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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

The Houston Chronicle says,
Saturday, May 29, 2010
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The Intelligence-Slave review in the Houston Chronicle has hit the stands. It's a good one! Here's what it says:

Intelligence-Slave engrossing drama of survival

By EVERETT EVANS Copyright 2010 Houston Chronicle
May 28, 2010, 4:28PM

Intelligence-Slave takes a fragment of the massive horror that was the Holocaust and turns it into a unique and riveting drama of survival amid desperate circumstances.

In the Alley Theatre's powerhouse premiere production, Kenneth Lin's harrowing and humane play finds an original pathway into its vast, difficult and important theme. At several pivotal moments, particularly an explosive Act 2 confrontation in which an avid member of the Hitler Youth learns the truth about the Third Reich's work camps, it does what any work on this theme must do: It faces the horrific reality head-on and bears witness.
Lin has built the play around the real-life inventor Curt Herzstark, the intelligence-slave of the title meaning a special class of prisoner prized for some skill or knowledge. In Herzstark's case, it is a hand-held calculator his Nazi captors want him to complete. Fearing he will be executed once his task is finished, Herzstark is stalling on the work's final phase.

The action unfolds in an abandoned salt mine converted into a gun factory, where Herzstark serves as manager. With the war drawing to its close and American bombs coming ever closer, such plants have moved underground. A wild card is thrown into Herzstark's delicately balanced strategy with the arrival of Finn Frey, a 14-year-old Nazi Youth math prodigy installed by suspicious Commandant Pister to assist Herzstark in completing the calculator but really, to ferret out any deception. Finn is arbitrarily magnanimous or cruel to Herzstark, yet a bond develops through their shared love of numbers. Whether Herzstark can help Finn find his humanity is as large a concern as whether the hero will survive long enough to be liberated.

Lin's skillfully constructed script builds upon this engrossing situation with strong dialogue and persuasive characters. All five are well-rounded and endowed with humanity, and each has some sympathetic moment. Lin makes interesting use of the crosscurrents, conflicts and unexpected alliances as each struggles to achieve his goals. The metaphoric underpinnings, as in talk of a world upside-down or the entrapment and killing of mice, are subtle and effective.

Director Jackson Gay makes a notable Alley debut with a production at times almost unbearably intense. His manipulation of the stage action on Kevin Rigdon's superb set is exemplary. He sustains a grim and ominous atmosphere, the very air heavy with dread, punctuated by several memorable explosions of pain and fury. None is more impressive than the scene in which Herzstark makes Finn face the truth about what is happening in the camps; the moment hits home with an overwhelming force and conviction.

Andrew Weems simply is Herzstark in a thoroughly detailed and lived-in portrayal. The slumped shoulders, the subservience and hiding of his feelings in the presence of the captors all show his shrewdness, pragmatism and determination to survive. The real pain and desperation burst forth when he is alone, yet Weems' Herzstark remains honorable in extremity.
Steven Louis Kane makes a vibrant, quicksilver Finn. He exudes youthful enthusiasm as the fervent little Nazi, callow and condescending, yet with unexpected flashes of kindness. His screaming match with Herzstark, and subsequent epiphany, are dramatic high points.

Chris Hutchison gives a compelling performance as Bruno, a desperate prisoner who talks himself into a place on Herzstark's team to stay alive. When his starving character breaks down weeping at being allowed to eat a bit of sausage, it's almost too painful to watch.

Todd Waite strides commandingly through his role as Commandant Pister, arrogant and cruel. His late-in-the-action explosion of rage at Herzstark, then Finn, is terrifying. James Belcher's artfully restrained portrayal of the munition plant's owner who secretly assists Herzstark rounds out this superlative cast in fine form.

There's plenty more to commend in this notable world premiere, one of the Alley's best. But the main point is unless you're allergic to hard-hitting drama don't miss Intelligence-Slave.

everett.evans@chron.com

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