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Select Theatre Reviews


[lungs / bolt cutter productions / HATBOX THEATRE, CONCORD NH]

"Ashley Risteen was instantly lovable, and would easily have stolen scenes if the duo weren’t as good as they are and if there were more than one scene. She is a tornado on the stage, always speaking and moving, but without losing clarity or purpose. Every moment is motivated. She speaks a word then casts it down with her hand or props it up standing on her tiptoes... she’s kind of like a living subtitle, which is a real joy. It would be easy to read this character as a manic-pixie-dreamgirl type... instead, the mania is anxiety, outward and inward, and... when anxiety meets reality, Ashley collapses the character like a dying star." FB Review

[a thousand clowns / dogo productions / players' ring of portsmouth nh]

"Ashley Risteen as Sandra from child welfare is in some ways a broader character - younger, unsure, sincere, and high strung - who eventually proves insightful. Risteen moves smoothly through Sandra’s chockablock potpourri of emotions without needless garnish for a smooth, authentic performance." Seacoast Online


"Risteen has the opportunity to show a range of emotions and reactions, and she does not disappoint. In the one scene in which she appears au naturel, she does so unflinchingly, commanding our attention to the point that Kate is making, rather than to be distracted by her state of undress. No pun intended, but her performance, especially in that moment, is a revelation that showcases Risteen's artistic growth." Broadway World

"The play is a tour de force for actress Ashley Risteen, who has succeeded in a wide variety of roles in recent years, and here she gives a brave, bold performance as an actress who must weigh her career goals against the question of whether she should have to shed her clothing to achieve those goals." On Boston Stages

"Ashley Risteen triumphantly presents a character who finds satisfaction and courage in theater, even if that means a terrible vulnerability." New England Theatre Geek



"Risteen strikes a precise, correct balance between Susie’s misdirected anger and her youthful, easily exploitable incomprehension." WBUR The ARTery

“Risteen makes Susie's reactions to her situation and her transformation authentic, especially challenging because there are many flashbacks in the narrative, and she conveys the sense of being both lost and found in her online chats with the terrorist... In the scenes with her father Alan, she shows the internal struggle between trying to convince him that she is old enough to make her own choices and wanting him to protect her as his little girl." Broadway World

"As Susie, Risteen gives the best performance to date of the half dozen productions that this reviewer has witnessed... combining a childish naiveté that one would expect from a teenager with the character’s surprisingly mature spiritual transformation." The Theater Mirror

"Risteen’s performance artfully highlights the complexity of Susie’s character, showing her to be both the “broken little girl” and “angry young woman” that the prosecution casts her as." New England Theatre Geek

[APPROPRIATE / SPEAKEASY STAGE / roberts theatre at the bca]

“Risteen turned what could have been a stock character (the classic outsider in the American family drama) into a dynamic one, an observer not above speaking her own mind when things begin to spiral out of control.” My Entertainment World

“Risteen, as Franz's young, New Age girlfriend River, brings a grounded comedic energy to the role. Her presence is a light...” Boston Events Insider

[THE BIG MEAL / ZEITGEIST STAGE CO. / plaza black box at the bca]

“Risteen takes top honors for differentiating the five women she portrays, with honorable mention for steadily sashaying around in stiletto heels.” Broadway World


“Risteen [delivers a] convincing and understated performance that adds to the naturalistic tone.” Theater Mania

[CAKEWALK / ZEITGEIST STAGE CO. / plaza black box at the bca]

“Ashley Risteen is a force to be reckoned with. She gives us great physical comedy. She’s downright hilarious in her one-liners.” New England Theatre Geek

[6 HOTELS / HUB THEATRE CO. / club cafe, boston]


“Risteen is utterly believable as both a Palestinian killer and a Brooklyn gal trying to do a Boston accent- about as wide a stretch as any actress may have ever been asked to make.” Hub Review


“Risteen steals the show. Her bit as an inexperienced actress tap dancing her heart out at an audition truly shows her versatility. Peering out into the darkness to address the man judging her limited talents, Risteen makes us laugh and root for her winning, sympathetic character at the same time.” Broadway World


“Risteen is sensational… She plays the role expertly with comedic insight and at the same time tap dances that raises applause from an appreciative audience. This is Risteen’s opportunity to shine and she does.” Boston Area Small Press and Poetry Scene

[GHOSTS OF OCEAN HOUSE / the players' ring]

“Risteen, indeed, keeps things interesting throughout with the reflexes of a racecar driver, as she negotiates Darlene’s high ditziness and her subtler awareness, as she swerves between chaste kittenishness, specter-induced hysteria, and rage.” The Phoenix



“Ashley Risteen is apt at moving through emotions and, in her case, personalities. Risteen morphs between the multiple roles Wren claims to "perform"... She's impatient and cruel, and believably tender and loving.” Seacoast Online

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