By the time English playwright Sarah Kane’s last play was produced (4:48 Psychosis), she had hanged herself in a mental institution. That should give you some small idea of the demons that possessed — and obsessed — her. Her scandalous earlier plays, including Blasted (1995), Phaedra’s Love (1996) and Cleansed (1998), are violent, tortured dissections of love gone terribly wrong, as seen through cannibalism, sadism, rape and a blind moral universe.

But her 1998 play Crave is something quite different: It’s lyric, and unfettered to location, character description, or obvious stage directions. Four characters, C, B, A and M (in order of appearance), talk out their passions; whether they speak to each other or themselves depends on how this stream-of-consciousness is staged. With no linear plotline or setting, the free-floating Crave forces the audience to fill in gaps in the story. Director Jason Nodler will no doubt find just the right mix of weirdness and beauty to keep Kane’s fragmented look at relationships immediate and shockingly affecting.

Carolyn Houston Boone, Matt Carter, Greg Dean and Mikelle Johnson flex their acting muscles, stretched taut to the limit. 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Through June 4. DiverseWorks, 1117 East Freeway. For information, call 713-522-2723 or visit Pay-what-you-can.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: May 20. Continues through June 4, 2011

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D.L. Groover has contributed to countless reputable publications including the Houston Press since 2003. His theater criticism has earned him a national award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia (AAN) as well as three statewide Lone Star Press Awards for the same. He's co-author of the irreverent appreciation, Skeletons from the Opera Closet (St. Martin's Press), now in its fourth printing.
Contact: D. L. Groover