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Crime and Punishment

“Ken Sawyer’s direction for the Actor’s Co-op and the work of his talented designers envelop theatergoers in a swirl of moody sights and sounds.”

“Ken Sawyer's staging is at times gorgeous, with Jeremy Pivnick's backlighting of the ghostly figures, and Sawyer's own sound design, which amps up the melodrama.”


“…there are moments of surreal and penetrating beauty. ..Raskolnikov (Ben Hunter) is on his knees in prayer-like contemplation as a single spotlight burns a silhouette of his body into the smoky air... Audiences will find more to savor in the production's visual flourishes, which are modest but effective at externalizing Raskolnikov's mind-soul schism. A shirt splattered in red (is it paint or blood?) creates a chilling moment of ambiguity between Raskolnikov and the detective. Later, we get a taste of actual violence during a flashback to the murder, which is powerfully staged using strategic bursts of light.”

“The play opens in utter blackness with Raskolnikov on bended knee, reciting, "In my dreams, I am six years old...". He is watching a crowd of men beating a horse to death. The mood of things bleak and despairing remains with us through the ninety minutes of dialogue. But we are equally privy to some rare and interesting philosophical ideas, some very effective dramatic portrayals, some excellent direction by Ken Sawyer…No matter what characters the three actors assume, they enlist your undivided attention, for Ken Sawyer keeps the action moving nimbly in any one of the four locales the rather small set represents. He uses this ninety-minute treatment of this sweeping novel as an image of people trying to find faith and make sense of the world they live in.”

“You might call it Dostoevsky's classic Crime and Punishment shot in close-up. Director-sound designer Ken Sawyer shapes the material deftly, hitting all the necessary points and never allowing our attention to flag.”

“Director Ken Sawyer is a master of the visual, and the production looks great. In fact, its greatest asset is its look, sound, and feel, the real stars of the production being Jeremy Pivnick’s superlative lighting design and Sawyer’s sound design.”
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