For OLD NAMES FOR WILDFLOWERS:
"Director Emma Rosa Went stokes the fires in the bellies of the characters to set the old paradigms aflame. She lets no moment go unexplored. She erupts the thick emotional lava flowing between the characters to purge them of their wrongdoings. There is clear evidence of intensive character exploration and she slows down time to let the weight of the moment sit heavily on us. Her work is marvelously detailed and completely absorbing."
"It’s a monumental work. A colossal saga that astutely comments on 21st Century patriarchy through the lens of post Civil war societal fall out in 1865... It has a filmic quality to it–almost like a memory from a past life. Like the smell of jasmine through an open window that transports you to a long forgotten moment. Like a family tree lineage search that yields a discrepancy, a secret, an unexplained gap, a broken branch."
"The play is a powerful statement on survival and the qualities of those individuals who are able to overcome extreme odds to triumphantly stand in their light."
-Jacquelyne Claire, Stage Biz (The Renovationists/The Tank/Parity, 2018, FULL REVIEW)
"Sometimes a play rips open a scab that never fully healed to reveal the raw, still-throbbing wound beneath. Old Names for Wildflowers does just this, and with the kind of tenderness that makes you believe in the possibilities of flowers bursting out of wreckage."
-Ran Xia, Theatre Is Easy (The Renovationists/The Tank/Parity, 2018, FULL REVIEW)
"Went's direction is clear and sharp; stylized hand gestures and particular poses seemed reminiscent of the type of painting the two characters practiced..."
-Audrey Moyce, Culturebot (spit&vigor, 2018)
For MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING:
"Emma Rosa Went's direction...of Much Ado About Nothing achieves the not-small feat of making a Shakespearean comedy funny... Went injects life, and more importantly surprise..."
"...it's such a wonder when a small company in a festival production can make these hoary elements work, and in the process make you think something new about a classic..."
"...This production is a charming entry into the catalog of Summer Shakespeare."
-Michael Niederman, New York Theatre Review (Easy Leap 2016, full review)
"The highlight here was the thoughtful direction (Emma Rosa Went) and some very strong performances..."
" it worked really well; the hubbub of bar patrons in the next room, which normally might distract under different circumstances, actually added appropriate diagetic sound, which kept me in the place throughout. The actors tramped about the room, using the tables and chairs, seamlessly weaving in and out of the audience, allowing us all to be extras."
-Manhattan Tour & Travel (Easy Leap 2013, full review)