Building the Wall
Closed 1h 30m
Building the Wall
77

Building the Wall NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(133 Ratings)
Positive
81%
Mixed
17%
Negative
2%
Members say
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Intense

About the Show

New World Stages presents Pulitzer Prize winner Robert Schenkkan's new play set in a not-too-distant future when Trump's administration has carried out his campaign promise to round up and detain millions of immigrants.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (133)

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62 Reviews | 8 Followers
100
Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if You want to explore your own feelings about human responsibility in relation to authority. You want to be motivated to keep resisting abuse.

Don't see it if You don't want to test the limits of your compassion for humankind, Read more

444 Reviews | 79 Followers
96
Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You worry about where DT's executive actions are taking the country and their unintended consequences.

Don't see it if You think Trump is doing a good job. Read more

516 Reviews | 97 Followers
95
Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, A piece of work that deserves a wider audience to come experience this "tour de force" theatrical event!!!

See it if you are looking for a theater experience that will have you talking about it LONG AFTER you leave the theater that evening and weeks later!!

Don't see it if you are not interested in having a mind blowing experience in the theater. Read more

146 Reviews | 34 Followers
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Intense

See it if - You like plays which describe how a dystopian environment could develop if potential events are taken to their illogical conclusion

Don't see it if You believe dystopian or dysfunctional regimes are not possible future scenarios. You believe history can't repeat itself ... in some form

535 Reviews | 155 Followers
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Riveting

See it if Politically themed drama that packs a serious punch is your thing. You are appalled by the road our country has been put on by Trump !

Don't see it if You like Trump because this powerfully written drama whose theme is an imagined horrendous result of his immigration policy is hard to watch

144 Reviews | 110 Followers
90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant

See it if This is a riviting play about the privatizing of our prison system that turns in to a holacost exicution camp. Fantastic acting

Don't see it if If you voted for Trump Read more

207 Reviews | 29 Followers
90
Resonant, Intelligent, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You would like to see where a dystopian, right wing, anti-immigrant agenda might lead. Great acting, stunning conclusion.

Don't see it if You believe all is well in the world and that seemingly 'right' policies cannot go awfully wrong.

318 Reviews | 61 Followers
87
Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like 2-character plays about intense, relevant social issues. There's cussing. Minimal set. Prejudice issues. Political rhetoric & anger

Don't see it if Dislike all of the above... It's not anti-any-one-particular-candidate... 85-minutes... Of intensity... Great acting! See it. It won't hurt.

Critic Reviews (31)

The New York Times
May 24th, 2017

“Slick and dispiriting…The dialogue, and even the thinness of the characters, are not the core problems here. Both are, in any case, mitigated by the director Edelson’s production, which is expertly paced, beautifully lit and perfectly cast…‘Building the Wall’ might as well be called ‘Building the Shelving Unit,’ for all the tension it produces...There is no complexity...‘Building the Wall’ is too becalmed to be agitprop. It’s just propaganda—by which I mean that it soothes instead of arouses.”
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Time Out New York
May 26th, 2017

"The rough first draft of a journalistic play...A sloppy soup of factoids, clichés and dire portent, the show may elicit standing ovations from those who already share its fears, but they’re only standing in place...Exposition doesn’t come much balder than it does here...The characters and the history they lay out in retrospect are generic and implausible...The subject requires more than propagandistic alarm. It’s too easy to be incendiary when what you’re burning is a straw man."
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The Wall Street Journal
May 25th, 2017

"Politics makes artists stupid...'Building the Wall' is the dumbest play I’ve ever reviewed...There is nothing remotely subtle or intelligent about 'Building the Wall,' which is both dramaturgically inept and simple-minded well past the point of unintended comedy...Mr. Dale is unexpectedly plausible as Rick. Not so Ms. Tunie, who is stiff and self-righteous, though I doubt that’s her fault, since Mr. Schenkkan wrote her part that way. Ari Edelson’s staging is numbingly static."
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New York Daily News
May 24th, 2017

“Written in just a week before the election, the play seeks to push buttons and on that level succeeds. It’s also fast moving and credibly acted. Dale’s performance is strong and believable. Tunie's take on an academic could use a bit of fine-tuning. Dramatically, it’s a mostly static hour and a half…And details nag…Despite weaknesses, the play has an ace up its sleeve — and it saves it for last.”
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Variety
May 24th, 2017

“A powerful dystopian drama…The work is sure to provoke shock, awe and much talk…A hot-off-the-laptop scorcher of a play…The play’s schematic structure has overly familiar elements of conversational confrontations…But it’s gripping storytelling, and powerful performances trump any sense of an overworked template. Under director Ari Edelson’s well-measured direction, Tunie is cool and focused…Dale is riveting as Rick.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
May 24th, 2017

“A solid reminder of how quickly and effectively theater can respond to what’s going on in the world…‘Building the Wall’ contains passionate anger and urgency and, despite the occasional didactic exchange in which the characters all too obviously serve as mouthpieces for political arguments, it’s extremely well written…Despite its predictable aspects, the play still emerges as powerful political theater. It never feels static, thanks to Edelson’s taut staging and the gripping performances.”
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AM New York
May 24th, 2017

“An absorbing and unapologetically disturbing drama…An intimate and tight staging directed by Ari Edelson…With dystopian thrillers now in vogue, ‘Building the Wall’ gives yet another perspective on how ordinary individuals can be swept up by history, either willingly or unwittingly. In writing ‘Building the Wall’ and getting it produced so quickly, Schenkkan has initiated a conversation about where the country is heading.”
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Theatermania
May 24th, 2017

"Rather than helping us better understand and resist the Trump administration, ‘Building the Wall’ merely reinforces what we already know…It's a lot of tell, with very little to show. You may find yout mind wandering from this somewhat dull staged conversation…Dale does a fine job coloring Schenkkan's sketch of a Texan good old boy…Tunie is also believably human…A C-minus stab at dystopian fiction from a politically engaged playwright still burning with anger and confusion."
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