August 9, 2014

The playwright Gary Winter has created a monster. Kind of. In Daredevil, at the Brick, he’s invented a character, Missy, who assembles a creature out of various corpses. “He just needs a finger — then he’s done,” she explains proudly. Mr. Winter hasn’t used cadavers to build his play (at least, no carcass is credited in the program), but he does seem to have amassed it from spare parts — his own and those of other writers. Shut your eyes to the almost bare stage, and you can hear echoes of María Irene Fornés, Mac Wellman, Len Jenkin, Will Eno and others. There’s a story about a mountain, and another about a resistance fighter, and another about a monk holed up in a hotel room, watching the Weather Channel, and another about that petite mad scientist who dabbles in unhallowed arts. A stage manager (Monique Vukovic) peeks in from time to time to finesse transitions and signal sound cues. The result, directed with care and enthusiasm by Meghan Finn, is muddled and disjointed but not unlikable. Mr. Winter has never been an easy playwright to pin down. His 2006 play At Said, part of the 13P series, grafted a glum family drama onto a potentially interesting exploration of memory and testimony, with middling results. If Daredevil is a lot more amusing, it offers even less insight into the questions that excite Mr. Winter, that push him to tell stories onstage. His plays seem in search of a purpose, a style.