrific ear for dialogue, and some of the writing is more poetry than prose.” BACK WHEN – BACK THEN, Mark Arnest, Gazette Tele-graph, Colorado Springs, May 20, 1994.

“BACK WHEN BACK THEN shifts effortlessly from black humor to lyricism, from skittishness to menace, a disturbing, ritualized, pas de deux, deserving of four stars.” Helen Meany, The Irish Times, Dublin,
Ireland, October 12, 2000.

The frankness of Raymond Barry’s play, BACK WHEN – BACK THEN, both in presentation and message is most refreshing compared to the touchy-feely psychodrama we often see in our theaters today – Critics’ Choice” Chad Jones, The Oakland Tribune, Magic Theater, San Francisco, September 28, 1997.

“BACK WHEN – BACK THEN is a study of rage, and Barry does his best writing when he puts you inside the mind of someone who’s out of control. It’s an evening of theater you won’t forget.” Mark Arnest, Gazette Telegraph, Colorado Springs, May 20, 1996.

Tom Draper, Raymond J. Barry

Tom Draper, Raymond J. Barry

Productions

ANDREW’S LANE THEATRE, DUBLIN, IRELAND, SEPTEMBER AND OCTOBER, 2000:

ROBERT    Tom Draper
FATHER    Father-Raymond J. Barry

Artistic Director    Pat Moylan
Administrator    Laura Condon
Producer    Myra Donnelley
Design    Markus Maurette

THEATRE FOR THE NEW CITY, NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK, NOVEMBER, 1997:

SON     Tom Draper
FATHER    Raymond J. Barry

Artistic Director/Producer    Crystal Field
Producers     Myra Donnelley,  David Arrow, John Goodman
Director    Martha Gehman
Design    Markus Maurette

MAGIC THEATRE, SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA; JUNE, 1997:

ROBERT    Tom Draper
FATHER    Raymond J. Barry

Artistic Director    Maime Hunt
Producers    David Arrow and John Goodman
Director    Martha Gehman
Design    Markus Maurette

ARCADE THEATRE, LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, NOVEMBER, DECEMBER 1996:

ROBERT    Tom Draper, Jack Black
FATHER    Raymond J. Barry
VALOIS    Kim Gillingham

Artistic Directors    Michael Patrick King, Tracy Poust, Dan Bonnel
Director    Michael Patrick King
Set/Lights    Michael Patrick King

SMOKEBRUSH CENTER FOR THE ARTS, COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO, MARCH/APRIL, 1996:

ROBERT    Jack Black
FATHER    Raymond J. Barry
VALOIS    Kim Gillingham

Artistic Director    Kat Walter
Director    Gregory Wagrowski
Design    Markus Maurette

STARK RAVING THEATRE, PORTLAND, OREGON, MARCH, 1997:

ROBERT    Tom Draper
FATHER    Raymond J. Barry

Artistic Director    David Demke
Producing Director    Myra Donnelley
Director    Martha Gehman
Design    Markus Maurette

CARMEL FESTIVAL, CARMEL, CALIFORNIA, JULY 1997:

ROBERT    Tom Draper
FATHER    Raymond J. Barry

Director    Martha Gehman