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MAY 20-JUNE 6, 2021



Nina goodheart & jj darling

Conceived & Written by

Michael Breslin and Patrick Foley 

Directed by Rory Pelsue 

Featuring Jakeem Dante Powell

Dramaturgy by Ariel Sibert  

& Catherine María Rodríguez 

Video Design: vidco

production Design: Steph Cohen

Costume Design: Cole McCarty

Sound Design: Kathy Ruvuna

lighting design: amith chandashaker

Stage Manager: Abbie betts




Michael Breslin, Patrick Foley, jakeem Dante powell



“This American Wife, directed by Rory Pelsue with mad intensity and mindful allusions to gay stereotypes and internet culture, channels ‘Housewives’ first and foremost with its setting...The gestures and affectations [of the performers] aren’t just acts of glorified mimicry, however; they are a statement on the Venn diagram of gay male tropes and a particular brand of performance by women.”

-Maya Phillips, New York Times


“The show, directed by Rory Pelsue and featuring dramaturgy by Cat Rodríguez and Ariel Sibert, represents an ingenious hybrid of stage and screen. The actors, comfortable in both realms, slip in and out of the frame with an outsize energy that at times approaches the ecstatic lunacy of Charles Ludlam’s Ridiculous Theatrical Company.”

-Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times

Director Rory Pelsue handles This American Wife’s many cameras with impressive crispness, but the sharp edges set off the moral blurriness contained within it — if you can stand the vertigo, the online play will let you stare directly into a Charybdis of mocked and surgically enhanced aging bodies, commercialized femininity, and a masochistic appetite for more drama, more humiliation, more mess. It’s part of a lineage of queer theater that plays with this hunger for extremity, but it feels new and daring to connect that need to the damage it can do.

-Helen shaw, vulture


“Director Rory Pelsue makes effective use of literal lenses as well—the camera moving in close, pressuring or probing, chasing and following, or springing up in unexpected places (the dishwasher?).  Overexamined and overexposed lives are given a good cinematic grilling.”

-Nicole Serratore, Exeunt


“The camera work is, like, ASTOUNDING as these three follow each other around the mansion…clearly we have some uber-intelligent actors and writers — and especially the director…”

-Tony Frankel, Stage and Cinema


“Director Rory Pelsue’s intercutting between filmed segments and live performances keeps the viewer constantly questioning what is happening in “the now” and what is pre-recorded, only further emphasizing the gap between reality and fiction that the play explores. It bounces from one camera to another, while using every single square foot of the mansion they inhabit, with one performer turning into a producer while another indulges in visual metaphor elsewhere. The play even splits the screen constantly to further show how artificiality can offer something closer to reality by simply showing more than one perspective at once.”

-Juan Barquin, INTO

RORY PELSUE director

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