Rest

Victory Gardens Theatre, Playwright Samuel D. Hunter, Director Joanie Schultz, Scenic Design Chelsea M. Warren, Costume Design Janice Pytel, Lighting Design Lee Keenan, Sound Design Thomas Dixon

CRITICAL RESPONSE BELOW

Critical Response:

“Director Joanie Schultz (on a set by Chelsea M. Warren that looks like an exact replica of the lobby of the independent living building where my own 90-year-old mother lives) deftly orchestrates Hunter’s delicate balance of tragedy, comedy, hysteria and desperation, making it feel like a Beckett play that just happens to be full of real people — and that is a formidable compliment to all involved.” – Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times, http://entertainment.suntimes.com/entertainment-news/life-death-issues-rest-new-macarthur-fellow-samuel-d-hunter/

“Chelsea Warren’s set is picture perfect for a retirement home. With the jar of hard candies on the reception desk and crochet blankets draped over each upholstered piece of furniture, I could practically smell that quintessential odor of rest homes. The detailing was impeccable right down to the wear marks on the walls where framed pictures had hung for decades…This [chaotic group scenes] is also partly due to Joanie Schultz’ direction and use of space. By placing certain characters in little corners of the set, Schultz is able to provide the more populated scenes with even more hilarity.” -Bellisant Corcoran-Mathe, Chicago Stage Standard, http://chicagostagestandard.com/highly-recommended-by-the-css-team/rest-victory-gardens-theater/

“Set Designer Chelsea Warren constructs a true nursing home lobby complete with automatic sliding doors. The faulty doors continually open and close at odd times. The movement aids the storytelling. The audience, along with the characters, look to the entryway anticipating someone coming in. Especially in the first act, it builds the mystery and the urgency of the missing resident.” – Katy Walsh, The Fourth Walsh, http://thefourthwalsh.com/2014/09/review-rest-victory-gardens-restless-contemplation-inducing/

“In a spacious theater like the Victory Gardens’ Zacek McVay Theater, Chelsea M. Warren’s set design is impeccable. She has somehow managed to create a friendly, relaxed environment in which to hold so much pain and sorrow.” – Loy Webb, Newcity Stage, http://newcitystage.com/2014/09/20/review-restvictory-gardens-theater/

“The production profits from an outstanding physical production, led by Chelsea Warren’s detailed and functional nursing home interior, with sliding electronic doors that mysteriously open and close, giving the action a slightly mystical feeling.” – Daniel Zeff, Chicagoland Theater Reviews, http://www.chicagolandtheaterreviews.com/VictoryGardens-Biograph.html

“Set within the dilapidated walls of a rundown retirement center Chelsea M. Warren’s realistic set seems truly authentic. With its ghostly, shorted-out electric sliding doors that open and close at will, as if haunted, the building is like another character, gasping its last breath.” -Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review, http://www.chicagotheatrereview.com/2014/09/do-not-go-gentle-into-that-good-night/

“We are in a fairly nice looking nursing home (a terrific set by Chelsea Warren) that is being closed by its new owners.” – Alan Bresloff, Around the town Chicago, http://www.aroundthetownchicago.com/theatre-reviews/rest/

“Notably, director Joanie Schultz urges subtle and truthful performances out of her fine, accomplished cast. They are this production’s primary asset. Of course, Chelsea Warren’s realistic set, including a seriously malfunctioning automatic doorway, deserves plenty of praise, as well.” – Brian Kirst, Sheridan Road Magazine, http://www.sheridanroadmagazine.com/blog/2014/09/