Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Features and More

a land of violence

David M. Jenkins and Katrina Stevenson star in Closetland, a two-person play by Radha Bharadwaj that opens tonight and runs through July 29 in a Jobsite Theater production at Shimberg Playhouse of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Set in an unnamed country, the play shows a man who says he is from the government interrogating a woman. He believes that the children's book she has written is politically subversive.

"Bharadwaj won special kudos for capturing the nature of violence and violence against a woman, in particular, without resorting to exploitative gore," says a summary on the Jobsite website. "She trusts the viewer's imagination to fill in the blanks, and the viewer is, in turn, left with a deeper understanding of why some human beings violate others — and why some manage to soar above the abuse."

Closetland is drawn from a 1991 movie, also written (and directed) by Bharadwaj, with Madeleine Stowe and Alan Rickman. The Jobsite production is directed by Gavin Hawk, who last year staged a play with a similar theme, Death and the Maiden by Ariel Dorfman, for A Simple Theatre. Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, presented by Jobsite in 2006, is another play that sets up an encounter between interrogator and prisoner.

Performances are 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 4 p.m. Sunday. $24.50. (813) 229-2827; jobsitetheater.org. The play contains adult language and subject matter.

Jobsite is hosting a collection drive during the run of Closetland to benefit the Spring of Tampa Bay women's shelter. Donations of new children's clothing, personal hygiene products, health and beauty aids and diapers will be accepted in front of the theater an hour before each performance.

John Fleming, Times performing arts critic

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