LAND OF NO MERCY BY RAE BINSTOCK
On Monday April 30, 2018, West of 10th presented a staged reading of Land of No Mercy: Un Drama Américano (In Tzvey Aktn) a new play by Rae Binstock. In land of no mercy, an apartment sits on the corner of Monroe and Clinton, tucked away in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. It’s a cozy little place, just big enough for two—but which two? Yetta and Solomon, the Jewish immigrants from a century ago, business owners fighting to get through each day and hold on to a world thousands of miles away, while they worry about starting a family in the Land of Opportunity? Or Maria and Alex, the millennial oddballs of the present who sweep into the neighborhood on a tide of gentrification, struggling to keep their college relationship viable in the face of new stressors, new ambitions, and new neighbors? One hundred years apart but close enough to touch, two couples inhabit the same cramped apartment. In land of no mercy, their stories weave together, creating a collage of youth, hope, and uncertainty.
Marisol/Malvina - Ruth Aguilar*
Yetta - Rachel Goodgal
Li/Lee - Rachel Lin*
Sol - Moshe Lobel
Maria - Andrea Morales*
Alex - Will Turner*
Asher/Eric - Luzer Twersky
Stage Directions - Maureen Fleming
Directed by Michael Leibenluft
Produced by Rachel Goodgal and Jen Sandler
Actors* so designated appear courtesy of the Actor's Equity Association.
Production Photos by Katie White, kt photography
THE CALORIE COUNTERS BY MOLLY WAGNER
On Tuesday March 13, 2018, West of 10th presented a staged reading of The Calorie Counters, a new play by Molly Wagner. In The Calorie Counters, Maggie’s sister, Jordan, has just gotten engaged. Already, Jordan has the wedding all planned out, from the centerpieces to the napkin colors to the bridesmaids’ dresses — dresses that are only carried up to a size 12. There’s just one problem: Maggie is nowhere near a size 12. Determined not to disrupt her sister’s big day, Maggie seeks guidance at a weight-loss group called Calorie Counters. As Jordan buries herself in her wedding arrangements and Maggie uproots her life for the chance to fit in, the sisters begin to discover secrets about themselves and each other.
In a world devoted to Pinterest wedding boards and inspirational fitness blogs, The Calorie Counters examines the things we try too hard to prove and the ways in which we hide from our bodies or use them as shields.