An Intense True Story! Dana H. at Goodman Theatre (Through October 6, 2019)

This is a true story that took place in 1997. Dana Higginbotham was working as a chaplain of a psych ward when she met Jim, an ex-convict and member of the Aryan Brotherhood. Jim abducts Dana and involves her in his criminal activities. For example, the owner of a strip club wants his daughter’s boyfriend killed. So, they buy supplies at a Walmart and build a bomb. She later learns that the boyfriend was killed by a car bomb. On multiple occasions, she tries to escape but the police will not help her. They know about Jim and the Aryan Brotherhood and they won’t do anything in fear of crossing him.

Dana was interviewed and recorded by Steve Cosson, a friend of the playwright, Lucas Hnath (The ChristiansHillary and Clinton). Lucas is Dana’s son. These tapes were edited down to become the text of the play. The actress lip synchs to these tapes blurring the lines between a documentary film and theatre. Deirdre O’Connell (The AffairEternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) puts on a fantastic performance as she truly captures Dana’s voice, rhythm, and small quirks. If they didn’t tell you in advance that she was lip synching, the audience might not have even been able to tell. It’s really unlike any other show out there.

The show is incredibly intense. Not only with the content, but also with the stage effects. Particularly, one scene combined both sound and light to evoke feelings of fear, intensity, and despair as a method to connect the audience to the emotions experienced by the character. While not suitable for children, this show will speak to those seeking thrilling theater and thought-provoking dialogue.


Deirdre O’Connell in the world premiere of Lucas Hnath’s “Dana H.” Directed by Les Waters, “Dana H.” runs through June 23 at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. For more information, please visit Press Contact: / (213) 972-7376. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

Get tickets now for Dana H. through October 6th!

Cost of a ticket: $20 – $40

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Exceptional Value

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother


Quinn Delaney

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