Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood & That’swhatshesaid about Open Eye Figure Theatre production in Minneapolis 2015: “By delivering them out of context, Pike, writer Courtney Meaker, and director Hatlo interrogate with laser precision on how women are represented onstage in contemporary theater–by both male and female playwrights.”

Erin Pike. Photo by Tim Summers
Erin Pike. Photo by Tim Summers

Risk/Reward shines in year seven by Win Goodbody about Risk/Reward presentation 2014: “Holy shit. When you least expect it – expect it. Fresh from intermission, and into the teeth of a gale. Using only actual women’s lines taken from the most produced plays in America, Erin Pike is a ferocious feminist killjoy in this hurricane strength indictment of the weak roles available to women on today’s mainstream stage. A physically demanding and tour de force solo performance. Given the zeitgesit on this topic, this show could (like the performer) have serious legs.”

Erin Pike Performs Only the Women’s Parts from the Most-Produced Plays in America, and It’s Brilliant by Rich Smith about Gay City Production 2016: “You get the big-picture point pretty early: society forces women to conform to certain harmful and paradoxical gender stereotypes, and America’s most popular plays reflect those stereotypes. Playwrights perpetuate the patriarchy by creating roles for women that reduce them to one version or another of male fantasy or fear, and playhouses make sure those plays have a home. When women actors get these roles, they often find themselves having to work doubly hard to manifest complex characters from these, at times, flatly-written figures, and the toll this takes on womens’ psyches and bodies is tremendous. All of this goes on despite the fact that many fancy The Theater as a happy liberal potluck of institutions trying to fight the good fight by expanding our capacity for empathy through the power of drama. Meaker’s collage amounts to a righteous critique of this system, and the nuances of Pike’s visceral, humorous performance makes that critique all the more poignant.”

Other critical interpretation of That’swhatshesaid. 

Is a Play Of Plays Making Fair Use Of Other Playwrights’ Words? by Howard Sherman at Arts Integretity Blog 

That’s What They Wrote and ‘That’swhatshesaid’ by Nicole Serratore at American Theatre Magazine 

Political (Act)ivism and the (New) Avant-garde by Kate Kremer at HowlRound

Chaos Theory – a play seeking order

Photo Ian Johnston. Drew Highlands, Evelyn Dehais, Keiko Green, and Jana Hutchison.
Photo Ian Johnston. Drew Highlands, Evelyn Dehais, Keiko Green, and Jana Hutchison.

Implausibly Smart Comedy at Annex Theatre in “Chaos Theory” by Stefan DW at The Sunbreak: “Meaker shifts the audience/performance relationship drawing us into the concerns of the characters by resting our entire understanding of the play on the question the characters must answer. Their search goes from frivolous to effective, but Meaker is wary of copping out with a deus ex machina or a simple twist (a la Sixth Sense or Fight Club). As with the rest of this very real universe of soft-edged gender and orientation this is not a world of either/or, but of multiple possible answers. Meaker suggests the possibilities without committing to any one. In Chaos Theory uncertainty is, for once, both comforting and satisfying.”

Opening Nights: Chaos Theory at Seattle Weekly: “Amid this absurdity, Meaker and director Pamala Mijatov force us to make sense of the action, but in the end we succumb to the hopelessness and futility of existence, love, and identity. Chaos Theory starts off gimmicky and cute, yet it ultimately makes us, and Frannie, confront the limits of common sense.”

“In local playwright Courtney Meaker’s new absurdist tragicomedy (aptly subtitled “A Play Seeking Order”), there seems to be exactly that—a series of events that don’t fit together. That doesn’t mean there isn’t exposition; in fact, Chaos Theory is replete with rather dense character development, plot twists, and pathos.”

Drama in The Hood: “…the play written by Courtney Meaker was intimate, polished, and had the audience feeling as if they were a fly on the wall of a hilarious sitcom.”

“Though the play has a blatant speculative science-fiction slant to it, it is surprisingly and refreshingly character-driven. The play grapples with ideas of perception of reality, time relativity, gender binaries, friendship dynamics, and heart-wrenching moral dilemmas.”

“Thanks to Meaker’s smart writing and the excellent cast, the play had me wishing I could be friends with Frannie, Seth, and Bach, and be a part of their quick back-and-forth verbal banter.”

“Prepare to have your brain twisted into a pretzel with ideas of alternate realities and parallel universes. Though the events of the play were confusing at times, the writing and acting never felt pretentious or overbearing, because the characters felt just as confused and conflicted as I felt sitting in the audience. Reminiscent of Inception, the ending will force viewers to make their own mind up about what really happened, what is about to happen next, and whether the characters are actually experiencing reality or the alternate realities of a parallel universe.”


Katie Driscoll and Gianni Truzzi in Buckshot. Photo by Shane Regan
Katie Driscoll and Gianni Truzzi in Buckshot. Photo by Shane Regan

Seattle Actor: “I’ve seen quite a few plays about childhood abuse in one form or another, but this one was especially strong dramatically because it never tried to hype any of the drama. Again, Driscoll’s natural, ordinary, decent and conflicted Alana was our path to that involvement. I am in deep admiration of Meaker’s script, Gannon’s direction and the cast’s performance. This is really a show worth getting to and one which, I predict, will lead to rich and important conversations after.”

The Stranger – An Exercise in Ambiguity, Buckshot is an Unsettling Family Drama by Brendan Kiley: “Buckshot, a new play by Courtney Meaker, is an exercise in prelude—it ends precisely where a news story, based on police reports and interviews with rattled neighbors, might begin. It is also an exercise in ambiguity, picking apart how years of memories and influences can lead a person to do something that, from a distance, might seem insane.”

“The rest of Buckshot is a slowly widening crack in the door of Alana’s consciousness…”

“Meaker’s play is a world premiere with a promising premise that, with a little tinkering, could become something even better.”

Seattle Gay News – Blast from the past – Buckshot explores the choice between fighting childhood demons and letting them go: “This is an enjoyable evening, even with a difficult topic, and Meaker’s script does a great job of inserting regular life and doses of humor throughout Alana’s struggle to find a way to manage her past.”