Already closed | Gramercy

Dana H.

From 81 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Riveting, Thought-provoking

About the show

In this harrowing true story, Dana, a chaplain of a psych ward, is held captive with her life in a patient's hands for five months. Told in Dana's own words and reconstructed for the stage by her son, Lucas Hnath. More…

From the show:

Dana was a chaplain of a psych ward where she met a charismatic patient, an ex-convict searching for redemption. A harrowing true story, Dana was held captive with her life in this man’s hands — trapped in a series of Florida motels, disoriented and terrified — for five months. Told in Dana's own words and reconstructed for the stage by her son Lucas Hnath (A DOLL'S HOUSE PART 2, THE CHRISTIANS), “one of the freshest playwriting voices to emerge in the past five years” (The New York Times), this innovative work shatters the boundaries of the art form and our understanding of good and evil.

Member Reviews (81)


Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Riveting, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Riveting, Intense, Edgy, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy dark or intense stories. I was riveting start to finish. O'Connell is incredible.

Don't see it if You prefer something light or fluffy.

Profound, Thought-provoking, Terrifying, Edgy, Riveting

See it if Health worker is kidnapped and forced into a brutal underworld. Seemingly incredulous, but true. Superb acting & production.

Don't see it if You don't want to listen to her harrowing ordeal. She inhabits eerily parallel worlds, including straight & criminal; living & dead.

Also Human nature is to forget the pain. She took a year to write down the ... Read more Read less

Intense, Great acting, Must see, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if u want to witness a brilliantly understated perf via Hnath's unique storytelling of a harrowing true-life ordeal that is gripping & stirring

Don't see it if if you're triggered by frank descriptions of kidnapping, violence & sexual assault. [Otherwise, see this small masterpiece.]

Also Lucas Hnath, along with director Les Waters & actress-extraordinaire D... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're a fan of O'Connell or Hnath, curious about a true-life kidnapping & the lip-sync method of telling story, enjoy riveting stories

Don't see it if don't like 1-person, 1-act plays, actor lip-syncing to actual narration confuses you, upset by kidnapping, rape stories, strobes, loud noise

Also This is a remarkable, riveting evening that impresses, shocks, draws y... Read more Read less

Static, Riveting, Masterful, Intense, Great acting

See it if Downtown darling, Dee Dee O, does docu-drama in Dana H's voice (literally) relating a daring ordeal.A master actor at work with a difference

Don't see it if Static. Depending on your stance, the lip-synching gimmick will either distance you or bring you safely closer to the difficult material.

Edgy, Stunning performance by deirdre o'connell, Unique, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in documentary theatre. This play is unique because you hear the voice of Dana H., not the voice of the actress.

Don't see it if you do not like one-person plays or get upset by talk of violence. Or if you do not like lip synching. You will soon forget the latter.

Masterful, Must see, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you want to see an incredible performance by one of the greatest living actresses

Don't see it if You don’t like non-traditional plays. It’s not a secret they tell you before the play starts that she is lip-synching the entire time

Also O’Connell is one of my favorite actresses and if it was anyone else in... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Masterful, Great acting, Gripping, Harrowing

See it if Deirdre O'Connell gives a masterful performance as a kidnap victim. Alone on stage, I couldn't take my eyes off her.

Don't see it if The story itself, though gripping, left me with so many questions. None of which had anything to do with the value of the show.

Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if An intense glimpse into the white supremacist/neo nazi world in plain sight that even the police fear. The intensity of fear and gaslighting

Don't see it if Kidnapping, nazis, rape, hearing about murders are triggering. Rather not know about this powerful, scary network in our society.

Also Diversity: a woman's story, which are often not believed.... Read more Read less

Soporific, Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if you're looking for a different kind of one-man show or if you are a fan of Lucas Hnath or if you want to see something very different.

Don't see it if Death is distressing to you, or if you have trouble staying awake during a monotone monologue. Comments are death are insightful at the end.

Intense, Riveting, Masterful, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an amazing piece of theatrical skill. Dana's story is fascinating and Dierdre O'Connell fully inhabits the role.

Don't see it if you need stage action. Seated, she is telling a story -- and what a story it is! Not usually a fan of one-person shows, I was captivated.

Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you are a fan of playwright Lucas Hnath. Hnath takes on the story of family tragedy and shows us how one triumphs over it. A MUST SEE!!!!!!

Don't see it if a serious work about how one triumphed over a real life tragedy doesn't interest you. You have no idea what you are missing.

Also Playwright Lucas Hnath is master craftsman creating such memorable wor... Read more Read less

Remarkably moving and totally inventive

See it if for an exceptional actress telling a frightening story from real life, in a presentation style that is totally innovative. heartbreaking.

Don't see it if If real life stories of human cruelty and damaged psyches aren't for you, this will be a challenge.

Exquisite, Bewitching, Unprecedented, Sensational, Horrific

See it if you're at all fascinated by true crime or extraordinary performance art.

Don't see it if you're triggered by descriptions of graphic violence.

Also an unbelievable, indescribable, tour de force. This is lightning in a ... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Absorbing, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You want to see a devastating story beautifully nuanced and superbly told.

Don't see it if You are looking for a lighthearted evening in the theatre.

Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You are a fan of Hnath's previous work. You like plays that are crafted and not necessarily like other’s you’ve seen.

Don't see it if You want a traditional play. This is based on a transcript.

Also It takes a few minutes to settle into the lip syncing, but I did, and ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Sublime, Heart-wrenching, Gripping, Harrowing

See it if you are ready for a gripping re-telling from Hnath's mother's mouth of a horrific kidnapping. O'Connell fully embodies her.

Don't see it if you are unprepared to go through a women's trauma in the first person. Tough emotionally from start to finish.

Intense, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy excellent acting and interesting plays

Don't see it if you dislike solo performances and lip syncing

Intense, Harrowing, Riveting, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like the work of Hnath. Interested in a recounting of when Hnath's mother was kidnapped and held for 5 months. Gripping story.

Don't see it if Don't like 1 woman shows. Want a story that's upbeat and light. Don't like shows about violence. Dont want to see a show told via lip sync

Intense, Riveting, Masterful

See it if Harrowing & absorbing with tour de force performance by Deirdre O'Connell.The scenarios are vividly described, gripping & gut wrenching.

Don't see it if Do not see it if you do not like theatre at its best

Also Not to be missed.

Slow, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if If you like the theatre of reporting rather than acting; want to see a new gimmick

Don't see it if You like to feel for the character and prefer conventional drama rather than lip syncing.

Resonant, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if This was brutal, in a smartly felt and compelling mode. Tracks the playwright's mother through her kidnapping.

Don't see it if Trigger warnings for sexual assualt.


See it if you like unique storytelling and true-life distressing events.

Don't see it if a true-life distressing, violent, harsh tale is not what you can stomach..

Also I was so fascinated by the story I was being told. I found it to be re... Read more Read less

Great acting

See it if A true life story about abduction and mind games is something you can handle.

Don't see it if Stories of violence and physiological punishment are too much.

Also The performance really sells the play. Honestly calling it a play feel... Read more Read less

Harrowing true story, not only told in the victim's own words, but also in her voice

See it if You are interested in new forms of expression and are not squeamish. This is a rough story told in a very innovative way.

Don't see it if You want to see a Broadway musical extravaganza.

February 25th, 2020
CRITIC’S PICK. "‘Dana H.’ Maps a Harrowing Journey Into Hell: Lucas Hnath’s brilliant, boundary-melting play, starring a marvelous Deirdre O’Connell, is a first-person account of the violent kidnapping of his mother."
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February 25th, 2020
4/5 Stars. "This is a performance of virtuoso naturalism; the technique is so perfect that it disappears...The effect of this device is complex: The use of Dana's voice gives her testimony a gripping sense of reality, even as its ventriloquism through O'Connell's body suggests an eerie sense of d...
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February 25th, 2020
"Lucas Hnath’s 'Dana H.' Is the Real Thing"
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February 25th, 2020
"A Woman Is Kidnapped by a Member of the Aryan Brotherhood in Dana H. Lucas Hnath's true-crime docudrama opens off-Broadway."
read more

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