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End Of Scene Blog Entries
SATURDAY, DEC 7, 2013
Ken makes a scene about why he wrote LIFE ON PAPER
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[EXCERPTED REVIEW] Broadway World makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
FRIDAY, JUN 7, 2013
[REVIEW] The Houston Press makes a scene about Warrior Class at the Alley Theatre.
SUNDAY, FEB 3, 2013
Ken makes a scene about an upcoming reading at Ensemble Studio Theatre
FRIDAY, FEB 1, 2013
Ken makes a scene about joining Season Two of House Of Cards
SATURDAY, DEC 8, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a letter from Liz Engelman
THURSDAY, DEC 6, 2012
Ken makes a scene about "Red State Blue State" on This American Life
MONDAY, NOV 5, 2012
Ken makes a scene about a stage adaptation of Warrior Class for the BBC.
TUESDAY, OCT 16, 2012
Ken makes a scene about participating in Baltimore Center Stage's MY AMERICA PROJECT, directed by Hal Hartley
SUNDAY, JUL 29, 2012
Errol Louis makes a scene about Warrior Class on NY1's INSIDE CITY HALL
WEDNESDAY, JUL 25, 2012
Head critic for NYTimes makes a scene about Warrior Class on WQXR's Around Broadway.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The Daily News makes a scene about Warrior Class
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: The New York Times makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JUL 24, 2012
REVIEW: Variety makes a scene about Warrior Class.
TUESDAY, JAN 24, 2012
Ken makes a scene about The Montgomery New's Review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, JAN 19, 2012
Ken makes a scene about STAGE Magazine's review of FALLOW at People's Light and Theatre Company.
THURSDAY, DEC 1, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a remarkable piece of writing about the American theatre
TUESDAY, NOV 22, 2011
Ken makes a scene about a character's stage transformation
MONDAY, NOV 21, 2011
Ken makes a scene about WARRIOR CLASS online
TUESDAY, SEP 27, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Asian American Performers Action Committee
MONDAY, SEP 26, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the fast work of SCR's casting department
FRIDAY, SEP 16, 2011
Ken makes a scene about Anne Garcia-Romero's post about LoNyLa
WEDNESDAY, JUL 6, 2011
Ken makes a scene about the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage's $150,000 grant to FALLOW
SUNDAY, JUN 19, 2011
A letter from Kaitlin Hopkins - Head of the Musical Theatre Program at Texas State
TUESDAY, FEB 15, 2011
Ken makes a scene about science plays.
WEDNESDAY, DEC 22, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Intelligence-Slave making the Houston Chronicles Top Theater Shows of 2010 list
TUESDAY, OCT 19, 2010
Ken makes a scene about intra out-group persecution.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about why theater is not a humanity.
WEDNESDAY, OCT 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Athol Fugard's criticism about the failure of modern dramatists
MONDAY, JUL 26, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the diverse audience of Queens Theater in the Park
SUNDAY, JUN 6, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the Jewish Herald-Voice's profile of INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE
WEDNESDAY, JUN 2, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Lee Williams's review of Intelligence-Slave in the Houston Press
TUESDAY, JUN 1, 2010
Ken makes a scene about his Intelligence-Slave interview with culturemap.com
SATURDAY, MAY 29, 2010
Ken makes a scene about Everett Evans's review in the Houston Chronicle
TUESDAY, MAY 25, 2010
Ken makes a scene about sharing a collective spirituality in the theater
SUNDAY, MAY 23, 2010
Ken makes a scene about seeing the bird through the feathers
FRIDAY, MAY 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about tech, letting go of the play and making discoveries in production
MONDAY, MAY 17, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Press
SUNDAY, MAY 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about INTELLIGENCE-SLAVE in the Houston Chronicle
THURSDAY, MAY 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene for the Alley Theatre's Mark Bly
WEDNESDAY, APR 21, 2010
Ken makes a scene about being playwright 151 in Adam Szymkowicz's blog.
THURSDAY, APR 8, 2010
Ken makes a scene about changing the name of his play.
THURSDAY, MAR 18, 2010
Ken makes a scene about pundits and why Tom Hanks is "injecting" racism into World War II.
TUESDAY, MAR 16, 2010
Ken makes a scene about writing "winning" dialogue.
MONDAY, MAR 15, 2010
Ken makes a scene about agents and the ecology of show business.
SATURDAY, MAR 13, 2010
Ken makes a scene about the beauty of the theater actor
THURSDAY, DEC 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about non-English language productions
TUESDAY, NOV 17, 2009
Ken makes a scene about reviewing business books for theater artists
WEDNESDAY, NOV 4, 2009
Ken makes a scene about THE BIG REWRITE!
TUESDAY, OCT 27, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the discovery of an algorithm for happiness (7ZJJBYD9U6PX)
THURSDAY, OCT 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Holocaust fiction as a literary genre
TUESDAY, OCT 13, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Asians who don't go to the theater.
MONDAY, OCT 5, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the challenge of bravery in the theater.
MONDAY, SEP 28, 2009
Ken makes a scene about the death of Tragedy and Comedy.
TUESDAY, SEP 22, 2009
Ken makes a scene about Dave Matthews's statement that racism is "everywhere" in America.
WEDNESDAY, SEP 16, 2009
Ken makes a scene about why playwrights need websites.
End of Scene Blog

Rave in the New York Times!
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
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Dirty or Clean, It's the Fight That Matters

By CHARLES ISHERWOOD
A restaurant in Baltimore or a sleek New York apartment: It's all one big back room, where political horse trading is conducted with ruthless intensity and oily smiles in "Warrior Class," an absorbing new play by Kenneth Lin that opened on Monday night at the McGinn/Cazale Theater as part of the Second Stage's Uptown season.

Mr. Lin's streamlined, three-character drama, highlighted by a superb performance from David Rasche as a Republican Party operator, focuses on the vetting process being undertaken on behalf of a potentially hot new politician from New York. Assemblyman Julius Lee (Louis Ozawa Changchien) has exploded onto the scene with a big speech that has caused a sensation and has the party apparatchiks excited about putting him forward as a congressional candidate.

Young and attractive, he's got a lot of marketable angles. He's both a practicing Christian and a former Marine, with a Harvard Law Review credit on his ample résumé. "The Republican Obama," he's been called by Sean Hannity, and the party senses an opportunity to take back a seat in the House of Representatives, which has long been Democratic.

Mr. Rasche's Nathan Berkshire has befriended the young tyro and is informally involved in the inevitable process of shaking out any skeletons that may be hiding in his closet. When Nathan heads down to Baltimore to interview Julius's old college girlfriend, a skeleton comes tumbling forth pretty quickly.

Holly Eames (Katharine Powell) at first responds with cordially noncommittal replies to Nathan's questions about their relationship. But when he pulls out a daunting stack of papers for her to sign, attesting that they had "a relationship typical of the relationships that many young people have," she grows restive and refuses.

When she is pressed, her poise cracks open, and she reveals that Julius didn't take kindly to her decision to end the relationship, that in fact he became a menace.

"He scared the hell out of us," she says. "My family. My dorm. We didn't know what he was going to do. It was the worst time of my entire life."

Suddenly the eminently upstanding politician seems a more dubious quantity — unless Holly can be persuaded to keep quiet about the episode, which has apparently been expunged from the college records and never became a matter for the police.

Mr. Lin is clearly a political addict who has been watching the increasingly cutthroat intersection of politics, media and morality with an interested eye. His dialogue sometimes dives a little too deeply into the machinations of state party politics — Nathan and Julius conduct a long back-and-forth about which committees it will behoove him to serve on, and which big-money players he will be obliged to get in bed with — but the dialogue throughout crackles with authenticity.

In the character of Nathan, Mr. Lin has created a professionally cynical but nevertheless sympathetic figure. As portrayed with great finesse by Mr. Rasche, Nathan oozes sincere interest in Julius as both a man and a politician, but establishes a comfortable rapport with the prickly Holly almost as quickly, trying to convince her that it will be in nobody's interest for her to reveal the story of Julius's threatening behavior.

It seems slightly out of character when we learn that the seemingly honorable Holly has decided to work her own angle, asking that Nathan arrange a New York job for her husband in exchange for her silence. But later Mr. Lin makes us understand how deeply Holly has felt her life to be damaged by her early experience with sexual harassment.

"I was the one that was supposed to move to New York or D.C.," she tells Julius when a meeting between the two is arranged. "I was the one who had dreams that were going to turn into something."

Ms. Powell's quietly charged performance renders her character's somewhat obscure motivations believable. Mr. Changchien exudes the telegenic charm of a potential political star while at the same time emphasizing Julius's reluctance to get his hands dirty by entering into the kind of quid pro quo deal making that he is realizing even a budding political career requires.

But there are also hints of a steely ruthlessness that suggest that he is willing to bend as far as his Christian principles will allow to make his way: When Nathan suggests that they play hardball with Holly, ferreting out her own secrets so that they have some leverage in their negotiations with her, Julius coolly agrees.

"Warrior Class," skillfully directed by Evan Cabnet ("Outside People" at the Vineyard), will be most enjoyed by close watchers of the political scene. The title refers to a line of Nathan's in which he confesses that he's neglected his personal life — he has a troubled daughter who will barely speak to him — because he's so comfortably at home in the trenches, where hardball politics are played. The blood sport has gotten into his bloodstream, and he recognizes in Julius a fellow member of the "warrior class" who will not give up the war just because a battle has been lost.

Mr. Lin's incisive drama seems to suggest that American politics has become a game that has as its ends not so much the improvement of the civic sphere but the vicious thrill of the sport itself. Its players have withdrawn into their own virtual world, not unlike teenagers hunched over video game consoles mowing down their enemies by the dozens, gleefully racking up kills with little thought of the world outside the digital battlefield.

Warrior Class

By Kenneth Lin; directed by Evan Cabnet; sets by Andromache Chalfant; costumes by Jessica Pabst; lighting by Japhy Weideman; sound by Jill B C Du Boff; production stage manager, Lori Ann Zepp; stage manager, Ashley J. Nelson; associate artistic director, Christopher Burney; production manager, Robert G. Mahon III; general manager, Dean Carpenter. Presented by Second Stage Theater Uptown, Carole Rothman, artistic director; Casey Reitz, executive director. At the McGinn/Cazale Theater, 2162 Broadway, at 76th Street, (212) 246-4422, 2st.com. Through Aug. 11. Running time: 1 hour 30 minutes.

WITH: Louis Ozawa Changchien (Julius), Katharine Powell (Holly) and David Rasche (Nathan).

end of scene
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Copyright © 2017 Kenneth K. Lin; All Rights Reserved.