Karen Ball

Latest Articles


Playwright Gage explains Lizzie Borden, on stage

Alleged ax-murderer Lizzie Borden is among the most notorious women in New England history.
Sharpened perceptions
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 30, 2011

Review: Outdoor expressionism in Fenix Theatre's Love’s Labour’s Lost

One of Shakespeare's earliest and lightest-of-the-light works, Love's Labour's Lost , is this year's Shakespearean offering of the Fenix Theatre Company.
Collision of minds, hearts, and well, more
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 22, 2011

Review: Acorn's Maine Playwrights Festival marks a decade

For 10 years now, Acorn Productions has provided an annual platform for both new and established Maine playwrights to see their work enacted by live bodies under hot lights.
Ten new plays
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 22, 2011

Review: Jewish wit pervades Acorn's latest production

Around this time of year, the vast majority of holiday entertainment — Nutcrackers both Victorian and burlesque; innumerable A Christmas Carols ; even the rogue Sedaris debauchery of The Santaland Diaries — is some sort of riff on a holiday that's a
Wry humor
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 10, 2010

Acorn opens stripped-down Studio Series

This autumn Acorn Productions adds another venture to its already myriad theatrical offerings.
Character study
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  October 15, 2010

More Bard, another park

Just as fiddleheads and lilacs sprung early this year, so have the urban-pastoral pleasures of al fresco Shakespeare.
Acorn takes Shakespeare to the Riverbank
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 21, 2010


Local love

For nearly a decade, Acorn Productions has been staging world-premiere works of playwrights who live right here among us.
Acorn keeps the spotlight on Maine playwrights
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 11, 2009
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Lesbians unite

For centuries, sundry artists have extolled Maine as a locale for all sort of idylls and creations. This weekend, a series of plays will limn our state's romanticism with seductive specificity: as a setting for imaginative and sensual women loving wome
Reclaiming the state's history and image
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 28, 2009
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Snapping towels

Through the rest of June, a classic battle of the sexes will be waged at the wading pool of Deering Oaks Park. The Fenix Theatre Co., Portland's premier purveyor of outdoor Shakespeare for the summer, stages a smart, wet, and aggressive Taming of the
Fenix's Taming of the Shrew gets wet
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  June 19, 2009
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Rise and fall

For years now, the Naked Shakespeare Ensemble has brought its signature fare — stripped-down productions and ravishingly acute attention to the Bard's language — into a slew of non-traditional settings, including the Wine Bar on Wharf Street, SPACE Gall
Naked Shakespeare's Richard II
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 22, 2009

All in the family(1)

“Home” isn’t necessarily a discrete, concrete place.
Lives and cultures clash in Lanyard premiere
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  August 12, 2008

Theatrical progress

As an avid theater-goer, there are times when I hanker to positively consume a fine play.
A venue-to-venue tour of Portland
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  January 02, 2008

No alibi needed

Earnest also boasts one hell of a big, imperious foil of British womanhood.
Earnest-ness at the Stage at Spring Point
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  July 18, 2007

In brief

It's spring, and time once again for Portland’s theatrical equivalent of the farmer’s market.
Acorn's Maine Short Play Festival doesn't waste time
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  April 04, 2007

Slow + steady

Before grown-ups start talking to kids about certain things, a parent observes, kids start talking to grown-ups.
Talking about sex – with a turtle?
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  February 28, 2007

Back in the acts

When it comes to dramatics, there’s plenty to toast at this year’s end.
A year in Maine theater
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  December 20, 2006

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Breast awareness

The female breast is celebrated with such relish in the opening lines of Purple Breasts that it is all the more devastating to watch as one woman’s breast is stricken with cancer.
Turning Purple with fear, rage, frustration
By MEGAN GRUMBLING  |  May 31, 2006