Review Roundup: Read the Reviews For New York Theatre Workshop's SLAVE PLAY
New York Theatre Workshop presents the world premiere of Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris (Daddy, Zola), directed by two-time Obie Award winner Robert O'Hara(Bootycandy), which will now play additional performances through Sunday January 13, 2019. Slave Play began previews on Monday, November 19, 2018 and opened last night, Sunday, December 9 at New York Theatre Workshop (79 E. 4th Street New York, NY 10003).
The cast for Slave Play features Ato Blankson-Wood (Hair), James Cusati-Moyer (Six Degrees of Separation), Sullivan Jones ("The Looming Tower"), Chalia La Tour (The Review or How to Eat Your Competition), Irene Sofia Lucio (Love and Information), Annie McNamara (Everyone's Fine with Virginia Woolf), Paul Alexander Nolan (Escape to Margaritaville) & Teyonah Parris (If Beale Street Could Talk).
Let's see what the critics are saying...
Jesse Green, The New York Times: "Slave Play" is extreme, both in the way it poses that question through sex and in posing the question at all. It asks a lot of its superior cast, whose portrayal of arousal and fury and shame feels terrifyingly real even within a very artificial reality. The designers - Clint Ramos (scenery), Dede Ayite (costumes), Jiyoun Chang (lighting) and Lindsay Jones (sound) - create that artificial world with great theatrical wit and intelligence. The intimacy director, Claire Warden, has been kept very busy.
Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast: Slave Play is an explosive, raw, and very funny piece of theater about race, sex, and power, as all are acted out on the black body and consciousness. Without revealing the play's big twist, it is almost impossible to convey the panoply of its rich components. You may even gasp with the recognition and revelation audible among the audience the night I went.
Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter: The staging by Robert O'Hara, who has dealt with similarly provocative themes with his own plays, including Bootycandy and Barbecue, fully exploits the evening's incendiary elements. The versatile ensemble displays absolute fearlessness with their first-rate performances. And the design elements, including Dede Aylte's period and non-period costumes and Clint Ramos' set, featuring large mirrored panels reflecting both the audience and a painting of the plantation located at the rear of the theater, serve the work perfectly.
Thom Geier, The Wrap: "Slave Play" can be saggy; each of the three acts would benefit from some trimming. And the third act, which reunites one of the couples in an encounter that is both intimate and humiliatingly raw, seems more designed to shock than illuminate.