Theater has long been praised for holding "the mirror up to nature" to reveal reality through the artifice of performance. Yet, remarkably, our post 9/11 reality -- filled with threat, fear, war, blundering, and duplicity -- took quite a while to filter into new plays. Now, a somber, deeply pessimistic pall has settled on American stages. The subjects of the 1990s -- sharp-edged sex comedies and yuppie relationship dramas -- have been replaced with plays about politics and ideology. The 21st-century stage is now awash with something akin to 1940s noir: a sense of dread, futility, and dark forces at work. All three play prominently in... More >>>