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A Soldier's Play

Members say: Edgy, Intense, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant
84
Critics
82
6 reviews
Members
91
3 reviews
 

Negro Ensemble Company's 50th anniversary season culminates with Charles Fuller's 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama set at a segregated Louisiana Army base during World War II.

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A black Captain is sent to investigate the murder of a black Sergeant. At first it seems he was killed by the local KKK. But when the true murderers are discovered, surprising and unsettling divisions among the black troops are revealed. Evocative of Herman Melville's "Billy Budd," the play uses a murder mystery to expose African-American anger and resentment that curiously mimic white racist attitudes. 

 

Cast & Creatives (19)


Reviews (9)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
82
Avg Score

70
Front Row Center

"An uneven revival...The mood of this production is more melancholy and ghostly than urgent and vigorous…Tucker turns in a fine performance as the troubled Waters…Reuben has a handful of nice, subtle moments as Davenport, but saddled with the job of endless questioning and busy with way too much scribbling in his notebook, we rarely feel for him…Director Weldon finds the right theatricality...The barely there set is evidence of a nonprofit theater company in need of donations.” Full Review

95
TheaterScene.net

"Gripping, and powerfully performed, this is a superb revival...Mr. Fuller weaves a highly suspenseful and racially charged murder mystery that justifiably was showered with theatrical accolades...Tucker’s towering performance as Waters is the muscle of this successful production...Weldon’s physical staging inventively, precisely, and aesthetically utilizes the large stage to faithfully realize the material...'A Soldier's Play' is a modern classic that has been flawlessly mounted." Full Review

80
New York Theatre Wire

“The heavy lifting here is done by an excellent cast, with actors doing double duty as both members of the ensemble and featured characters…At a time when the President of the United States can defend the white nationalists protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by saying they included ‘some very fine people,’ we need ‘A Soldier’s Play’ more than ever.” Full Review

75
Village Voice

“The sketchy scenery and wardrobe for director Charles Weldon’s rough-around-the-edges production makes plain the NEC’s shoestring budget. Fortunately, Fuller’s sharply written text, which is partly a detective story and partly a study in racism of different varieties, remains so compelling that these sparse visuals and some not-altogether-proficient acting by a twelve-member company scarcely diminish its power to engage an audience.” Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

"The production is done well, and the story is evocative with complex themes and characters...The actors are incredible. Their articulated 'Army' movement of the characters is theatrically compelling...Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this play is its relevance to our current sociopolitical climate...This masterful and stimulating play is a must-see." Full Review

80
Theatre Chit-Chat

“The whole cast does an outstanding job. Jimmy Gary Jr. touches your heart strings in one scene when he is put in prison. Chaz Reuben shines in his role especially as the narrator. Gil Tucker is so convincing in the role you want to smack him in the face for being so nasty and righteous. The play is worth seeing. It still has something to say. Go see it to find out. I felt the second act had more impact and fire on the audience.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
91
Avg Score

92
Absorbing, Intense, Relevant, Riveting, Great staging

See it if you're looking for a classic drama that still resonates today. You want a great performance from an ensemble cast.

Don't see it if the issues of racism and segregation greatly disturb you.

89
Edgy, Great acting, Indulgent, Insipid, Great singing

See it if History

Don't see it if You don't like crying

92
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Great writing

See it if You enjoy a well acted play with a lot of mystery surrounding the plot. A true classic that deserves revisiting.

Don't see it if If you expect to see a typical mystery.