In the News
- STILL wins Yale Drama Series Award
- ALL THE ROADS HOME selected for O'Neill National Playwrights Conference
- PHOEBE IN WINTER selected for production in Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks
- The New York Times reviews "Crane Story"
- InterAct Selected for NNPN Commission & Host of 2011 Showcase of New Plays
- Silverman revisits another classic for 2011 Iowa New Play Festival
- Playwrights Realm Presents World Premiere of "Crane Story", Previews 9/6
- Wall Street Journal Feature by Lizzie Simon
- Back Stage reviews "Crane Story"
- Jun 10, 2013 — WBAI Radio Interview about PHOEBE IN WINTER with Janet Coleman
- DC Horn Foundation/ Yale Drama Series Award Interview about STILL
- Interview on the Youngblog (Youngblood/ EST)
- People You Should Know Interview with Zack Calhoon
- Crane Story Interview with The Playwrights Realm
- Live Girls! Theater
- Playwrights Foundation
- Adam Szymkowicz
- Samuel French
2013 — Phoebe in Winter
“Full of dislocations, Phoebe in Winter, part of Clubbed Thumb’s Summerworks series, has a fablelike quality. That comes in part from Ms. Silverman’s language, which can be blunt and aphoristic. And it comes from the Brechtian plot about power and class…This 80-minute play, directed with a sure sense of pace by Mike Donahue (Red-Handed Otter), is convincingly odd. Ms. Silverman has created a modern fairy tale, a little bad wolf whose lopsided grin reveals its crooked, bloody teeth.”
–Rachel Saltz, The New York Times
“To say that Phoebe in Winter gives new meaning to the phrase 'the war
at home' seems as good a way as any to begin remarking on a play in
which every other line comes out as a smartly put, hard-won truth you
want to hold on to for later rumination. We should be forewarned that
we're in for a wild ride...But it doesn’t come close to preparing us
for what follows in playwright Jen Silverman’s swiftly tilting world
of manipulation, alliances, betrayals, uprising and revolution--all
inside one family’s home.... It’s a great tribute to Silverman’s play
that we don’t have any idea where it’s headed, and yet each
development feels inevitable in the brutal universe she’s created.
Phoebe in Winter will bring to mind Eugene Ionesco and Vaclav
Havel....Yet it never ceases entirely to be about, if not a specific,
actual family, then families writ large, fraught all too often with
their own power struggles, allegiances, and ganging up.”
–Olivia Jane Smith, New York Theatre Review Blog
“The piece is effective and emotionally powerful as a series of
metaphors or meditations...The piece’s fairy-tale quality...prevails,
an aura of dark magical thinking...I won’t forget Phoebe in Winter
–Loren Noveck, nytheatre.com
“Jen Silverman’s Phoebe in Winter is one of those plays that contains
so much nuance and color everyone has to be on the same page to reach
maximum effect. It is to the credit of director Mike Donahue, and a
clearly very smart cast and creative team, that this is accomplished
in spades...Silverman’s absurdist, stylized language allows for a
world in which familial relationships are turned upside down. She
creates subtle inferences to social and political issues that are
impactful without being preachy...It’s work like this—unique,
distinct, and somewhat experimental—that makes Clubbed Thumb's
Summerworks so essential.”
–Molly Marinik, Theatre Is Easy
2011 — Crane Story
"...'Crane Story' is consistently
gorgeous...Ms. Silverman’s script percolates with interesting and
often daring ideas..."
–Catherine Rampell, New York Times
"'Crane Story' showcases the playwright’s abundant ambition: It
features poetry, magical realism and the distinct
banter of transcultural, 21st-century adolescents. There are also
elaborate puppets and a soundscape of rain and
wind created by performers onstage. And the settings shift between
real and surreal, from the bedroom of a
Rilke-reading, 30-something-year-old stoner to an underworld library
where the dead are archived and available
for lending. All together on one stage, it amounts to a kind of
theatrical fireworks display..."
–Lizzie Simon, Wall Street Journal
"In the atmospheric world of Jen Silverman’s 'Crane Story', we watch her
deeply drawn characters wander through the wet streets of Japan, and
also the underworld...Watching scenes where Cassis discusses the
stages of life/death with a the librarian Skell in the underworld or
where she speaks to her brother four years before his death feel alive
in imagination, but perhaps more importantly, are always rooted in
what Silverman seems to be drawing: a world where nobody has found
home and they spend their lives looking for it."
–Matthew Paul Olmos, New York Theatre Review
"The production contains a number of lyrical passages and striking
images that captivate...Silverman’s imaginative script is suffused
with both beauty and sadness, as the various characters attempt to
come to terms with their place in the world."
–Dan Bacalzo, TheatreMania
"When Cassis, a Japanese American played matter-of-factly by Angela
Lin, encounters her first wraithlike ghost, she dryly asks it, 'What
are you looking at?' It’s a refreshingly funny start to Silverman's
delicate story of life and death..."
–Mitch Montgomery, Back Stage
2010 — Akarui
"Silverman’s play, an exuberant and haunting take on the mechanics of transformation and love takes its characters to 'the rich dark heart of the end of the world' – a rave presided over by the DJ Akarui, a mesmerizing and mysterious figure who may or may not have the power to orchestrate change in an individual."
–Cornell College News Center
"In Jen Silverman’s 'The Education of Macoloco,' Anessa teaches her son bizarre trivia and the so-called 'facts of life.' But Anessa withholds the truth of Macoloco’s paternity and, until the play’s conclusion, of her inner life. Such silences befit the winner of the Jury Prize of 'The Seven: Something Left Unsaid,' FUSION Theatre Company’s New Works Festival. Now in its third year, the festival received 417 short works from 41 states and 6 countries. The jury reads submissions 'blind' and chooses 7 for performance. This year’s winners suggest a bright future for the international stage. In particular, expect to hear again from Silverman. Silverman, who graduated from Brown University in 2006 and begins the MFA program at Iowa Playwrights Workshop this fall, had 2 plays in the festival. Like 'Macoloco,' Silverman’s 'Notes on Drowning (For the Man Who Cannot Make the Journey)' withholds essential information until the end. The final revelation belittles mundane suffering yet proves oddly life affirming. Strong direction (Jen Grigg and Elizabeth Huffman) and solid performances energize Silverman’s learned, witty and affective scripts."
–The ABQ Journal, New Mexico
2006 — Lizardskin
"Genuinely emotional and quietly surprising, the play is at once eerie and witty, and never quite goes where you think it will.
Shattering the fourth wall and presenting the play in a not-exactly-linear style, Silverman (and director Katherine Kovner) keep the mood surreal and fantastical, letting the characters argue amongst themselves about what did or did not actually happen in the story. But while the presentation might be avant-garde, the story and the characters are realistic and recognizably human."
–Jena Tesse Fox, broadwayworld.com