FALLING

By Deanna Jent
Directed by James Yost

March 16 - April 16

It takes a village, and then some. For Tami Martin, raising her 18-year-old severely autistic son Josh, is not only a full time job, it's a labor of love. But Josh's increasingly violent outbursts and pressure from her family threaten to drive Tami's efforts and her sanity to the brink. Interrobang is proud to close its FLESH AND BLOOD Season with this Chicago Premiere.

Deanna Jent is the Artistic Director of Mustard Seed Theatre and a Professor of Theatre at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, where she has been teaching since 1995. She has written stage adaptations of the novels Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis and Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos. Her play Falling won the Kevin Kline award for Best New Play of 2011 and was nominated for a Drama Desk Best Play Award following its off-Broadway run in 2012. Falling was produced in Singapore in 2016 and has been translated into Portuguese for an upcoming production in Brazil. 

ASL ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES

PRESS

Photographer: Emily Schwartz

Photographer: Emily Schwartz

It’s difficult to write objectively about a play, currently enjoying its stunning Chicago premiere, in a production that so moved the audience it was almost impossible to move afterward. . . It’s an extraordinarily powerful theatrical experience that must be seen to be appreciated. . . Tami, like every parent in a similar situation, should be awarded sainthood for her love, patience and sacrifice. In this role, the honesty and convincing believability of Amy Johnson’s performance cannot be dismissed. She’s a supreme talent, and the very heart and soul of this play. . . There’s not enough adjectives to praise the impressive performance delivered by Justin Tsatsa, as Josh. He is truly a gifted actor whose depiction of this difficult character is award-worthy — Highly Recommended.
— Colin Douglas (Chicago Theatre Review)
Directed by James Yost, “Falling” is a harrowing and brutally honest depiction of a loving family stretched to the breaking point. It feels almost prescient. . . Tsatsa gives a remarkably accurate and deeply moving portrayal of a young man with severe Autism. . . As Tami, Johnson captures the world of guilt, fear and overwhelmed weariness of Josh’s mother. As Bill, Freed nails the frustration of a father rapidly approaching the tattered end of his rope. Hall instills the side-eye sarcasm endemic to all teenagers with a layer of profound anger at constantly having to take a backseat to the demands of her brother. ”Falling” is a drama of importance and power. And given the prominence of health care in the news, it couldn’t be more relevant.
— Catey Sullivan (Chicago Sun-Times)
James Yost puts together all the puzzle pieces and under his direction this ensemble provides performances so plausible that I experienced being an interloper in the Martin family’s modest living room while feeling all their feels. . . The entire ensemble nobly navigates immense emotional terrain but none as adeptly as Tsatsa who vocally and physically embodies Josh complete with tactile experiences and emotional outburst which left me wondering if he actually has autism. . . Greg Pinsoneault’s set not only invites us into the Martin’s home but intricately details their power dynamics. . . Steph Taylor’s costumes further define each character’s mood placing Lisa and Grammy Sue in bright clothes juxtaposed to Tami’s more muted and casual outfit. . . FALLING is deeper than a play about autism, offering an exploration into family dynamics and the human condition — Critics’ Pick
— Alyssa Dyksterhouse (Performink)
Sensitively directed by James Yost, this Interrobang Theatre Project Chicago premiere is an emotional roller coaster, played with impressive emotional authenticity. — Recommended!
— Albert Williams (Chicago Reader)