Headline: Solo show: singular achievement  

"An externally provocative telling of a person's internally destructive battle. …Rainer's portrayal projects warmth and wit even as it shows Sofie in a serious, if self-made, predicament. [The] script is filled with self-referential, self-deprecating jokes that initially disguise the depth of Sofie's problems but ultimately reveal the depth of Rainer's playwriting abilities. …Rainer places strategic chinks in Sonya's armor that are actually echoes of Sofie's real life, which helps create a wonderfully complicated relationship between the two women that is both poetic and pathetic. [She] infuses the space with detail even though the only tangible prop in the play is a stack of her Russian literature books. …Rainer ultimately demonstrates the price incurred when one's true identity, however flawed, is stifled in favor of a more acceptable one." – The Boston Globe


―Gifted...very exciting...I recommend her highly – Wendy Wasserstein


― intricate, so intense, so intimate. – Garrison Keillor


―[FIVE STARS] Faultless. Powerful. Amazing.  Everyone should see this one woman show.–


―Strictly terrific, darlin’! – Paul Sills


―The audience fell out of their chairs with laughter! – Rzeczpospolita (Warsaw, Poland)


―A sharp, funny and fresh piece, touchingly acted and beautifully written. Unmissable. – The Guardian UK


―Enchanting to watch...Her wit and intelligence saturate her writing...ingenious.–


―Fast moving and thoroughly entertaining. Rainer brings…vitality and inventiveness to her portrayal, finding all the humor and unforced pathos.– Theater Guide London


―[FOUR STARS] Sexy and Powerful. Seductive. Marta Rainer is versatile and gifted. Monologues are relayed with panache and an urgency that commands absolute attention...Remains in the mind after the final black-out.– The Scotsman


―Impresses the audience not only with her obvious erudition,but also with her humor, versatility and heart–


―You‘re in the hands of a highly skilled solo performer. She captures the heart and inner core of her characters. Bursting with life, Unaccustomed…is one of the best solo shows to come to greater Boston.

– MetroWest Daily News


―[FOUR STARS] The writing is great—very funny and immediately endearing, tinged with a delicious self-regarding bathos.  Fun from beginning to end. – Three Weeks (Edinburgh)


―Like watching Babe Ruth as a rookie...her skills go far beyond her age.– The Daily News (Batavia, NY)


―Brilliant. Hilarious. Insightful. Perfectly comedic one moment and painfully vulnerable the next.– Boston Herald, North Shore Sunday


―A giddy encapsulation of what it's like to be a young woman, intellectual, intercultural, and in possession of a soul.  A poignant, frequently side-splitting evening of theater that transports us heart-first to the joy and fear of diving into adulthood brain-first.– Thomas P. Hodge, Professor of Russian, Wellesley College




Headline: Wildly laughing at Marta

―New Jersey has a new star. Her name is Marta Rainer, and she‘s the reason to see ‗Laughing Wild‘ at the Garage Theatre Group. [Once] the trim young lass storms out on stage [on] and on she goes, and where she‘s going to stop, nobody knows. She…kicks a leg in disgust and plows on with one outrageous opinion after the other, immeasurably helped by her brown eyes, which seem as big as Reese‘s Peanut Butter Cups. The miracle of it all is that we never tire of her.Oh, that Marta Rainer – a tough act to follow.– Newark Star-Ledger


―In a performance that is nothing short of brilliant, Marta Rainer skips along the scrambled circuits of this woman's psyche with wit, charm and a personal honesty that even in her most terrifying and hostile moments, never loses the audience's empathy. The gifted actress also possesses an easy flowing, precise mime-like dexterity, that fills the empty stage with an imaginary world of people, places and things."- The Suburbanite 




Headline: Well-acted ‘Rabbit’ is first rate

―You know quality when you see it. Marta Rainer stands out as the utterly natural Izzy, unafraid to be unpleasing. – Richmond Times-Dispatch


―One truly bright spot in the play is Marta Rainer’s performance as Izzy, the ne’er do well sister who finds herself pregnant and tries to pull her life together in order to be a good mother. Rainer…is definitely an actress to watch out for. – NPR (“At the Theatre”, WCVE)


―Marta Rainer absolutely blew me away in Rabbit Hole and I’ve been wooing her for Barksdale ever since. – The Barksdale Buzz (Bruce Miller, Artistic Director Emeritus, Virginia Repertory Theatre (formerly Barksdale))


―Rainer is outstanding as Izzy. She brings a tenderness to this wild character while consuming remarkable amounts of sweets onstage. –Style Weekly



― Participating with relish are three ingratiating actors…compatriots in geekery. Whimsy punctuates their quest to (to use a refrain) “restart” their lives, directed at a breathless tempo. …Cheerful, quirky score…Pixelated charm - NY Times 


Approval Matrix (brilliant and lowbrow quadrant): re-creates the sensation of getting drunk in front of late night Adult Swim cartoons– New York Magazine 


― “Joyous Video-game Shtick” done with antic wit - NY Post 


― An energetic mash-up of hip-hop, video-game geekery and self-exploration - TimeOut NY


―Editor Pick: “They celebrate the nerdiness that lurks” - Flavorpill 


―Editor’s Pick: “Explores community and identity while its protagonists try to defeat the kickball monsters” - L Magazine


―What would happen if the coolest nerds you know were to make a rap musical about the daily grind? The result would certainly be the thoroughly entertaining and sharply intelligent You Are In An Open Field. …A whimsically animated journey…filled with witty allusions to everything from video games to theatre history to science. …The infectious charm of the performers is a joy to watch, and their energy makes this show a non-stop adventure. …[ Equal parts intelligent, funny, and exciting,]  Y.A.I.A.O.F. is the kind of theatre that inspires me to think about the future of this art form. –


―Plenty of energy, ideas and talent abound in this romp…Cunning…The cast delivers the songs with gusto and perform their scenes with zeal.  –


―Devoted to exploration, unearthing treasure, and learning more than you expect about the weird and wonderful world you inhabit.  …There’s wit and unpredictability here, and the actors sell it well.  A pizza box breastplate for Rainer captures the proper immature sparkle. –


―An existential journey, but life’s quandary keeps an optimistic bend.  Fun is at the heart, and Rainer, Smith and Free are consummate tourguides.  Freestyle battle is downright impressive.  Undeniably entertaining.


Showcased in Zack Calhoun's People You Should Know




―The stand out in this production is Marta Rainer who turns in a solid, honest portrayal of a mother who is desperately trying to keep her faith and her strength in tact. Rainer’s acting is so genuine that she dissolves the line between actor and character. – NPR (“At the Theatre”, WCVE)


―There are some fine performances, especially…Marta Rainer as Ma Joad.  Rainer, who seems too young to be Carlson's mother, is nevertheless so constant in her will to keep going, so warm and loving, that she is ultimately convincing. – Richmond Times-Dispatch


―Marta Rainer is as much the centerpiece of the cast as her character, Ma Joad, is the center of the family.   – Style Weekly




―A modest, worthwhile film that announces the arrival of some promising talent. I climbed into "Radio Cape Cod" like it was a warm bath and climbed out clean and refreshed. …Screenwriter Marta Rainer's dialogue deftly dodges clichés while allowing the emotions at the core of the story to shine through. The film's greatest accomplishment is sidestepping the "relationship-argument-reconciliation-status quo" formula that plagues so many films of its kind. For that nugget of satisfying ambiguity, I'll gladly spend seventy minutes on "Radio Cape Cod." –


― [Sweet at its core,] "Radio Cape Cod" is a soundly executed film that will tickle die-hard romantics.  Boston-based director and producer Andrew Silver brought together a crop of British and Massachusetts actors for writer Marta Rainer's transcendental take on the age-old arguments for and against love. – Boston Herald


―This will come as a shock to megaplex mavens of ignoramus comedy, but smart is sexy. Producer-director Andrew Silver and writer Marta Rainer have crafted a – sadly – unique movie that makes maturity the proper definition of "adult" entertainment. …In a nice twist, the [performance workshop] teacher is played by screenwriter Rainer. The class serves as a mobile Greek chorus that provides chapter headings for her themes of attraction, struggle, and resolution. – The Barnstable Patriot


―Enriching, methodical and visually arresting, Radio Cape Cod is an unconventional narrative in that it correlates its amorous themes with the nuances of nature and scientific curiosities.  Emphatically, screenwriter/co-star Marta Rainer oversees a disciplined and involving script that is drenched in genuine sentimentality and intelligence. …The articulate dialogue, deliciously underplayed acting and highlighted harmony of this independent film screams volumes of notable filmmaking at its ambitious realm. –




―Like an entire Fringe Festival condensed into one show… it is the ideal entertainment for an audience with eclectic taste and a rapidly shrinking attention span.—New York Times


―A rejuvenating exploration of the human condition—Washington Square News


―Like the glory days of Saturday Night Live, Too Much Light is not just funny but faintly surreal.–Back Stage 


―What separates Too Much Light from sketch comedy or improv is its deliberately eclectic approach to form. The show I saw included the genres of musical, confession, agit-prop, poetic gesture, physical comedy, puppet theater, audience interrogation, folk song, sex joke, something that can only be described as "dance-walking," mime, and many others.—


―A group of actors who attempt to perform 30 original plays in 60 minutes—an athletic endeavor to be sure, and one which viscerally exploits the connection between performer and spectator for maximum ka-pow.—


Want to experience a bit of what those legendary theater towns Chicago and New York probably take for granted? [While] it's nice to contemplate having our own cadre of Neo-Futurists to boast in the future, catching long-time Neo veterans such as John Pierson, Marta Rainer, and Cecil Baldwin now is a real treat.  --San Francisco Bay Chronicle



―Memory plays require a dreamy atmosphere delicately blended with a few sharply defined details. The Wellesley Summer Theatre Company’s lovely production of “Dancing at Lughnasa” reaches that threshold and surpasses it, with an ensemble that embodies all of playwright Brian Friel’s tenderness for his fragile characters. ...Witnesses to Michael’s bittersweet recollection, we share in that exhilaration and are reminded to treasure those moments, no matter how fleeting they may be. –The Boston Globe CRITIC’S PICK


―Marta Rainer’s bittersweet DANCING AT LUGHNASA  elegantly captures the deep sadness and fleeting happiness of the Brian Friel masterpiece. I’ve seen funnier versions of the play but none as heartbreaking.– Boston Arts Review



―Headline: “Hysterical Haymaker” – The Wellesley Summer Theatre is just about the only location this spring where HAY FEVER is good for you. – Boston Arts Review



― Director Marta Rainer returns to The Winnipesaukee Playhouse to helm LOST IN YONKERS, and she comes at this project fully equipped to plumb the emotional depths of the piece. Rainer has a firm grasp on the symbiosis between pain and humor, and she tasks her actors to negotiate the uneven ground between both them, looking for ways to come out on the other side of both pain and humor in a way that is fair and true for their characters, and for the audience. And they do, which is greatly to this play's advantage. ...some look to humor to help them get past the darkness. In terms of a coping mechanism, it's certainly as legit as anything else. Neil Simon certainly knew this: so, it seems, does the director of LOST IN YONKERS ---Caught in the Act


―Laughs, sadness, joy, pain, intense drama all come together in this play. It's a great theater experience. ---Bob’s Blog




―Director Marta Rainer’s lovely, heartbreaking production manages to capture the sisters’ palpable desperation and send it directly across the footlights. What at first may seem to be the arch concerns of Chekhov’s privileged characters still resonates today: Is happiness possible? Can we make a difference in the world? Why are people suffering? Is there greater meaning in life? Can we start over again...and when it’s revealed that no one in this play, aristocratic or otherwise, will be happy—not even the school precept who insists he is—we’re left as bereft as the sisters. ...Rainer and company mine the characters’ raw emotions even as they try to control their outward affect. It’s a delicate dance, cleverly mirrored at the start and play’s end in an actual slowly measured, winding circular dance. ...Because they all interact so seamlessly with each other in WST’s compelling production, you hope against hope that one, just one of them will escape with some joy.– Boston Arts Review


― Intimately persuasive...At the outset, the actors enter slowly, rhythmically, hand in hand, bound to one another, moving forward gradually into the scene of the action, while Zena Chatila (Irína), sweetly sings Dink’s Song: If I had wings, fare thee well oh honey, fare thee well. This song of lost love, first recorded as sung by an African-American woman (named Dink) in 1909, is a hypnotic and engaging opening, an interesting application of a traditional American folk song upon a setting involving Russian gentry and soldiers at roughly the same historic time. It works, and serves to introduce the sense of a string of characters deeply bound to one another facing the hopes and losses of love and of the poignant meanings it brings....The great virtue of this lovely, intimate production is that it gives a vivid sense of this knotted working of fate, as though under a magnifying glass, up close. One barely thinks of the actors as upon a stage, more as though one is sitting in the living room amid them, witnessing their hopes and sufferings at arm’s length. – Boston Arts Diary


― The large, focused cast takes Chekhov’s drawing-room drama...and transforms it into a social battleground full of conniving, shifty, pathetic and angry characters. ...The noted poet Osip Mandelstam saw the work and said, “Give the sisters a railway ticket back to Moscow after Act 1 and the play will be over.” This once, Mandelstam’s insights failed him. Chekhov’s play may seem pedestrian on the surface, but talented players can make this deeply troubled network of extended family and friends come to vigorous life. Which is exactly what happens here. Rainer’s direction played a huge part in making this work so well. – The MetroWest Daily News




― Dear Students: I'm writing to urge you to see Hofstra's production of Ibsen's classic, Peer Gynt...This enormous play is currently being given a wonderfully imaginative production ­ one of the best I've seen on the Hofstra campus in a long time. How does a play that was written in the 19th century and so rooted in Nordic folklore (before the playwright took the world by storm with his many social dramas) have connections to our current lives, our politics and our values? You'll have to find that out by going. You should also go to support all the talented work that your own fellow students have contributed to this production, and its elegant use of the Black Box space. My final recommendation for your going is simply this: It's fun! How often can you say that about any play written by this brilliant, flinty­eyed old Norwegian? I look forward to hearing your comments in class. ­ – Erik Brogger, Associate Professor, Department of English; Graduate Director of the MFA program in English and Creative Writing, Hofstra University

― What an incredible production. ...[An] intimate setting for a confluence of talents including the exceptional acting of the students combined with the marvelous set designs, staging and costumes. The unforgettable performances in this exquisite production brought this masterpiece of literature to life. While three hours in length, we were captivated throughout the performance. – Donald M. Schaefer, Eponymous benefactor of the Donald and Joan Schaefer Black Box Theatre, Hofstra University

― [Bursting] at its seams with music, dance, and Ibsen's evocative verse.  Director Marta Rainer has taken Peer Gynt - a piece difficult to stage due to its large scale - and framed it as a story-theatre piece with a strong ensemble cast.  Her direction carries poetic energy of the play's language itself; scenes flow into one another with a dreamlike litheness.   The true star of Peer Gynt is its aforementioned ensemble cast, which dances to the melody of Ibsen's verse... Edvard Grieg's majestic score of incidental music is replaced by the cast's stunning vocal and instrumental performances of folk music, which continuously comment on the unfolding drama.  Moreover, the cast uses evocative, traditional storytelling techniques such as dance and puppetry to tell Peer Gynt's story.  ...Though the play is long...this reviewer left the theater renewed, having shared the triumphs, burdens, sorrows and ultimate salvation of Peer Gynt's Journey. ...A Special production you won't want to miss. – Joseph Mogavero, The Hofstra Critics




"The brilliant cast paraded their way through the performance with gusto and relish. Marta Rainer as Constance is natural and lunatic; easily parsing the often complicated soliloquys that the script demands of her. She gracefully becomes the role in an utterly bulletproof performance. ...Together, the cast entertains stupendously. ...This ensemble will work themselves tirelessly to entertain and their efforts are extremely fruitful. Go if you love Shakespeare; go if you don’t love Shakespeare. Go if you’re trying to figure out what all this “early modern English” stuff actually means; and go if you’re just looking for a good time. Sensing a theme here? Good. Get thee to it!" - The New England Theatre Geek

"A rollicking comedy.  ...Constance, her beauty hidden by dowdy clothes and a lack of confidence, finds herself revered as a seer, an oracle, a visionary, a complicated women of substance..her knowledge of the fictional characters she has studied all of her adult life is admired, and in this atmosphere of awe, her confidence grows.  Played with passion and depth by Marta Rainer, she sees to it that her character believably moves from heartbroken nobody to lauded heroine." - The Swellesley Report

"[Five Stars] Truly an unexpected delight. Marta Rainer was a tour de force... "/  "Marta Rainer, playing Constance Ledbelly, was extraordinary and really carried the show." - Goldstar




― “Amazing! Such magic and heavenliness…Brilliant job…Congratulate them on their powerful production.” –Lauren Gunderson, EMILIE playwright


―”Crackles with electricity…right through the actors and straight into the audience.” – The Swellesley Report


―”I was one of the Albright fellows in attendance. I just wanted to tell you that your performance was absolutely astounding! I've never connected so much with a character and a play before…You had me crying in the last scene- the sense of desperation, tragedy, but overwhelming inspiration struck me so hard. Thank you so much for sharing the story with all of us.”  – Siena Harlin, Fellow in the Albright Institute for Global Affairs


― “Blowing me away with the quality of performances…Molly Parker Myers performs with intelligence, wit and sheer force.” – The Swellesley Report


― [Five Stars] “Acting was top-notch, and play was imaginatively staged.” “…Exceptionally good. I thoroughly enjoyed myself.” “Creative interpretation, flawlessly performed.” “Beautifully acted on every level, harmonious stage setting and lighting, intimate theatre...SIX STARS. Brought to tears and laughter by charming cast. Go see this play!”                  - Goldstar