Selected Review Excerpts

The Turn of the Screw (written by Jeffrey Hatcher):

 

GO… It’s hard to regard a 19th century ghost story as anything but quaint… Happily, this production, artfully directed by Dan Spurgeon, with accomplished performances by Nich Kauffman and Amelia Gotham, triumphs over those expectations.

            - Deborah Klugman, LA Weekly 5/30/12

 

It is tempting to say that The Turn of the Screw could easily be a radio play, but it would be a shame to miss out on Mr. Spurgeon’s blocking. It is concise, minimalist, and utterly imaginative, with nods to Commedia as well as typical horror tropes and a healthy amount of space for the audience to simply imagine what is going on. This is sort of play where even the sound of the characters’ footfalls are part of the score, carefully orchestrated to build suspense.

           - Brian Sonia-Wallace, LATheatreReview.com 5/18/12

 

Under Dan Spurgeon’s steadying direction, though not every moment is true to the setting and period, the mood stays simultaneously gripping and playful. He turns the minuscule playing space into bumpy roads, lakeside gardens, offices, entry halls, nursery bedrooms, and more… the scaredy-cats in the audience can jump in shock or quiver in fear as the story unfolds; while the theater aficionados can relish the creativity.

          - Dany Margolies, ArtsinLA.com 10/15/12

 

The Baby:

 

This thing is just twisted, funny and wacky… It’s just so consistently depraved in a consistently silly way that it’s hard not to like.

            - Colin Mitchell, Bitter Lemons 6/24/13

 

With its atmosphere of gleeful perversity, playwright-director Dan Spurgeon's adaptation of Abe Polsky's 1970s cult movie is so weird it will almost have your eyes a-bugging and your jaw a-gaping… No one would call this cheeseball material anything more than trivial, but Spurgeon's often hilarious production boasts crisp comic timing and a delicious campiness.

            - Paul Birchall, LA Weekly 6/27/13

 

Veronica's Room (written by Ira Levin):

 

The director Dan Spurgeon utilized the close-knit area of the theater and the extremely talented cast to great effect. The menacing ambience literally crawled off of the stage… Spurgeon really found a way to bring what each actor already had in their natural presence in order to add to the overall creepy factor of Veronicas Room.

            - Forrest Wilson, LifeinLA.com Feb 2013

 

This is a top-notch production. Director Dan Spurgeon is ruthless with the pacing, which ups the ante of the suspense. Needless to say, the show has a way of getting under your skin. Highly recommended.

            - M. Jarrett Christensen, The Tolucan Times 2/28/13

 

Lovecraft: Nightmare Suite:

 

PICK OF THE WEEK! GO! A ghoulish sampling of the dank hallways, forbidding places and supernatural creatures for which the author was known... Creates an appropriately unsettling atmosphere.

         - Lovell Estell III, LA Weekly 10/17/13

 

Considering Lovecraft's habits of describing things in his stories as too terrible to actually describe, things that would drive you hopelessly insane to even glimpse, director/adapter Dan Spurgeon has done a fine job of making the nebulous more concrete. His adaptations retain the distinctive flavor of Lovecraft's prose while trimming their floridity and making them actable. His direction is creative and successful.

          - Terry Morgan, LAist.com 10/10/13