STRANGEMEN THEATRE COMPANY
Bernie and Mikey's Trip to the Moon
By Scott Aiello
Directed by Claire Karpen
"Outstanding direction by Claire Karpen and a top-notch cast that brings Aiello's finely written story to life...This affecting, coming of age story about love, loyalty, and longing is laced with clever humor."
- Broadway World
"Scott Aiello's play about an Italian-American family dealing with a disabled daughter offers no-nonsense American realism."
- New York Times
"Perfectly staged and emotionally complex"
- Theatre is Easy
"Strangemen Theatre Company’s Bernie and Mikey’s Trip to the Moon might just end up one of your favorite pieces of theater in 2018...a total triumph: hilarious and heartbreaking at the same time, crescendoes with drama that leaves you on the edge of your seat, and filled with plenty of raw and gritty characters that you wish were your best friends.”
DETROIT PUBLIC THEATRE
by Noah Haidle
Directed by Vivienne Benesch
"...one of the most satisfying and moving new plays I have seen...The cast is uniformly good, but Karpen shines in the lead role. The actress, in her mid-30s, convincingly moves from high school to the nursing home without the aid of age-enhancing makeup."
- Detriot Free Press
"Claire Karpen as Ernestine is marvelous, filling this woman at all ages with both sweetness and strength."
- Encore Michigan
"a masterful performance."
(Quincy Dunn-Baker and Claire Karpen. Photo by Carol Rosegg)
By Melissa Ross
Directed by Mimi O'Donnell
"As directed by Mimi O’Donnell, Quincy Dunn-Baker and Claire Karpen are funny, real, and devastating as a divorced couple with one last thing to share. "
- The New Yorker
"Melissa Ross’s Jack.... lands quite the emotional punch. George and Maggie (Quincy Dunn-Baker and Claire Karpen, both pitch-perfect)"
- New York Times (CRITICS PICK)
***Now Available on BROADWAY HD***
STRANGEMEN THEATRE COMPANY
Written by James Ortiz
music by Edward Hardy
Co-Directed by Claire Karpen and James Ortiz
New York Times: "Directed by Claire Karpen and Mr. Ortiz, this ambitious production has much to recommend it."
Huffington Post: "Excitingly, they should improve and grow by leaps and bounds as they continue to mount works. Fans of Pigpen Theatre Co. and original theater in general take note."
Timeout New York (CRITICS PICK): "Touching on mortality, futility and fate, The Woodsman is a grown-up fairy tale that proves happiness is a worthwhile goal, even if it doesn’t last ever after."
TheatreMania: "Just as no measure is left un-choreographed, no moment is left without emotional intention, creating an efficient engine that powers a robust heartbeat."
Vulture: "There's not an unconsidered moment: Every element contributes, echoes, foretells. Many a production costing 100 times as much could benefit from Strangemen's level of attention to storytelling detail."
----- Previous Production Reviews ------
"The grace of the staging by Ortiz and codirector Claire Karpen is aesthetically captivating while also impressively precise in its storytelling. " - Theatremania
"Creative, entertaining, haunting, and beautifully tragic." Broadwayworld.com
"The real triumph is the unity of the company... The result is theater with a sense of urgency and imagination that I want to experience all the time." - Theaterpizzazz.com
"Strangemen and Co’s The Woodsman, with their deep respect for story and transcendent stagecraft, stands out as one of the most authentic presentations of Oz that I have ever seen." - New York Theatre Review
Broadway.com Go Beyond Oz with the Cast of Off-Broadway's The Woodsman
BroadwayWorld FREEZE FRAME: Meet the Cast of Off-Broadway's THE WOODSMAN
TheaterMania Meet the Tin Man and the Cast of The Woodsman
Broadway.com VIDEO James Ortiz on Bringing the Untold Story of Oz's Tin Man to Off-Broadway With The Woodsman
INTO THE WOODS
by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine
Performed at the McCarter, Old Globe, Roundabout and
London's Menier Chocolate Factory
"I fell head over heels." - Ben Brantley, New York Times
(Paul Coffey, Claire Karpen and Matt Castle. Photo by Matt Pilsner.)
"And as rendered by the Baker and his Wife (Mr. Steinfeld and Jessie Austrian), Cinderella (Claire Karpen), Little Red Riding Hood (Emily Young) and a maternally warped witch (Jennifer Mudge), these songs of reckoning come across as some of the most poignant declarations of ambivalence Mr. Sondheim ever wrote."
- Ben Brantley, New York Times (McCarter Production)
"Truly enchanting! These are the woods that you want to get lost in, a place you'll find buried treasures that you didn't even know existed."
—Ben Brantley, New York Times (Roundabout Production)
"Gorgeous. Into the Woods not only features a giant but IS ONE."
-Jesse Green, New York Magazine
"Inspired. By far the most emotionally powerful production of Into the Woods I've seen. I don't expect the theater season will offer many better experiences."
- Robert Feldberg, The Recor
Huffington Post features article about THE WOODSMAN
by Steve Schonberg interviewing Claire Karpen and co-director James Ortiz
"I think that our culture right now is so technological and in some ways so virtual, and our response to that is that we're really hungry for things that are tangible," Karpen continued. "There's something about the woods, and the mystery of the woods that needs to be experienced... which is why I also think people go to the theater."
by A.R. Gurney
directed by Daniel Sullivan
Westport Country Playhouse
by Alan Ayckbourn
directed by John Tillinger
"...strong are Ms. Lowrance and Ms. Karpen, with easy fluidity and lived-in depths percolating behind their characters’ exteriors."
- The New York Times
"If I had three or four paragraphs to spare, I’d spend them cheering for the cast."
- Wall Street Journal
(Dave Quay, Carson Elrod and Claire Karpen. Photo by Richard Termine.)
CLASSIC STAGE COMPANY
The Heir Apparent
Written by David Ives
Directed by John Rando
"The entire cast excels... Ms. Karpen has an earthy deadpan style that well suits her character’s frequent exclamations of disgust at her employer’s behavior."
- Charles Isherwood, The New York Times
(Clockwise from left, Aaron Rossini, Rachel Christopher, Jude Sandy, Claire Karpen, Jimmy King and Craig Divino. Not pictured: Stacey Yen and Ben Mehl.)
Fault Lines Theater
At The Table
Written and directed by Michael Perlman
Workshopping a new play with Fault Line Theater Company:
(Claire Karpen and Beth Fowler)
Don't Talk to the Actors
by Tom Dudzick
directed by Thomase Caruso
"Claire Karpen carries off Lucinda’s obsessive work ethic and jarring outfits with panache."
The Cherry Orchard, directed by Tara Ahmadinejad
MFA Columbia Graduate Directing program
A short independent film The House on Cox Curve
directed by Eamon O'Rourke and produced by Sophie Finkelstein.