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"...a drama at once disturbing, insightful and unexpectedly humorous.... A complex discussion of the impossibly fine line between being admired for one's beauty and being sexually harassed - or worse - for it."
Catey Sullivan, Chicago Theater Beat, 9.9.12

"McCullough smartly moves well beyond a riff on the eternal ache triggered by matters of youth, beauty and feminist values, to tap into a slew of other hot-button issues, none of which have easy answers."
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times 9.9.12

Dialogue
Sample

Impenetrable

Melanie Derleth; Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, IL; directed by Greg Werstler, photo by Johnny Knight

Kamal Hans, Melanie Derleth, and Kyle Johnson; Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, IL; directed by Greg Werstler, photo by Johnny Knight

Melanie Derleth and Kyle Johnson; Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, IL; directed by Greg Werstler, photo by Johnny Knight

Kamal Hans and Emi Clark; Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, IL; directed by Greg Werstler, photo by Johnny Knight

Emi Clark, Kayla Rea and Jennifer Pompa; Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, IL; directed by Greg Werstler, photo by Johnny Knight

Kyle Johnson and Jennifer Pompa; Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, IL; directed by Greg Werstler, photo by Johnny Knight

In an effort to increase his business, a spa-owner has a billboard put up advertising his services. The image of a gorgeous model is dissected like a side of beef, arrows pointing at her "problems" and suggesting cosmetic "solutions" available at the local spa. The billboard sparks outrage in the women of the community, and after protests and a boycott of the salon, the billboard is taken down.

This play explores the points of view of the formerly Muslim spa-owner, the model who is no longer modeling and now opts to hide her beauty behind a veil, her estranged photographer friend who sold her image, a local mom who leads the protest, her daughter just on the cusp of discovering her expectations of her own body, and the overweight and resentful barista from the nearby café who encounters and comments on all of the above players as the events play out.

This monologue-driven play follows the image in question from the fateful day it was captured to the day the billboard is taken down, and in doing so, shows how the image irrevocably changed each of the characters' perceptions of themselves.

Impenetrable was developed, in part, through LeapFest 2010 at Stage Left Theatre. It premiered at Stage Left in September 2012 and was a finalist for the 2013 ATCA Steinberg Award.

Cast: 3 women, 1 girl (10-12yrs old), 2 men

"...slicing and poignant... it's the women's voices that resonate the most."
Kerry Reid, Chicago Tribune 9.11.12