Archives for October 2014


It’s official! Diana is commissioned by Jennifer Decker, Artistic Director of Mildred’s Umbrella Theater Company in Houston, TX, to write a new play based on the true life story of Aspasia, a powerful Athenian courtesan of the 4th century B.C. Deadline for delivery of The Brazen Harlot is March, 2015.             […]

Death Be Not Predictable – NYT Review

“How do you think he looks? Better?” the dying man’s wife asks a visitor to his hospital room. The hopefulness in her voice is unmistakable. But the gaunt 38-year-old patient is clearly not long for this world. Still, his wife babbles on about his future, using words as a wall to hold back her despair […]

BWW Interviews: Jennifer Decker and Diana Amsterdam Talk CARNIVAL ROUND THE CENTRAL FIGURE

Continuing their 2013-14 season, Mildred’s Umbrella Theatre Company is producing Diana Amsterdam’s CARNIVAL ROUND THE CENTRAL FIGURE. In the play, Kate visits the deathbed of a close friend and through a series of theatrical dreams and nightmares must acknowledge that no matter how much denial, positive thinking or prayer people practice to avoid death, the […]

Fast Girls hits the stage running

Fast Girls, by Diana Amsterdam, is a fast-paced comedy that reads very much like a classic 1980’s sitcom. Set in 1988 New York City, the show focuses on Lucy, who just broke up with her long-term boyfriend Sidney. To deal with the break-up, she’s been filling her nights with one-night-stands, random flings and general promiscuity. […]

Next Up – “FAST GIRLS” by Diana Amsterdam

A precursor to Sex and the City, this fast-paced comedy is a buddy story about two single women during the late eighties, when the sexual revolution had hit a definite snag. Lucy Lewis loves men, being single, and playing the field; she is a successful career woman and a “fast girl.” Her neighbor Abigail McBride […]

Review: Carnival Round the Central Figure

HOUSTON—Sometimes when a piece of theater challenges me, I look for answers in the play’s title. So soon after seeing the Mildred’s Umbrella regional premiere of Carnival Round the Central Figure, I sought meaning from carnivals. In the U.S, we tend to think of carnivals as a kind of temporary low-rate amusement park, where we can […] Review: Carnival ‘Round the Central Figure

Comedies don’t come much darker than Diana Amsterdam’s “Carnival Round the Central Figure,” a hard-core but justified lampooning of the strange etiquette we adhere to when watching loved ones pass away. Amsterdam’s relentless script, which premiered in a student production 16 years ago, makes a glib burlesque out of the oblique religious platitudes, idle chitchat, […]

Phone It In: Carnival ‘Round the Central Figure (Video Review)

After reviewing several depressing productions lately, we’re pleased to see that AndrewAndrew’s latest insta-review is of a comedy. Albeit a pretty dark one. Carnival ‘Round the Central Figure at IRT Theater centers on a dying man’s struggles to make sense of all of the ineffectual, and sometimes untrue, sayings and beliefs people offer as comfort […]

Symmetry Theatre’s Carnival Round the Central Figure Shows Us the (not so) Sunny Side of Death

Structurally very compelling, Carnival Round the Central Figure by playwright Diana Amsterdam whisks the audience away on a carousel ride, round and round, always round the Central Figure, of course. In the manner in which, at turns, it exhilarates and invites trepidation and dizziness, it is much like an actual carnival ride, except this ride […]

Lacey Schwartz’ Documentary Memoir Breaks Out

Lacey Schwartz, a 37-year-old Harvard Law School graduate turned filmmaker, moves with ease in circles in which her identity as both black and Jewish seems unremarkable. What makes her biography striking is that Ms. Schwartz, a woman with light brown skin and a cascade of dark curls, grew up believing she was white. Read the […]