This sounds like a major theatrical workout: a play within a play, within another play, in which two actors (named This One and That One) use a single prop, a man's jacket, to help us keep track of a larger cast of characters in the three concentric tales. Small wonder, then, that critics have called Canadian playwright and monologist Daniel MacIvor's In on It "a narrative game of three-card monte" and "a lively, puckish puzzle for two actors and a jacket."
But MacIvor's literary complications aren't just for fun and games. Not when the tale of a man whose life is spinning apart becomes, one zoom-out later, a metaphor for the relationship between a very different couple. And not when they, in turn, become a metaphor for ... something we can't reveal here.
MacIvor has said that In on It was the result of people asking him if his work is autobiographical. That seems to square with Bruce Weber's description of it in The New York Times as "a meditation on the what-is-truth issue of how artists make art out of life." He concludes that MacIvor "examine(s) the writer who has already written about a life experience. The lingering questions at the end are: Is art the truth? And even if it is, does it heal the wounds whence it springs?"
Dana Marks directs Gregor McIlvogue and Matthew Hager in this theatrical meta-riddle. Thursday's opening performance is pay-what-you can ($5 minimum); tickets for the rest of the run (through June 9) are $10–$17, with a $5 student rush.—Byron Woods