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Recommendations

Recommendations

  • Nick Malakhow:
    20 Oct. 2019
    Dendinger finds humanity in each of the very flawed characters in this important and bold piece. Laurel's evolution as a character feels organic and plausible, while her fellow congregation members are rendered with a nuanced touch and in a way that helps get to the root of the misguided ways they act upon their beliefs. #GodHatesYou also moves briskly and with a good dose of situation humor to help lighten (and enlighten) some of the darker moments and character motivations throughout. Hope to see this produced far and wide soon!
  • Theresa Giacopasi:
    19 Oct. 2019
    Emily does the seemingly impossible in #godhatesyou - provides an opportunity to feel empathy for members of a cruel and extremist church. Laurel’s journey of self-discovery is easy to relate to, but the play doesn’t shy away from the abhorrent views and language espoused by her, her family and friends. It’s also the rare show that uses social media in a very dynamic way, and as a power for good. I’m excited to see this play done regionally in both red states and blue.
  • Ryan Fogarty:
    17 Oct. 2019
    This play was triggering-ly funny as well as honest and heartbreaking about the painful journey some of us have gone through to escape the hypocrisy of the religions on which we’re raised. Emily makes Laurel’s intimate story feel vital and universal, featuring contemporary dialogue and rich discussions of theology, Twitter feed/online worlds and a fast-paced, action-packed trajectory. Each character is nuanced and comes at their faith and understanding of it from many points of view. I thoroughly enjoyed!
  • Alix Sobler:
    15 Oct. 2019
    This is a smart, economically written play about a fascinating subject. It delves into the toxic environment that is cultivated when children are born and indoctrinated into a fringe religion. The family has always kept to their own church, protesting outside funerals and synagogues, indulging in their obscure and offensive beliefs. But when the protagonist Laurel tries to engage with a wider audience through social media, she suddenly realizes you can’t put your ideas out into the world, without also letting a bit of the outside world in.
  • Aeneas Sagar Hemphill:
    12 Oct. 2019
    Dendinger accomplishes something very difficult, which is to make us care about people we, for good reason, despise, while never losing sight of her own moral compass and tipping over into sentimentality. Her satire avoids cheap shots in favor of more grounded, precise observation of contradiction, making the journey into this world as cathartic as it is illuminating. The mix of ancient and contemporary, the tension of an old religion existing in a world of twitter and Death Cab, are all fascinating layers in this story of coming-of-age, spiritual doubt, and group toxicity.
  • Ellen Steves:
    9 Oct. 2019
    #GodHatesYou is a twist on a coming of age tale, told from the perspective of a fundamentalist Christian. With each scene, we follow our hero, Laurel, as she starts to question the beliefs of a religion she was born into. What Dendinger so aptly captures is the disconnect between the things that we say and the things that we feel. I am particularly interested in the ways in which the characters police each other, creating a fabric of fear and anxiety. The use of social media brings this conversation into the here and now.
  • Jeffrey James Keyes:
    7 Oct. 2019
    Dendinger has crafted a thought-provoking play, peeling away the surface of an all too familiar type of character to expose a conflicted and nuanced individual. I admire Dendinger for writing into this conflict and exploring the underbelly of social media and the unfortunate side of religious fundamentalism. I would be really interested in seeing a production of this unique and relevant new play.
  • Steven G. Martin:
    11 Jul. 2019
    Dendinger has written a play that is difficult to read and I imagine more difficult to watch. But in things that are difficult, there can still be insight.

    Do I like Laurel, the main character, or have sympathy for her? No. Could I forgive her for the pain she has brought others for the sake of being evocative? No. But Dendinger's play allows insight into this character whose world view is evolving. I understand Laurel better, and sometimes empathy is enough.
  • Stephanie Neuerburg:
    11 Jul. 2019
    I might be a little biased, having acted in a reading of this script earlier this year at the Ashland New Plays Festival, but I love love LOVE this play. Was in tears at the end of my first reading. An incredible exploration of faith and the shortcomings of its institution and the power of social media. The characters' actions are incredulous at times but they are (sometimes surprisingly) sympathetic. I feel like I have been waiting for this play for a very long time. Thank you Emily!