Arts blogger Patrick Vaz wrote a very positive and perceptive review of Pleiades on his blog, The Reverberate Hills: “Go see this play if you can… Skudlarek is doing some difficult things in this play, and she does them with remarkable assurance… She evokes a time period that’s far enough in the past so that it needs to be consciously evoked, yet recent enough so that many audience members can check her version against their memories; she has characters discuss and argue about social issues while sounding like actual people and not members of a debate club; she writes about feminism without reducing either the women or the men to caricatures; and she handles a large cast adroitly… The characters and their stories drive the discussion, not the other way around. It’s a relief to see a large cast, who are actual distinct individuals and not just funny accents out of one mouth. Even before it’s made clear in the dialogue, I could tell which of the seven sisters were older, middle, and younger – I’m one of six children, and I really loved the family dynamics in this play.” (Full review)
Pleiades was named an Honorable Mention on arts blog A Beast in a Jungle’s “Best of 2014” list.
Sam Hurwitt reviewed Pleiades for KQED Arts: “The sly mythological references just keep coming… There are a number of clever lines throughout… By the time things take a dark turn in the second act, director Katja Rivera’s unhurried staging has done its work and you can’t help but be totally involved in the story.” (Full review)
Jean Schiffman reviewed Pleiades for the San Francisco Examiner: “Over the course of two engrossing acts, most of the characters — even the much-loathed Bruce — become multi-dimensional… You truly believe these women are sisters, with their squabbles, shifting alliances, jealousies, outbursts and deep caring for one another.” (Full review)
Works by Women SF selected Pleiades for their August meetup, and came as a group to the 8/21 performance. They’ve now put up a discussion thread where audience members can post their thoughts about the show. Valerie Weak (Works by Women SF leader) wrote “I found the family dynamic of the seven sisters very believable. This script is full of terrific monologues and two person scenes for young female actors, and any drama teacher or teaching artist should make sure they have a copy of this script when it gets published!”
An endorsement from writer/actor Allison Page on Twitter: “Halfway through watching Pleiades, realized I’d NEVER seen a play about young women being young women. Yowza. See it!”
Spanish arts journalist Alfredo Llopico attended a performance of Pleiades and wrote about the show in El Mundo, focusing on the play’s themes of liberation. An informal translation of Llopico’s comments: “It calls attention to the enormous and oppressive weight upon these women and their decision not to do anything that contradicted the established social order and rules. Being free, liberating oneself from social convention, would lead to stigma, so they were not ready; it would cost a price that they were not willing to pay. … Thus, it is moving to watch the lives of people who chose or were forced to fight the strict attitudes of a society who did not consider them normal when they were not ill.”
Lily Janiak listed Pleiades as an “Editor’s Pick” in the July/August issue of Theatre Bay Area Magazine, calling the show “the love child of Jane Austen and Wendy Wasserstein.”
Silke Tudor of SF Weekly blurbed Pleaides in the August 6 issue: “Clever reinterpretation of the story of seven sisters who serve as companions to Artemis […]Skudlarek is a real talent, and all myths strive toward elucidation.”
Pleiades was also one of the SF Chronicle’s “Bay Area Performance Picks” for August 7, 2014.