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Digging in the Dirt

Chris Klimek

Holly Twyford and Natalia Payne

Holly Twyford and Natalia Payne

In today's City Paper, I review the second entry in the Studio Theatre's Lab Series for new plays, Bryony Lavery's Dirt. She wrote the masterfully chilling unsettling kiddie-killer drama Frozen, which played at Studio in 2006. She also wrote Beautiful Burnout, a boxing play that I'm eager to see because I like stories that involve boxing for the same reason I love to box: metaphors for the bruising, thrilling experience of life itself don't come any clearer.

I was a big admirer of Studio's production of the first Studio Lab show, Duncan Macmillian's Lungs, which was at Studio at this time last year. Dirt has some thematic congruity with that play, but it isn't quite as surefooted, at least not yet. There's some wastage. But the good stuff is very good. Holly Twyford elevates everything she's in and DC newcomer Natalia Payne is an actor I hope we'll start seeing all over the place. She's phenom-mana.