Click on a title below to read excerpts from reviews:

The Gene Pool
Morticians in Love
Steak! (musical)
Sweet Land of Liberty
Three More Sisters (one-act)
Do Not Use if Seal is Broken
A Tiny Carol (short Christmas play)

The Gene Pool

the gene pool
In photo: (from left) Kimberly Schraf, Jeff Lofton, Jennifer Mendenhall

"The play is extremely likable and funny, and the production, directed by Lee Mikeska Gardner, is delightful. Stewart-Brown writes frank, funny dialogue about sex, and she can structure a comedy, too---the action practically skips along." — Lloyd Rose, The Washington Post

"Stewart-Brown isn't subverting domestic comedy in the genial Gene Pool so much as she is co-opting it: The usual gender dynamics have been altered, but in every other respect this is as charming a family comedy as you are likely to see....its cockeyed take on the conventional family structure is deftly written. It is amusing and honest enough to keep you with it all the way to the end, when you learn that everyone in this tale, at bottom, is a good guy." — Nelson Pressley, The Washington Times

"Christi Stewart-Brown's The Gene Pool has nailed the humor and poignancy of real-life family values---with a play, ironically enough, about a lesbian couple and their hormonally driven teenage son. Weaving some wicked spell, Stewart-Brown, director Lee Mikeska Gardner, and the talented cast have created a thoroughly entrancing evening. Stewart-Brown has crafted a realistic farce so quick-paced and funny, it's sad to see it end." — Dan Avery, Metro Weekly

"It's a delightful, well-crafted comedy that swims in potentially dangerous waters without being pulled down in the eddys of taking itself too seriously or of being too silly. This is unrepentant comedy, but not at the expense of fully developing its characters; it sacrifices neither its sincerity nor its 'heart'." — Les Gutman, Curtain Up

"Christi Stewart-Brown's The Gene Pool may be the best sitcom ever written...the audience response on the evening I attended would have put a laugh track to shame. But that's what makes this show more genuinely radical than any in-your-face polemic." — The Baltimore Alternative

Morticians in Love

morticians in love
In photo: Bernadette Flagler (left) and Carol Monda

"In the midst of death, there is life and love—sacred, profane, unrequited and almost always dysfunctional—in Christi Stewart-Brown's very black, five-character comedy (counting two corpses). Scarcely fare for the squeamish, with its excursions into heterosexual and homosexual couplings among the living and dead, the play, directed by Jennifer Mendenhall, nonetheless comes off as a caustic, funny, sharp-eyed and skillfully performed autopsy on the difficulties of love...Morticians in Love may be morbid, but it has a heart." — Lawrence van Gelder, The New York Times

"...a morbid, pervy, and very funny farce...Sure, it's strange, but strangely touching too." — Joe Brown, The Washington Post

"What relationship is more tender and romantic than the one between a shy, sensitive female mortuary owner and a handsome, buffed, naked corpse? Christi Stewart-Brown's charmingly morbid comedy is so cheerful and upbeat, you'll hardly believe that you're watching a play about bisexual necrophilia."
Paul Birchall, Back Stage West

"I would like to add two names to my (rather short) list of favorite people. One is Christi Stewart-Brown, an East Coast playwright whose works include Three More Sisters, Steak! The Musical, Do Not Use If Seal is Broken, and now Morticians in Love. She should make it on the strength of the names of her plays—the fact that she's a brilliant wordsmith only solidifies her place there...
Morticians is a simple enough idea: the tender story of first love between two devout necrophiliacs. Now, the idea itself gets a laugh, but what's a pleasure is that Stewart-Brown follows through and creates characters, dialogue, and stagings that are a real joy to watch. It's so depressing to see ingenious ideas or plots wasted by paper-thin characters, or to watch great characters ruined by dumb dialogue. Morticians scores on all counts, following up a great idea with solid writing." — Matthew Richter, The Stranger (Seattle)


steak! the musical
In photo: (from left) Kelli Cruz, Nanna Ingvarsson, Pat Dade, Jennifer Gerdts, Deb Gottesman

"Steak! sounds as if it would be a PC nightmare with its tale of vegetarian cowgals vs. manly meat-eating cowguys. Instead it's lyrical and odd, a long shaggy-dog story of a show in which the laughs come in unexpected places. As if in a Shakespearean comedy, the characters wander in a wilderness and have adventures in mistaken identity before each ends up with his or her own true love...irresistibly playful and goofy...

Maddox's songs are sweet-tuned and lively, and occasionally—as with "Learnin' to Sleep," a duet between Austin and Betty-Bob—quite beautiful... It's a curiosity, one of a kind, its own peculiar and pleasant thing." — Lloyd Rose, The Washington Post

"Christi Stewart-Brown and Elizabeth Pringle's tongue-in-cheek musical subverts nearly a century of genre images that celebrate the brave, singular lives of cowboys. Like a drag show on the Chisholm Trail, Steak! is full of enough sexy anachronisms and gender-specific humor to make a madam blush. Steak! takes dead aim at the romantic vision of the American West, but it doesn't do so without kindness." — Megan Halverson, Houston Press

Sweet Land of Liberty

sweet land of liberty
In photo: David Wiater (left) and Gavin Derek

"...a raw, funny, frightening four-hander..." — Joyce McMillan, The Guardian

"...a brilliant piece of craftsmanship, devastatingly acted, striking a blow for what has been dwindling in Western countries—personal freedom." — Bonnie Lee, The Scotsman

"Stewart-Brown is not interested in portraying just repressive right-wing attitudes or the excesses to which power can lead even conscientious individuals. Her play also tries to deal with the extremes to which both good and bad people can go when pushed too hard. Unlike many patently propagandistic plays, there are few absolutes here. The Gays have flaws and the young warden has a residual conscience and some charm. Stewart-Brown's points are not presented in a sanctimoniously serious way. There is so much humor in the piece, in fact, that the first hour could be classified as a comedy." — Noel Gillespie, The Washington Blade

Three More Sisters

three more sisters
In photo: (from left) Anna Belknap, Elizabeth Pringle, Jennifer Gerdts

"Jet-powered by Stewart-Brown's sturdy script, a strong cast and excellent direction, Three More Sisters spins out a volatile yarn of sibling rivalry throughout the ages. Brown's work puts the classics and pop culture on a collision course with one another by way of what can only be described as literary sampling." — Matthew Cibellis, The Washington Blade

"While it might be politically correct to classify Three More Sisters as a "women's drama," let's just call it great fun. This sixty-minute comedy-drama will appeal not only to sisters but to anyone who has felt the pains of sibling rivalry, including those who have escaped into adulthood. Three More Sisters is a romp through the stages of sisterhood and a real showcase for three versatile actresses. As a bonus, Sisters will introduce young performers and their audiences to a number of theatrical allusions—from Shakespeare to The Brady Bunch. It's quite a stretch, but it works...

This is a demanding play, calling for a great variety of dialects and emotions. But, as I mentioned earlier, Three More Sisters features three gem roles for women." — Dan Blegen, Dramatics Magazine

Do Not Use if Seal is Broken

do not use if seal is broken
In photo: Gavin Derek and Delia Taylor

"Sex is the driving force in Christi Stewart-Brown's terrorism/amnesia comedy, but don't be surprised if you find yourself laughing mostly about Cheetos and peanut butter. Carnality-through-junk-food is the show's operating metaphor." — Bob Mondello, Washington City Paper

LOUNGERS (film version):

"...a Fassbinderish grotesquerie." — Barry Yourgrau, SPIN Magazine

A Tiny Carol
(short Christmas play)

"'Round Yon Virgin, the Actors' Theatre of Washington's quartet of Christmas playlets now running at the Church Street Theater, has some clever moments. The sketch form is difficult, as hundreds of lousy "Saturday Night Lives" have shown us, and it's no surprise that not everything in the evening comes off.

But A Tiny Carol, by Christi Stewart-Brown, who is usually found making mischief for Consenting Adults Theatre, has a real charm. Tim Carlin winningly plays the adult Tiny Tim, out on the snowy streets on Christmas Eve, using his lameness as a way to shame passers-by into giving him money. Tim's not a bad sort, really, he just had a weird childhood, what with all those stories about ghosts of Christmases-this-and-that. This particular Christmas Eve, he meets a being who refers to herself as "the ghost of Christmas Always," none other than the shade of the Virgin Mary, accompanied by Joseph, who returns to earth each year... You get the idea. Brown has a nice sense of shaggy-dog humor and "A Tiny Carol" is pleasantly quirky—as when Mary squints suspiciously at Tim after he tells her he nearly died as a child and snaps, "One doesn't die from lameness!"" — Lloyd Rose, The Washington Post

"In A Tiny Carol, Dickens' Tim is all grown up and panhandling on Christmas Eve. A swig of whiskey and a "God bless us everyone" brings none other than Mary and Joseph onto the scene, looking for an inn.

The question is, why aren't Mary and Joseph in Heaven? The answer is pretty irreverent, but Ms. Brown, as she showed in previous works such as Morticians in Love and the musical Steak! has the ability to be iconoclastic and kinda sweet at the same time." — Nelson Pressley, The Washington Times