In the Press & on the Web
“Heartfelt! Sterling! Unblinking honesty! Stings with truth!”
- New York Times (Read More)
“An affecting portrait of an artist as a very young woman.”
- Village Voice (Read More)
“A 360-degree sensorium!”
- Backstage (Critic’s Pick) (Read More)
“…the attention to detail in every element of the production—the absorption in this girl’s psyche and her environment—are uncanny.”
- NYTheatre.com (Read More)
“Well paced, well acted, this impressive production does a great job of capturing the intensity and insanity of being a teenager out of control and raises some interesting issues along the way.”
- Culturebot (Read More)
“The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” the compelling 2002 novel in words and comics by Phoebe Gloeckner, stings with truth, though its author calls it fiction. But Minnie Goetze, its 15-year-old narrator, looks a lot like a young Ms. Gloeckner, and like her was raised in Philadelphia and San Francisco.
Now “Diary” — an account of Minnie’s largely unsupervised adolescence in the Bay Area, drifting through its druggy, erotic morass in the ’70s and agonizing through a sexual entanglement with her mother’s boyfriend — has been reverently adapted by Marielle Heller, who also stars. The stage version does not — and cannot — encompass all of the details in the book, but the production, at 3LD Art & Technology Center, laudably approaches its power.
Minnie and her sister, Gretel (unseen onstage), are raised by a single mother, Charlotte (Mariann Mayberry), whose feckless boyfriend, Monroe (a shaggy Michael Laurence), in his 30s, has seduced a Minnie roaring with hormones and kicked from one school to another. A seemingly stable influence in her life is her officious ex-stepfather, Pascal (Jon Krupp), who sends letters professing paternal concern but suggesting dubious motives. As Minnie’s affair implodes, she plummets into the maelstrom of San Francisco’s rough-trade street life. Needless to say, the play is not for children.
In streamlining the story, Ms. Heller centers on the toxic bond between Minnie and Monroe, and the production best succeeds as a lacerating indictment of predatory male self-indulgence, though Monroe at times seems more hapless than egotistical. It also sheds more light on the flitting, hard-partying Charlotte, for whom Ms. Mayberry manages to invite sympathy. Minnie’s friend Kimmie (Nell Mooney), a composite of two characters, is more sounding board than solid person.
Ms. Heller long campaigned to secure the rights to the book, and, as directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde and Rachel Eckerling, she commands her part, conveying the exhilaration and despair of a teenager contending with a surging libido. Steadily, incrementally, she captures the fatherless Minnie’s passage from infatuation with Monroe to self-awareness.
She is aided by sterling technical contributions: Lauren Helpern’s sets and Emily DeAngelis’s costumes artfully conjure the period, while C. Andrew Bauer’s video designs cleverly incorporate Ms. Gloeckner’s drawings. A small exhibition of Gloeckner originals in the lobby pays further tribute to the unblinking honesty that inspired this heartfelt production.
BACK STAGE CRITIC’S PICK
Reviewed by Jason Fitzgerald, Mar 29, 2010
“The great achievement of “The Diary of a Teenage Girl,” adapted from Phoebe Gloeckner’s graphic novel, is to take the girl’s point of view seriously. Neither sentimental nor judgmental, “Diary” presents Minnie Goetz as a smart, creative, passionate young woman, and the production’s only agenda is to be true to her experience.” Read Full Review
• USA Today: ‘SNL’ stars support a graphic novel’s journey to the stage
• CBR: SNL STARS UNITE TO SUPPORT GRAPHIC NOVEL STAGE ADAPTATION
From the Book
Buy the Book
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
A Graphic Novel By Phoebe Gloeckner
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