Arts Reviews and Publications

Theatre Reviews

14/48 - Winter, 2012, Crosscut, Alice Kaderman

The plot of Daniel Tarker’s “The Fortune Teller” is more straightforward. A woman (Renata Friedman), the mistress of a rich and powerful man, has just broken up with her lover and, having been supported by him, is in despair about what to do with her life. As she waits for a cab outside her former apartment, she comes across a self-described fortune teller (Brandon J. Simmons), who claims he will tell her the future for the price of a beer. At first, she’s skeptical. But then he begins to say things about her life that he can’t possibly know. He tells her he sees much happiness in her future and when he asks where she thinks she would be content, she blurts out, “Argentina.” Somehow naming the place out loud gives her the courage to make her dream real; she decides on the spot to take off for South America.

It’s a testament to Tarker’s skill as a storyteller that he is able to spin such a compelling tale in so few minutes and to Friedman’s and Simmons’ talent that they can make their

characters and the situation completely believable. Tarker taps an emotional truth in “The Fortune Teller” that sometimes naming our dreams gives us the strength to pursue them. The performance proved that, though it’s not easy to craft a coherent stage play that runs just ten short minutes, in the right hands it can be done.

Woyzeck, 2016,  Seattle Weekly, Gavin Borchert

 With Tarker’s focused, audience-trusting storytelling style, the obvious contemporary parallels don’t require italicizing and don’t get any. This sonic leitmotif is deployed to gripping effect, and has the further advantage of holding together and propelling an episodic and enigmatic script; it’s incidental music, really, a sort of score, and is enhanced by sound effects produced onstage. (Michael Owcharuk is credited as sound and music designer.)

The Woman in the Wall, 2014, ArtsRage, Nancy Worssam

"Playwright Daniel Tarker is one of Seattle’s noteworthy talents, creator of little miracles. The latest of his successful plays, “The Woman in the Wall”, is now playing at Annex Theatre. Though not perfect, it’s damned good.

"The play offers thought provoking examples of challenging relationships, reminds us of contemporary issues, and raises interesting philosophical questions that force us to reflect on our own lives. Within it are wonderful literary references, and just enough clues are doled out so that we can solve the mystery before its solution is revealed, and that’s a great satisfaction.

This is a thinking person’s play. No jingle bells, elves, or tinsel. It’s a refreshing change at this time of year, and the price is right

Medicine Ball: Playwrights v. Poets, The Fremocentrist, 2015

Seattle Theatre Works presents this annual “smorgasbord of pieces,” as described by producer Daniel Tarker, “a lot of variety, audience interaction.  [Audience members] will see something that they will see nowhere else.”

‘Medicine Ball’ brings audiences – and the participating poets, playwrights, actors, and directors – the participation in an entirely unique experience.  “All the content is specifically commissioned for this show,” explained Graham Isaac, Poetry Curator for this production.  No one will have seen these pieces ever before, or possibly ever again.  Also, even if you don’t like one or two of the performances, there will be eleven or twelve other poems/plays that you can.