Review Roundup: Theresa Rebeck's DIG Opens At Primary Stages

Rebeck’s signature wit, intelligence, and depth bring us a riveting play that asks - can a soul beyond saving be saved?

By: Sep. 20, 2023
Dig Show Information
Get Show Info Info
Get Tickets
Cast
Photos
Videos
Review Roundup: Theresa Rebeck's DIG Opens At Primary Stages

PRIMARY STAGES and 59E59 Theaters present Dig, a new play written and directed by Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck. Read the reviews!

Dig will play a limited run through October 22, 2023. Primary Stages is the Resident Off Broadway Theater Company at 59E59 Theaters.
 
The cast of Dig will include Mary Bacon (Coal Country), Jeffrey Bean (Dublin Carol), Greg Keller (Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven), David Mason (Seared), Triney Sandoval (Bernhardt/Hamlet) and Andrea Syglowski (Halfway Bitches Go Straight to Heaven).
 
Dig will feature scenic design by Christopher & Justin Swader (Modern Swimwear), costume design by Fabian Aguilar (The Moors), lighting design by Mary Ellen Stebbins (Space Dogs), compositions and sound design by Fitz Patton (Bernhardt/Hamlet), intimacy and fight direction by Crista Marie Jackson (Between Riverside and Crazy), and props coordination by Carrie Mossman (New Golden Age). Avery Trunko is the Production Stage Manager and Mary Garrigan is the Assistant Stage Manager. Casting is by Stephanie Klapper Casting.
 
From the author of Downstairs and Bernhardt/Hamlet, Pulitzer Prize finalist Theresa Rebeck returns to Primary Stages with Dig, a new play about courage, redemption, and photosynthesis.
 
In a dying plant shop in a dying neighborhood, Roger receives a visitor from the past: Megan, the neighborhood screw-up, just out of rehab. He wants nothing to do with this disaster. Rebeck’s signature wit, intelligence, and depth bring us a riveting play that asks - can a soul beyond saving be saved?
 
The performance schedule for Dig is as follows: Tuesday – Saturday at 7:00pm and Saturday – Sunday at 2:00pm. Exceptions: there will be no performances on Tuesday October 17 and Friday October 20. Tickets to Dig begin at $25 and are available now at 59e59.org/shows/show-detail/dig.


Jackson McHenry, Vulture: The play continues like that, each new development clangingly obvious on the level of plot and baffling on the level of character. The cast members are generally able in individual scenes—I enjoyed Syglowski’s tangled slinky of nerves early on—but they struggle to make coherent sense of the way Rebeck’s plot forces them to bend in strange directions. Rebeck, who’s directing her own work, isn’t much help on that front. 

Robert Hofler, The Wrap: You may turn green before the new two-act, two-hour play by Theresa Rebeck finally makes its last analogy, this one about abused plants and abusive people. It’s something about being “potted” or “repotted.” Her “Dig” opened Wednesday at 59E59 Theaters and is presented by Primary Stages.

Lane Williamson, The Stage: It is set in a plant shop, yet Theresa Rebeck’s play, which she also directs, is missing the dirt. Its characters are a lonely group, and they have significant struggles to contend with, but there is an artificial cleanliness about the production. It is as if there is a layer of plastic between the audience and the play to keep us from any dramatic spillage. Even as its capable actors push at those limits, the piece isn’t able to break through.

Elysa Gardner, The Sun: The veteran theater and television actor Jeffrey Bean brings a glowing humaneness to this elusive character; his amusing, affecting Roger will pique both your curiosity and your compassion. Andrea Syglowski’s Megan can be as drily funny in some moments as she is heartbreaking in others, and Triney Sandoval manages to lend wit and nuance to the rough-edged, easily flustered Lou.

Steven Suskin, New York Stage Review: Something about Dig reminded me of those well-turned plays of a half century ago, when folks like Paddy Chayefsky, Robert Anderson, and William Gibson prodded mid-century audiences forward. Specifically, Herb Gardner’s A Thousand Clowns, in which a set-in-his-ways curmudgeon is jolted out of complacency by a younger—in age and viewpoint—intruder whom he keeps trying to get rid of but can’t. Think of someone like Jason Robards vs. someone like Barbara Harris or Sandy Dennis.

Sandy MacDonald, New York Stage Review: Prune some of the overgrowth (there, I succumb again), and the plot has plenty of potential, which Rebeck – as both author and director, a questionable hybrid – has failed to bring to fruition. Dig is worth seeing, though, for the tight complexity of Bean’s portrayal and for Syglowski’s willingness to go all in. Also, the humus-y aroma exuded by the plant-packed set (design by Christopher Swader and Justin Swader) smells divine and is surely salubrious.




Videos