I and You | Stage | Indy Week

Stage

I and You

When: Dec. 4-20 2014

I AND YOU

MANBITES DOG THEATER, DURHAM

THURSDAY, DEC. 4–SATURDAY, DEC. 20

It's usually a good sign when I'm holding my breath while reading a script. I expect audiences will do the same when the haunting two-person drama I and You opens this week. When two high-school misfits are thrown together in a last-minute English project on Walt Whitman, playwright Lauren Gunderson swiftly shapes the ensuing chaos into a deft, knowing and heart-filled meditation on a constellation of topics including mortality, compatibility, first love—and the importance of personal pronouns. Gunderson's genius lies in revealing the toughness and vulnerability of her mismatched characters; as their defenses retreat, the benediction in the last eight lines of Whitman's Leaves of Grass changes meaning, before changing again. Small wonder the script won the 2014 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award after its premiere this spring. Artistic director Jeff Storer directs newcomers Natalie Izlar and Gerald Jones III. 8:15 p.m. Thurs.-Sat. & Wed. Dec. 17,

2 p.m. Sun. Dec. 14; $5–$25, 703 Foster St., 919-682-3343, www.manbitesdogtheater.org.Byron Woods

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