Critic Howard Miller names Kentucky Cantata as one of the top plays of 2015 on Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway!
Listed with Arthur Miller, Annie Baker, Naomi Wallace, Stephen Karam, Amiri Baraka, et al.

"Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway productions often present some of the most creative, risk-taking, and compelling work in any theatrical season. Of the 120 shows I saw in the world of Off and Off Off since the start of 2015, I’ve identified a baker’s dozen that stood out among the pack."

"Kentucky Cantata. Paul David Young’s devastating play about a family tragedy, a blend of naturalism and a fourth-wall-breaching expressionistic design, was given a stellar production at HERE Arts Center under the direction of Kathy Gail MacGowan. Its stars, Dan Patrick Brady and Marta Reiman, were particularly effective as a married couple whose lives are stretched to the breaking point."

-- Howard Miller, Upstage-Downstage


Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Process Space artist residency's Open Studios on Governors Island

Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26th and 27th, 2015, from noon to 5 pm each day. In addition, on Sunday the 27th at 3 pm, we will have "Open Texts, in which I and others in the program will have readings of our work. The events are free and open to the public. LMCC’s Studios are in the Arts Center at Governors Island (Building 110 near Soissons Landing). For more information on the Open Studios weekend, click here.

In Open Studios, I am happy to share my most recent project, developed while I have been a resident in the LMCC Process Space program: "Curtain Wall Part 3: An Immersive Landscape Theater Performance of Christopher Marlowe's 'Hero and Leander.'" I swam to Governors Island on August 22, 2015 in completion of Marlowe's poem, left unfinished at the time of his murder in 1593. Go to my statement on the dedicated page at the left for more information on the project.

Three video stills below:


"Kentucky Cantata is a masterful work that is likely to stay with you for a long time after the final bows."
"Kentucky Cantata is a brilliantly-composed play in which the metaphorical fourth wall separating the actors from the audience is raised and lowered at various times, so that the effect is one of alternately looking through the two ends of a telescope. Some of the story is deliberately distancing, with an expressionistic tone and narrated directly to the audience. At other times — especially in the scenes between Larry and Dora (exceptionally well acted by Mr. Brady and Ms. Reiman) — the play takes on a naturalistic tenor. Collectively, the two styles engage the heart and the mind throughout."
-- Howard Miller,

"A dark, poetic play"
"The play is directed with nuanced details by Kathy Gail MacGowan, with movement consultation by Kristin Swiat."
"Guitarist Chris Funke performs gracefully and with subtle charm"
"As Carolyn, Hayley Treider performs well"
"Tony Naumovski does a great job"
"Playwright Paul David Young's poetic writing moves comfortably between the psychological world of the characters (where a character speaks directly to the audience) and the traditional dialogue between a pair of actors at a specific time and place."
Angel Lam, Theater Is Easy

Dramatic love is instantaneous, like Romeo and Juliet.
Or like an actor and his audience. Their anonymous encounter happens every night in theaters everywhere.
Now it goes live.

(*courtesy Actors Equity Association)


The Unchained Theatre Festival
Chain Theatre, Long Island City, New York


The Village Voice:
"completely unconventional”
“The script is intelligently bizarre: It’s Rob Zombie’s The Devil’s Rejects meets Marcel Marceau, and ultimately connects its disorienting components into an ode to clowning and the pain it sometimes masks."

The New York Times:
“Shows to Consider in the New York Fringe Festival”
“In his dark comedy ‘Clown Play,’ Paul David Young intriguingly combines critical elements from the horror playbook: angry clowns, semiautomatic weapons, an abandoned house in the suburbs.”

“the treatment of ‘the financial crisis, professional clowning, performance theory, suburban architecture, gun control, religion, murder, substance abuse and burglary’ did indeed touch up on all of those issues and more, but with a degree of levity that was refreshing in the current age of sometimes cult-like protest via social media.”
“Paul David Young’s script is exceedingly clever, with one absolutely killer monologue for Maria”
“To sum up, this is exactly the kind of thing theatre-goers look forward to fringe festivals for: Daring, entertaining and ultimately non-mainstream fare.”

'Clown Play': One of the Offbeat Treats of the New York International Fringe Festival

“what is clear is that Mr. Young is a talented wordsmith who is able to take seemingly disparate elements and coalesce them into a logical and unexpectedly sweet play (unexpected, since a semi-automatic weapon puts in a threatening appearance from time to time)”

“consider the title as you leave the theater having had a surprisingly good time.”

“And while it is Mr. Young’s writing skill that was able to turn seemingly random scenes into a real charmer of a play, much credit must go to the cast (all of whom have impressive theater credentials, by the way), and to director Robert Lutfy.”

“[Young’s] text flows easily from one difficult idea to the next (he manages at one point to question war, responsibility, and art – individually – within eight simple lines) and does so in a clever manner and oddly playful setting: clowns squatting in modern suburban America.”

New York Fringe Festival Pick by:, Amsterdam News, The New York Times, and The New Jersey Record