January 15, 2016

Although the language occasionally takes on a darkly lyrical hue, music plays no role in “Key Change,” a moving, intimate and superbly acted drama about women’s lives in (and out of, and in again) a British prison. Written by Catrina McHugh and directed by Laura Lindow, the play was “devised with” women from an actual prison, drawing specifically on their experiences both before and during incarceration. The production, which opened on Wednesday at the Fourth Street Theater, having won acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, is aptly spare and simple, running just under an hour. The actors use rolls of masking tape, which they affix to the empty stage floor — and occasionally modify — to delineate their cells and other fixtures of the prison.