Bonus Material

Anna K. Jacobs' and Michael R. Jackson’s new musical: A spectacle with teeth.

Guest Essays

March 27, 2024

Taylor Barfield

Taylor Barfield is a dramaturg, writer, and theater artist from Baltimore, MD. He served as the Acting Literary Manager at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven, CT and the Literary Manager at Two River Theater in Red Bank, NJ. Taylor currently works as a freelance dramaturg and consultant working with organizations such as the Guthrie, BMG, Portland Center Stage, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center, and Yale Repertory Theatre.

Taylor received his B.A. in Molecular/Cellular Biology and English Literature from Johns Hopkins University and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, where he earned his M.F.A. and D.F.A. in Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism. His scholarly work explores how contemporary Black American playwrights re-imagine and re-stage Black theater history. His writing has been published in Vulture, TDF Stages, and the Marginalia Review of Books. He is currently an adjunct professor at NYU Tisch.

When I decided to guest curate reviews for Playwrights Horizons’ new musical Teeth by Michael R. Jackson and Anna K. Jacobs, all I knew about the production was that it was a musical adaptation of the 2007 cult-classic horror film of the same name by Mitchell Lichtenstein and that there was a high percentage chance the play would end with a trail of severed dicks.

Also, after seeing POP (music by Jacobs), White Girl in Danger (book, music, and lyrics by Jackson), and A Strange Loop (book, music, and lyrics by Jackson), I had a sneaking suspicion that the musical collaboration between these two artists would be ambitious, sexy, and fun. In other words, it seemed a delightful play to discuss with a group of friends and collaborators.

What I did not anticipate was how the musical would evoke such rigorous meditations on womanhood, purity, sex, sin, consent, shame, idolatry, toxic masculinity, faith, generational abuse, and power (all to a soundtrack of banger after banger). The intertheatrical commentary in my head ranged from María Irene Fornés’ Fefu and Her Friends to Meir Zarchi’s I Spit On Your Grave; Brian Dannelly’s Saved! to the intensely horrific depictions of hell created for Medieval mystery plays. Teeth elicited so many fascinating connections and raised several questions (just what I want from a night at the theater).

To provide different windows into this new musical are three badass theater artists: Sophie Siegel-Warren, Jessica Huang, and Chalia La Tour.  

Please enjoy these three distinct perspectives on Teeth, playing at Playwrights Horizons now through April 28th. I hope they inspire you to get to the theater to find your own way into this raucous, terrifying, and dense new musical!

Read Sophie's Review HERE.

Read Jessica's Inside View HERE.

Read Chalia's Purview HERE.

Trigger Warning from the 3Views Team: The new musical Teeth features scenes of rape, castration, murder, and sexual assault. The views we publish here discuss these violent acts. Read (or don’t) with care.

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