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Reviews from the 2004 Season

The Lower Depths

Resonance Ensemble is boldly and thrillingly mounting this play for a new generation of theatergoers… And as adapted and staged by Resonance's artistic director Eric Parness, it's a revelation, instantly takes its place among the classic works of theatre, the ones that reveal truths about our humanity, the ones that need to be done again and again. Bravo to Parness and his colleagues for realizing this and unleashing this remarkable play on contemporary New Yorkers… This is a huge work, and Resonance has done a fine, fine job mounting it… Parness' adaptation and staging are wonderfully accessible; I'd love to see this production have a life beyond this off-off-Broadway run…. Don't delay-there's a brilliant work of theatre waiting to be discovered in Soho right now. -Martin Denton,

The Resonance Ensemble… can certainly be applauded outright for a strong sense of place and timing… this no-frills production is a fittingly intimate bread and butter production full of grit and ambition… and director Eric Parness, who also adapted the play to the stage, has remained faithful to the spirit of this work. -Jen Hendricks, Show Business Weekly

The Resonance Ensemble's production of The Lower Depths is a quality production of an often forgotten play (and) the Resonance Ensemble does an admirable job of reviving the period piece. (It is) a devastating portrait of what happens to a society with too much faith in the system (and) director Eric Parness does a balanced job of pointing out the trouble afoot. -Steve Luber,

Gorky's portrayal of vagabonds, addicts, thieves, unemployed workers and fallen aristocrats still commands the interest of both the heart and mind. -Robert Hicks, NY Theatre Wire

Time To Burn

All hail Chuck Mee. He is consistently one of America's drollest and freshest playwrights… Resonance Ensemble assembled a crack cast... They exhibited one of the finest examples of ensemble acting seen in quite some time. All energetic, their rage and sorrow were expertly channeled by director Leland Patton. He kept the spatial relationships clear and sharp and the pace swift. -Jenny Sandman, OOBR

Seeing the Resonance Ensemble's production of Time to Burn reinforces one incontestable fact: Charles Mee is one of America's greatest living playwrights. -Steve Luber,

Martha Tompoulidou, speaking only Greek, brings magic not only to the outcasts' basement but to our theatre with her performance from Aristophanes' The Birds, one of many amazing Mee inspirations in this altogether amazing new play, as presentational as Gorky's was representational. -Plays International

Time to Burn provides some characteristic flashes of whimsy and sharp irony, and Mee does convey a legible world where poverty and degradation go hand in hand with the triumph of the free market. -Alisa Solomon, The Village Voice

Resonance Ensemble

Time to Burn is Charles L. Mee's "conversation" with Maxim Gorky's The Lower Depths; Resonance Ensemble does well to show us both plays side by side by presenting them in repertory… the real gift here is that the folks at Resonance Ensemble are letting each of us experience this fascinating pairing and discover what we will for ourselves. -Martin Denton,

There are two important reasons to see this production: one is for the text itself, and the second is to see the piece in conjunction with The Lower Depths for a fascinating artistic experience. -Steve Luber,

Read the 2004 Season Press Release