In Gary Owen’s challenging and poetic post-apocalyptic nightmare, “The Drowned World, ” the “citizens, ” physically diseased and spiritually destitute, have declared war against the genetically superior and emotionally fulfilled “non citizens,” for whom beauty and happiness have become deadly commodities. Actors Revolution Theatre tackles this difficult script, a terrifying and timely exploration of social depravation and genocide, with real earnest; the four characters (two citizens, two non-citizens) are portrayed with tender humanity—making each act of brutality all the more shocking. Director John McCormick’s economical staging works well for the most part, though at times the actors seem to be combating discomfort with the long periods of physical stillness by barreling through monologues so quickly that chunks of text are swallowed up and one feels like they missed something important. However, on the whole, the performances are confident and capable, especially from the women; Natalie DiCristofano as Tara is both stoic and fragile, and Meredith Glidden’s Kelly is sly and ferocious, delivering moments of almost stomach-turning desperation that linger beyond the curtain call. (Valerie Jean Johnson)
At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 North Southport, (312)902-1500. This production is now closed.