★★★★! Bring a loved one if you dare: Unsettling and wise, Empathitrax is the kind of play that could strengthen any relationship that survives it. Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt, of Colt Coeur, grounds the production in everyday lucidity, and Lupe’s brave performance invites us to recoil from and connect with her at the same time.
Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
The premise is sheer sci-fi, but the themes are universal, the raw stuff of every human relationship.
Ana Nogueira’s new play considers a fearsome weapon – a little pill that acts as a sort of truth serum, allowing you to reach out, touch someone and instantly feel what they feel… Pitch perfect…
Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times
Every interaction, every hesitation, every flash of emotion between Simpson and Lupe is precisely evoked under Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s superb direction… In Nogueira’s satisfying ending, well grounded but still a surprise, the author comes down on the side of natural experience rather than chemically induced effects. Simpson’s Him does something uncharacteristic—he improvises—and the delicacy and romance of the final moments pull the play back from the darkness enveloping it. It’s no longer a comedy gone awry.
Forcing us to see this up-close like perverse voyeurs, director Adrienne Campbell-Holt stages the play in what appears to be a sterile and soulless Long Island City high-rise apartment (smartly minimalist scenic design by Reid Thompson). There are very few frills to distract us from the emotional thrust of each scene.
Mercifully, Nogueria holds out hope for redemption from our quick-fix drug culture in a playful and tender final scene. While big problems can take a lifetime to overcome, simple acts of kindness can really make that process bearable.
In the beautifully redemptive and sweetly funny final moments of the show, the aspects of design come together magically, creating an incredible moment of deep emotion. Beyond words, we transcend understanding and simply feel.
Theater is Easy
CAL IN CAMO press
An earnest and tenderhearted play about the search for family…staged with scrupulous attention to detail by the director, Campbell-Holt and an expert design team…
A mystical cocktail of a play…
Ben Brantley, New York Times
Campbell-Holt’s company, Colt Coeur, is known for shows about the young…but [the] powerful Cal in Camo is ruthlessly grown-up. Fiercely written dialogues, each damaged person unlocks another [in] climactic, showcase scenes.
Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
In this production, with the care of Campbell-Holt and the commitment of the actors, it’s the power of feeling that leaves the strongest mark.
Directed with precision and style…
Cal in Camo is meant to be uneasy, and director Adrienne Campbell-Holt makes sure of it. The dialogue is fast and the narrative hard, begging to be heard. Living is in the asking and yet being vulnerable to the answers; that’s where the heart grows. For the actors it is evident that they know the material and they listen; even more important, they respond in kind. The camouflage is ripped aside and the human spirit is revealed, bruises and all.
Off Off Online
HOW TO LIVE ON EARTH press
How to Live on Earth was recently highlighted in the New York Times Fall Theatre Preview!
Give playwright MJ Kaufman and director Adrienne Campbell-Holt abundant credit for writing a compact and understanding study of isolation in How to Live on Earth, at HERE. Not only has Kaufman come on something you might say has a strong affinity with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, but he has a work being played extremely well by the company, under Campbell-Holt’s meticulously clean direction. [...] Kaufman’s recognizing profound existential sadness and the effect it has on those around them is deeply perceptive and utterly compelling. Perhaps needless to say, he offers no answers, undoubtedly because he realizes there are none. He’s to be thanked for taking the time to notice so compassionately.
David Finkle, Huffington Post
It’s a beguiling subject, a piece of science fiction that isn’t so fictional after all.
Alexis Soloski, New York Times
MJ Kaufman’s darkly funny play, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, illuminates the absurd lengths humans will go to to avoid their daily lives, but also captures well the profound despondency of dreamers who are forever looking up.
Audiences will receive a refreshing and meaningful gift in How to Live on Earth. This production sparks several of the big overarching questions, regarding the meaning of life and will also keep you chuckling throughout the 90 minutes.
As with her critically acclaimed previous efforts, like last season’s Dry Land, director Adrienne Campbell-Holt succeeds in creating a natural intimacy through both performances and design.
DRY LAND press
“Feelings seldom come singly in “Dry Land,” the remarkable new play by Ruby Rae Spiegel. [...] “Dry Land,” a Colt Coeur production directed with rippling fluidness by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, is about abortion. No, that’s not correct. It’s about the complexities of friendship and the fears of the future that grip kids arriving at the threshold of adulthood.
Ben Brantley, New York Times
“Watching Ruby Rae Spiegel’s ruthlessly honest Dry Land, you wonder: Girls, how did theater miss you?!? Everything else belongs to them: film, television, fiction. Yet it takes Spiegel’s simple, fierce play to put a young woman’s capacity for pain center stage—and the choice feels thrilling, even political.[...] Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt of the reliable company Colt Coeur enables startling performances.. There’s a glitter to the young: The company, the director, the writer and the actors all shimmer with it.”
Helen Shaw, Time Out
“A thrilling and difficult new play, every inch filled with emotional integrity and a thrilling examination of the human side of political discourse.
“Few things are as bracing as the shock of new talent. In 10 years — or more likely in 10 months, considering our accelerated hatching cycle — you’ll be able to say you were there for Ruby Rae Spiegel’s first full-length play. [...] Keenly directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt for the tiny but excellent Colt Coeur company.”
Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
* NYPost top 10 for 2014
* Vogue’s Picks: 3 Off-Broadway shows to see in the fall 2014!
* Also, check out the New York Times feature or the ELLE.com story on Ruby Rae Spiegel and our production!
EVERYTHING IS OURS press
“Everything is the latest offering of Colt Coeur, a bright young Brooklyn theater company known for off-center variations on mainstream staples…[a] solipsistic comedy-of-manners…the young cast members, especially Ms. [Rachel] Resheff, find the distinctive comic rhythms of self-centeredness.”
-Ben Brantley, The New York Times
★★★★! Critic’s Pick! “Wittily directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt for the bold young company Colt Coeur, Everything is Ours begins in a mode of absurdist near-caricature but gradually grows softer and more lifelike… consistently funny.”
-Adam Feldman, Time Out New York
“Terrific performances by Katya Campbell and Geoffrey Arend are invaluable…. brisk and entertaining … Life is bundled with surprises. Same goes for Beckwith’s fine play.”
-Joe Dziemianowicz, Daily News
“Everything Is Ours introduces us to a fresh, idiosyncratic new voice. Let’s hope Beckwith flies her freak flag again soon.”
-Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post
“Everything is Ours” is an offbeat masterpiece—part farce and part coming-of-age drama. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry as Sara and Mitchell bumble toward meaning, unsure what this newfound purpose means for them as a couple. But we do know that we can’t stop watching.”
-Sarah Lucie, Show Business Weekly
“deftly balances the humdrum and the horrific” and compares Eliza to Martin McDonough and Tarantino…
- The New York Times
“In the vein of George Orwell and Aldous Huxley, Clark’s play is very topical in our world of bullying and The Hunger Games… Colt Coeur continues its streak of grade-A downtown productions.”
- BACKSTAGE (Critic’s Pick)
“Directed by Colt Coeur’s Adrienne Campbell-Holt with special sensitivity to degrees of abnormality, and performed by a bang-up cast, Clark’s thriller deploys clean naturalism in the service of a story that turns out to have Philip K. Dick on the brain.”
- Time Out New York (Critic’s Pick)
“Eliza Clark’s terribly intense and vividly imagined new play Recall, now at The Wild Project, is, unlike too much theatrical fare, not easily forgotten…Director Adrienne Campbell-Holt handles this rich terrain with aplomb and is aided by John McDermott’s simple yet evocative set and Grant Yeager’s astute lighting that brings each scene into focus. The stage may be small at Wild Project, but Clark and her collaborators have created a big world.”
FISH EYE press
“These guys have chops…”
- New York Times
“In Lucas Kavner’s lovely Fish Eye, a time-scrambled, hyperlocal portrait of a failing relationship, our closeness underlines the production’s cinematic level of care. Blessed with a charismatic acting ensemble and a playwright skilled at sweetly funny dialogue, the production offers a portrait in extreme close-up, one painfully zoomed in on young urbanites failing to make it work.”
- Time Out New York (Critic’s Pick)
“‘Fish’ tackles love and you’re hooked: Compact and cannily drawn work is a winner.”
- New York Daily News
“Bringing sexy back to Off-Broadway”
- New York Magazine
And check out this feature on Colt Coeur from NY Press!
SEVEN MINUTES IN HEAVEN press
“Campbell-Holt captures the look, sound, and absurd operatic emotions of growing up in the mid-90s, “After Kurt, before Monica,” as the script nicely puts it… The play is so real that you almost believe it was written by one of the characters.”
— New York Times (Critic’s Pick)
“Wildly charming… we revel in director Adrienne Campbell-Holt’s hyperrealistic production and the cast’s deft portraits. Levenson’s spot-on teen dialogue means that we’re at imminent risk of losing him to Hollywood. So before those Twilight people kidnap him for script punch-ups, you should bustle downtown to see his wistfulness and weirdness from just a few feet away.”
— Time Out New York (Critic’s Pick)
— New York Post
“Quirky and expertly-crafted… 75 minutes of funny sadness… my favorite kind of play.”
— Theater is Easy.com
“Pinter meets My So-Called Life… pitch perfect.”
— Staten Island Advance