Critics are sharing their thoughts on John J. Caswell, Jr.'s Wet Brain, a family drama with the twist of dark humor and alien abductions. The Man Cave playwright's newest work opened its world premiere June 6 at Off-Broadway's Playwrights Horizons for an engagement through June 25. Previews began May 19 for the production, presented by Playwrights Horizons and MCC Theater.
An Arizonan family is dealing with their father's end-stage alcoholism, but things take an unexpected turn as their father is repeatedly abducted by aliens. The family must travel into outer space, and are forced to face depths of their loss and find closure lightyears away from Earth.
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The cast stars Frankie J. Alvarez (Looking, to the yellow house) as Ron, Ceci Fernández (Men on Boats, Tiny Beautiful Things) as Angelina, Florencia Lozano (Placebo; Rinse, Repeat) as Mona, Julio Monge (Oedipus El Rey, On Your Feet!) as Joe, and Arturo Luis Soria (Ni Mi Madre, The Inheritance) as Ricky.
Dustin Wills (Wolf Play) directs Caswell, Jr.'s semi-autobiographical play which features scenic design by Kate Noll, costume design by Haydee Zelideth Antuñano, lighting design by Cha See, sound design by Tei Blow and John Gasper, and projections design by Nick Hussong. Kasson Marraquin serves as stage manager.
Discussing the collaboration between himself and the design team, Caswell, Jr. said in a statement, “We had a really open dialogue where script and technical elements were informing one another... We realized we wanted to pull away from any campier genre elements and into a realism interjected by moments of fantastical departure, and to play with the notion that what goes unseen is often scariest.”