Two women are chained by their necks in a desolate room. One of them has recently been savagely beaten. Who are they, and why are suffering? Jane Shepard's taut drama Nine doesn't answer those questions, because they don't matter within the context of the women's lives at this moment. What matters is that neither must succumb to despair, because what will happen to the other woman if that occurs? Each woman needs the other to keep sane, to have a friend in this lonely, hellish place. Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble opens its new season with Nine at 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, and at 8 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday (August 21 through 31) at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive; 314-827-5760 or www.slightlyoff.org). Hannah Fischer's Sketch, a new dance piece that explores the idea of fragmentation, is performed with Nine. Tickets are $15 to $20.
Wednesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 21. Continues through Aug. 31, 2013