Play Nice!

Ego Actus presented Play Nice! by Robin Rice Lichtig, directed by Joan Kane.

The show opened March 8, 2011 at 59e59 Theaters.


A gothic fairy tale based on Jean Genet’s The Maids: Isabelle, Luce and Matilda live in a perfect home in the idyllic suburb of Ridgewood, New Jersey. But when the front door closes, their home is far from ideal, and they spend most of their days hiding from their abusive mother in the attic. On Thanksgiving, Mother was poisoned. She is now on her way home from the hospital, and the children fear her wrath as she determines which child tried to kill her. The Diamond siblings use the most valuable weapon in their arsenal, the dramatic role play of their imaginations, to cope with the abusive Dragon Queen Will it be enough?


The cast featured Laura Hankin, Andrew Broussard, Lauren Roth and Debby Brand.


The crew included set design by Jason Simms, costume design by Cat Fisher, light design by Bruce A! Kraemer, sound design by Ryan Kilcourse with stage manager Caitlin Lyons. The graphic designer was Anne Giordano, the audition readers were Vanessa Verduga and Julia Baltz, the casting assistant was Skyler Kraemer, West Kraemer was the electrician with master carpenter Daniel Stern.


“Director Joan Kane does very good job of introducing this twisted reality and keeping it cohesive.” review in, Reviews Off Broadway March 16, 2011

The flow of the dramatic direction by Joan Kane is enhanced by Bruce Al Kraemer’s lighting and Ryan Kilcourse’s sound effects. Jason Simms designed an attic with childish simplicity and props, an atmosphere for make-believe.” A CurtainUp Review By Elizabeth Ahlfors  March 16, 2011

Where many avant garde plays lack heart, Play Nice! has a strong human core behind its surreal tone. The production also showcases impressive production values and a gifted ensemble cast, anchored by Laura Hankin’s eerily convincing embodiment of a preadolescent libido. Director Joan Kane’s painterly style capitalizes on the script’s imagistic qualities, particularly in the macabre finale. Jason Simms’ child-scale set design, Bruce Kraemer’s moody lighting and Catherine Fisher’s eccentric costumes help bring Isabel’s twilight world to life.” Show Business Magazine Theater Reviews by Ethan Kanfer, March 24, 2011


Photo credit Richard Tremine