Tragedy in Spades: a Crime Documentary (the Play)


Probably internationally acclaimed playwright Liza Birkenmeier, dubbed “the next big thing” by someone somewhere, who wrote national bestseller “Funny Women #136: Recommendation Letter” is also here to help you with your weekend plans.

The cultural moment we are in is obsessed with true crime . . . and with truth, and with crime.

Through April 9th in NYC, you can/should see Tragedy in Spades: a Crime Documentary, “a live-performance deep-dive into the true-crime genre.” I saw it on Saturday and am a better person today because of it, which sounds like hyperbole but isn’t. Click here for tickets, info, and other secrets.

According to its Indiegogo campaign, the play “echoes the current cultural sensationalism of true-crime murder mystery, and appeals to small-town 90s nostalgia.” Who doesn’t love 90s nostalgia?

Other questions the play asks rhetorically: “How do we create community through the telling of stories? What are our familiar assumptions and superstitions when our beliefs are threatened? How does a community exercise justice?”

As Sheila Callaghan recently tweeted that Liza retweeted: “Hey critics. Using theatre as a platform to provoke thought & discussion w/o providing answers to impossible questions is a VALID EXERCISE.”

If supporting live theatre is your thing, Liza has an Indiegogo campaign (mentioned above) to help pay actors who also (spoiler) dance and sing.

“Theatre is a vital part of New York City, and a boundless way to create and explore community. This project in particular focuses in on that, building community among New Yorkers of so many different backgrounds.” I could tell you exactly what that means, but why not Treat. Yo. Self. and see Tragedy in Spades: A Crime Documentary this very weekend.

Bring your dreams, crushes, expectations, and friends, but no small children:
April 7th, 8th, and 9th at 7pm
Speyer Hall at University Settlement, 184 Eldridge Street

Elissa Bassist edits the Funny Women column. She teaches humor writing at The New School and Catapult. Follow her on Twitter, and visit for more literary, feminist, and personal criticism. More from this author →