Press for MORAINE.
In case you’re wondering, a moraine is a heap of earth and stones carried and deposited by a glacier. But there’s also ample deeper meaning within Ryan Patrick Dolan’s new play, which follows four friends dealing with a fifth friend’s cancer treatment. As comics like Julia Sweeney and Tig Notaro have shown, the devastating disease can still be funny, and Dolan’s got the smarts to avoid wallowing in sadness. In turn, director Mary Rose O’Connor has the smarts to involve a brilliant cast, several of whom are improvisers trained in the ancient art of actually listening and responding onstage. As Mark, a bro trying to keep things as they’ve always been, Caleb Fullen pushes hard to find depth and humor in a character who could be all too unlikable. The result is the opposite of glacial.—Chloe Riley
Press for BURGER KING, a one-act play in 10-4: THE TRUCK STOP PLAYS Dolan produced at CIC Theater.
The most promising work comes from Dolan himself. BURGER KING, directed by Ashley Neal, follows a white middle-class hit woman (Sarah-Jayne Ashenhurst) and her in-car meeting with an upper-class client (Elizabeth Birnkrant) determined to off her wealthy husband. Appearances prove to be deceiving, and roles flip-flop during some clever wordplay and question-and-answer sessions. While sticking to its heart as a dark comedy, Dolan’s piece concisely touches on gender roles, privilege, double standards and ethics without crossing the line into didacticism. – TIME OUT MAGAZINE
(M)oments of deep-dish Chicago-style acting. SarahJayne Ashenhurst and Elizabeth Birnkrant are particularly intense as an unlikely contract killer and her narcissistic client in Ryan Patrick Dolan’s Burger King. – CHICAGO READER
Dolan’s script explores the dynamics of marriage in a darkly humorous way…The surprise ending makes this piece an appropriate one with which to close an enjoyable night of theatre. – CHICAGO THEATER BEAT
For SNAPSHOT (Dashiell) by Brett C. Leonard
“Ryan Patrick Dolan gives a sensitive performance as the son of a man whose tongue has been painfully excised.” – NEW CITY
For THE REVENANTS (Gary) by Scott Barsotti
“(T)he production is compelling…expressing the longing and hopelessness that Karen and Gary certainly feel and exploiting our inability to gauge whether Molly and Joe feel anything at all. A moment of possible communion between Gary and Molly is at once uncanny and emotionally powerful.” – The Chicago Reader