Past Events Productions Reviews

“Stellar!” “Inspiring!” “Powerful!” Audiences and Critics agree! “whatdoesfreemean?” is a must-see!

Don’t miss whatdoesfreemean?,
the show critics are calling “heartbreaking,” “inspiring,”
a “searing and poignant narrative,” and a “tour de force performance!”

Playing at The Tank, now through July 22nd!

Brenda Crawley as Ann and Lisa Strum as Mary in the Nora’s Playhouse production of Catherine Filloux’s whatdoesfreemean?, playing now through July 22 at The Tank (312 West 36th Street, NYC). (photo credit: Veronica Bella)

Tickets are only $20. Available at or at the door 30 minutes prior to curtain. No late seating.


“Life behind bars has long been a dramatic staple and the inspiring whatdoesfreemean? trods this familiar territory with fierce emotion and presentational verve…. Lisa Strum is towering and shattering as Mary.”
– Darryl Reilly,

“Sometimes ‘Theater with a Message’ can be preachy or heavy-handed, but this show is far from that…. whatdoesfreemean? approaches incarceration with depth and candor and a bit of whimsy….
Come downtown and experience!
– Tara Kennedy, OnStage Blog

“In a tour de force performance, Lisa Strum fully inhabits Mary’s psyche. With wide eyes that refuse to turn away from life’s pain, Ms. Strum’s Mary is emotionally and physically complex, vulnerable and brimming with truth. Ms. Filloux’s anguished and at times poetic dialogue flows effortlessly in Ms. Strum’s interpretation.”
– Navida Stein, Stage Buddy


“The production is truly wonderful. The writing, directing,  acting—all stellar. And what a story to tell!”

A powerful and imaginative work, dealing with one of our open wounds, the widespread practice of solitary confinement. Most disturbing and compelling. And [Lisa Strum as] Mary was splendid.”

“It’s a play that stays with us.”

“It’s the most moving piece of theater I’ve ever seen!

whatdoesfreemean? by Catherine Filloux | at The Tank July 6-22

whatdoesfreemean? is the latest work by award-winning human rights playwright Catherine Filloux. Directed by Amy S. Green, the cast of whatdoesfreemean? includes James Edward Becton*, Brenda Crawley, Justin Jorrell, Galway McCullough*, Liz Morgan*, and Lisa Strum* as Mary.
Scenic and Lighting Design by Phoebe Mauro. Projection and Sound Design by Sadah Espii Proctor. Costume Design by Rashidah Nelson. Fight Choreography by Galway McCullough. Stage Management by Karen Oughtred. General Management by Rebecca Lovett. Graphic Design by Veronica Bella. General Press Representative is Susan L. Schulman.

The Tank | 312 W 36th St, NYC

whatdoesfreemean? was developed with the support of Nora’s Playhouse.
The Nora’s Playhouse production of whatdoesfreemean? is presented by The Tank.
This production is an Equity-approved showcase. *Actors appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association
Past Events Productions Reviews

The Reviews Are In!!

Rose is a charming solo show” with “moments of magnificence.”

-The New York Times

One could not ask for a better interpreter of this complex role than the brilliant Kathleen Chalfant.”

-Time Out NY

“Rose has a shockingly limited run. If you want to see the brilliant Ms. Chalfant at the top of her form, and get a refresher course in the colorful Kennedys, run to the Clurman Theatre immediately!”

– Theater Pizzazz

“Chalfant presents an American Mother Courage, a survivor of four children’s deaths who’s been plagued by perhaps more sorrow than joy but has had to soldier on and will continue to function with a straight, defiant back as long as she’s able.”

– Huffington Post

“Chalfant is one of our most accomplished actresses, but surely the director, Caroline Reddick Lawson, had much to do with sculpting such a tactful, understated, and ultimately devastating performance. The director has also obtained fine work from her designers. Anya Klepikov‘s sitting room set is a fine example of restrained good taste, as is Caitlin Smith Rapoport‘s lighting; Klepikov and Lianne Arnold have supplied the cascade of photos from the family’s history that punctuate Rose’s tales. Jane Shaw‘s sound design blends period tunes, such as “Stardust” and (perhaps most tellingly) “A Bird in a Gilded Cage,” with the omnipresent rush of Atlantic Ocean waves… Rose is a remarkable portrait of a woman who played the hand she was dealt without ever looking back.”

– Lighting & Sound America