The Body of an American | Theater Wit | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Don Bender and Ryan Hallahan

Don Bender and Ryan Hallahan

Ian McLaren

The Body of an American

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through June 19 2016
Price: $26-$30
Paul Watson, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1993 for his photograph of Somalis dragging a dead American soldier through the streets, has witnessed innumerable atrocities while covering war zones around the globe; he's left with a crippling case of PTSD. Dan O’Brien, who's written some poems and plays you've never heard of, has a brother who, as a teen, jumped from a third-story window and landed safely in a snowbank; as a result, O'Brien's still upset. In this 2016 play, O’Brien spends 90 stupefying minutes drawing an equivalence between his and Watson's struggle, chronicling his own efforts to write this undisciplined, overcooked play and leaving Watson's own story underdeveloped. Jason A. Fleece's swift staging for Stage Left has it charms, but go read Watson's memoir instead. —Justin Hayford



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