COLONY COLLAPSE

  "The widespread  devastation of honeybees, as dutiful workers abandon their hives and leave their dependents to implode, is a key metaphor in the new play, Colony Collapse. That sort of symbolism can quickly turn heavy, but playwright Stefanie Zadravec (a name to remember) keeps it buoyant as she tells a tale of lost souls... In what would typically be a bucolic place, mystery deepens, foreboding builds. Yet the story is luminescent as well. This cautionary tale about a wounded America never quite gives up hope."  Charles McNulty, LA Times - Critics Choice. 

"Zadravec tells her tale with such ineffaceable counter-culteral beauty and abject intensity that one cannot look away - What keeps us from fleeing is Zadravec's blindingly poetic writing, which recalls Tennessee Williams' ability to evoke beautifully  diaphanous language and indelible imagery, then infuse it into the story of sad miscreant characters grasping for hope and searching for love despite all odds." - Arts in LA

"The complex and brutal dynamics of this highly dysfunctional yet entirely relatable family unfold beautifully. The realism of the main characters' strife finds a lovely counterpoint in the theatricality of a Greek chorus of sorts-  a collection of mourning parents who support the main story along with the poetic insight delivered by an omniscient missing young lady, referred to only as "the girl." On an academic level, the show is elegant and satisfying. Zadravec has thoughtfully woven together Greek tragedy, modern family drama and a meditation on family and the importance of the individual. The play feels almost like a mash-up of Oedipus, Netflix's Making of a Murderer, and a Sam Shepard play." - Stage Raw

"A STUNNING COLONY COLLAPSE MAKES FOR A COMPLETELY ENGROSSING HONEY OF A PRODUCTION: the hold-your-breath, interlinking stories of the surviving stories of parents of children gone missing. Colony Collapse  opens with an intense, involving scene of seamless, overlapping lines of dialogue from the four missing children's parents, each oh-so-painfully, describing the moments leading up to of their child's disappearance... Colony Collapse - Wow." -Broadwayworld.com

"Astute character driven dialogue and realistic conflict... the fear is so palpable that I want to round up everyone I know to see how powerful theater can be." -Stage and Cinema

"Beautifully constructed to juxtapose several stories of parents whose children have disappeared against the tale of a teen whose parents are unable to parent him, it proves intense and absorbing from start to finish. " - Pasadena Star-News

'Powerful... worth the journey." - KCRW

The Electric Baby

"The Magic That Storytelling Can Do. The imperceptible magic that pervades human existence and the power of myth to assuage sorrow are invoked by the playwright Stefanie Zadravec as she entwines the lives of strangers in The Electric Baby, a touching new drama at the Two River Theter Company... A mix of expressionism and magical realism, The Electric Baby does not explain the myseries that it evokes. But who can account for the odd ways in which people meet and affect the existence of others? The compassion in Ms. Zadravec's writing is obvious." —  Michael Sommers, The New York Times

"Powerful storytelling Fuels Electric Baby. Sometimes even a crtitc is charmed into analytical silence. No, make that enthralled and also warned. Not that I can't think of ways to explain The Electric Baby, but even if I were right, it might dull both its delicacy and its strength." — Christopher Rawson, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"Stefanie Zadravec's writing is quite beautiful. It's powerful. Sometimes it's lyrical, poetic really, and other times it's a smart urban comedy, I want to say like a Craig Lucas Play." —  David Koteles, Garden State Journal

"Vivid and poetic, deeply affecting... Stefanie Zadravec's poignant play about the unexpected bods between ostensibly dissimilar people. The vivid evocation of heartbreak is a strength of The Electric Baby"  Celia Wren, The Washington Post

"The Electric Baby Lights Up Two River. While it delves deeply into loss, Zadravec's rich, lyrical play is far from a dirge. Inflected with humor and folklore, it expounds on the stories, memories and relationship that become a refuge when staying up nights with a sick baby or lying in a hospital bed awaiting surgery results." — Ronnie Reich, The Star-Ledger

"Dazzling and Original. The Electric Baby is a richly theatrical new play that makes its own rules." —  Bob Rendell, Talkin' Broadway

" ★★★★★!! Warm, cryptic, disarmingly funny, due in no small part to Zadravec's strong writing and character development." - Ben Demers, DCtheatrescene.com

"★★★★★Five Stars, beautifully ambiguous, hauntingly honest, Randy Baker has directed The Electric Baby with a poignant tenderness that is completely in keeping with Stefanie Zadravec's lyrical, surreal script... we are drawn into a drama that does not let us go even after it's done."           - John Stoltenberg DC MetroTheatre Arts

" As dazzling as the dialogue is dreamful." —  Michelle Pilecki, Pittsburgh City Paper

"never so serious that it doesn't entertain - and never so avant-garde that it won't tug at the high-tension cables of your heartstrings." — Tom Chesek, Asbury Park Press

"This surreal show functions like "an adult pop-up book with just that mix of fun and surprise." — Chrstopher Rawson, The Week Magazine.

"The Electric Baby becomes like the folk tales so important to its plot, at once instructive and open-ended. A lyrical mediation on shared social experience, the play suggests ultimately that the power of stories is in their constant retelling." — Patrick Maley, Exeunt

Reviews



Honey Brown Eyes

"Ms. Zadravec has tackled a bruising subject and dared to approach it through her own,  more humanistic aesthetic, one that can spot isolated moments of grace in even the most nightmarish scenarios. It will be interesting to see where this aesthetic takes her next." — Eric Grode, The New York Times

"'Honey Brown Eyes' is, in a sense, itself an expression of shock at how the latticework of a civilized country can come unglued overnight...Zadravec's drama makes for an absorbing evening, especially when it lets its traumatized characters reveal, in muted exchanges, who they were before the nation broke down into armed camps of Serbs, Croats and Bosnian Muslims.

“Although each character is allowed to show some mettle, Zadravec doesn't overplay the heroism. Putting them all around kitchen sinks, she wants us to see how, in the midst of incomprehensible cruelty, tragedy could come to be something utterly average.” — Peter Marks, The Washington Post

"Playwright Stefanie Zadravec deploys a different kind of kitchen-sink drama, one that perceptively explores the psychologically crushing consequences of a war that, in Honey Brown Eyes, leaves two former friends on opposing sides." — Diane Snyder, Time Out New York

"Playwright Stefanie Zadravec doesn't indulge in stereotypes. She recognizes that chaos unleashes demons and, on occasion, angels.  

"...Zadravec is to be lauded for a taking a faraway conflict and skillfully revealing its universal lessons. —  Fern Siegal, The Huffington Post

"As it sets up its jokes delivers its painfully torqued punch lines, Honey Brown Eyes, never lets the audience forget the brutalities that consumed a nation that had once papered over its differences with the paste and pulp of such consumables. The small cruelties and the petty thieving, the individual murders and the neighborhood slaughters, the rape camps and the 'cleansings' — Zadravec references them in ways both offhand and ominous, and the result is a play that sometimes packs the make-you-jump punch of (another signal pop-culture influence?) the very best horror movies." — Washington City Paper

"The Bosnian war acheives unsettling immediacy in Stefanie Zadravec's Honey Brown Eyes." — The San Francisco Chronicle  

"As a writer Zadravec is skillful at keeping her audience on its toes. Absurd but raucous comedy can turn on a razor-thin edge to tragic violence, then to much darker comedy and then on into the unknown. As a result, the tension builds almost unbearable at moments, especially through the second act, when you don't know whether to expect a tender gesture or a rude invasion." — Andy Buck, Theatermania.com

"Honey Brown Eyes is not an easy play to watch, and it does not give easy answers. Instead, It allows us to experience the ways humanity and horror coexist in a war where the 'enemy' is not made up of faceless strangers, but of people you know and perhaps once loved."
— The Washington Times

"Stefanie Zadravec's new drama succeeds powerfully in its effort to put a human face on the Bosnian War. By highlighting themes of survival, torn loyalties and loss of innocence, Honey Brown Eyes enables us to see ourselves in a chapter of history most of us know only through CNN dispaches and politcal rhetoric. — Ethan Kanfer, Show Business Weekly

"Zadravec zooms in on that world gone berserk by intertwining two dramatic stories that happen in two kitchens. Her focus is on relationships, on exploring the ways in which people manage (or not) to preserve their humanity when chaos and hell prevail. She brings the kitchen sink genre to a new level of intensity and power. Her characters cling obsessively to the little details of everyday life - coffee, sugar, onions, TV, radio, music - struggling to preserve the illusion of normalcy." — Saviana Stanescu, nytheatre.com

"Stefanie Zadravec's Honey Brown Eyes at Theater J is a passionate, thought-provoking play about war, whose serious message is intensified by its implied comments on youth, age, courage and the disastrous effects of conflict — not just on nations but on brothers and friends."
— The Examiner

"Playwright Stefanie Zadravec is really doing something impressive here, drawing us in so intimately into the world these players inhabit, a world that would seemingly seem rather similar to ours, if not for the interrupting atrocities." — dcist

"Stefanie Zadravec's play is a point-blank depiction of war in all its dehumanizing horror. Thankfully, it's also a story of humor, kindness, and possible redemption." — Steve Hauk, Theasy.com

"Playwright Stefanie Zadravec, hones in on the personal, rather than the political or military to lift the shroud on the everyday tragedies of living — and dying — in a war zone. Honey Brown Eyes takes place away from the blare of news reports and morning paper's headlines, ending the work a keener sense of reality and brutality. — Washington Jewish Week

"Zadravec distills centuries of ethnic hatred and dimming news coverage by introducing elements  we can all relate to, from the way Western pop culture permeates our lives or the strong sense that camaraderie and love aren't attributes tied to the fate of nations, but are instead elements of life that are firmly woven into the human experience. — Leonard Jacobs, City's Best

"...meticulous writing..." — metro weekly

"...explosive and disturbingly real..." — DC Theatre Scene


Save Me

"Zadravec straightforwardly examines a splintered family facing a sudden crisis. While leavening the story with humorous touches, she takes a clear-eyed look at stark elemental matters while providing bountifully rich roles for a quartet of effective actors... It's a story we all could find ourselves swept into, a slice of life no one wants to find on the menu. Yet there's something strangely rewarding in watching it all play out."  — Backstage

An emotional, thought-provoking evening of entertaining theatre...Save Me delights in offering many arguments on all the sides of a very thorny issue. That many are left unanswered or resolved is perplexing and, in the end, satisfying...a comfortable framework with newly found quirks and ideas. Thank God—literally!” — broadwayworld.com

“A very keen eye towards character.” — broadwayworld.com


The Fear Project

“And top honors among the playwrights must go to Stefanie Zadravec, who contributes both the opening and closing numbers. The first, Leaving, about the disintegration of a Connecticut couple when they hear about a disaster from a TV newscast, is a sharp living room social critique...”

“...What’s lovely about this piece [Haunted] is how the mania subsides into a meditation on trust and ambiguity, a celebration of human connection as an antidote to irrational paranoia. It seems like the perfectly placed coda to the entire evening. — theatrescene.net

“The pieces’ brevity can limit their depth, but the playwrights generally manage to ring some changes, as with Haunted, in which Zadravec plays on the eerie similarities between the teen slasher-flick setup and romantic rural getaways.” — Time Out New York

“New Yorkers will find particular resonance in such segments as [Zadravec’s] Leaving...” — New York Post

“Equally Compelling...is Stefanie Zadravec’s Haunted, where a couple’s romantic getaway turns creepy in the middle of a storm. Zadravec manages to indict the sort of man-to-woman violence that might be found in a Lifetime movie, while also giving the short piece a grand ‘Twilight Zone’ feel. Van Cleve and Zadravec play the piece so that each of Zadravec’s twists surprise grandly.” — American Theatre Web

"Stefanie Zadravec’s Haunted has “a wry edge and is well played...” — Backstage