Downstate (Playwrights Horizons)
Ends Dec 22 2h 10m
Downstate (Playwrights Horizons)
88

Downstate (Playwrights Horizons) NYC Reviews and Tickets

88%
(134 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
2%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intense

A victim of abuse confronts his abuser, living out his days in a group home, after serving jailtime.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (134)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
1000 Reviews | 411 Followers
95
Intelligent, Riveting, Great acting, Great writing, Intense

See it if You like smart topical plays that don’t talk down to you but quite the opposite, may show you sides to a topic that you’ve never considered.

Don't see it if You don’t like to be challenged. If you want a fluffy piece of theatre that doesn’t make you uncomfortable in any way or make you think.

639 Reviews | 127 Followers
95
Edgy, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense

See it if Well written dealing with abuser living in a group home.

Don't see it if strong subject matter sexual abuse, suicide, not for everyone.

405 Reviews | 247 Followers
94
Thought-provoking, Disturbing, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting

See it if A brilliant play that takes place in a halfway house for sex offenders; guilt, accountability, self-deception, legal system failures

Don't see it if Triggered by graphic descriptions of sexual acts involving minors. Read more

462 Reviews | 65 Followers
79
Uncomfortable

See it if What is justice in discussions of childhood sexual abuse, rape, love with minors from 4 perpetrators after incarceration and 1 survivor.

Don't see it if Discomfort with focus on perspectives of perpetrators (some not feeling guilt) over flailing one survivor. Some dismissal of survivor. Read more

400 Reviews | 76 Followers
30
Confusing, Intense, Disappointing

See it if you want play about four men in halfway house for sexual abuse to children. Author sympathetic to them but not to the one victim who appears

Don't see it if pedophilia is not “your thing”. Lots of cursing & yelling. Man who was sexually abused as child shows up to confront abuser. Very graphic. Read more

395 Reviews | 56 Followers
95
Fascinating characters, Phenomenal acting, Wonderful script, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like wonderful acting, direction, script, character development & content that challenges one's perceptions of evil people.

Don't see it if you desire light entertainment and not a serious confrontational play that deals realistically with degenerate behavior of characters.

311 Reviews | 59 Followers
88
Riveting, Powerful, Intense

See it if you like gripping, smart and complex plays that challenge your perceived notions on difficult themes with smart dialog and a great ensemble

Don't see it if you're having a hard time with idea of presenting both sexual offenders and their victims as human beings,with their personalities and flaws

314 Reviews | 28 Followers
97
Thought-provoking, Profound, Great writing, Great direction, Great acting

See it if you want to see a great play about child abuse and the abusers living out their lives in a group home.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a drama about child abuse.

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
November 15th, 2022

"Bruce Norris’s “Downstate” is the kind of play that takes over your body gradually. Its tension seeps into your limbs, settles tautly in your solar plexus and does not leave. Out on the street after the performance, your every synapse remains on high alert."
Read more

New York Magazine / Vulture
November 15th, 2022

" 'Downstate' wants to make you sit in discomfort as long as possible and see what lies on the other side."
Read more

The Wall Street Journal
November 17th, 2022

"Engaged viewers may find themselves feeling that their moral compass has gone haywire...it’s not the violent denouement that is likely to remain with you, but the infinite shades of gray that Mr. Norris infuses into the play."
Read more

The Observer
November 22nd, 2022

" 'Downstate' is a difficult play about difficult subject matter...but the play seeks to do something different, more complicated and morally challenging."
Read more

The Washington Post
November 23rd, 2022

"Take a deep breath and try to ruminate calmly on the position playwright Bruce Norris takes in his scintillating new play...'Downstate' is proof positive that you can love a play that turns you inside out."
Read more

New York Post
November 15th, 2022

"Norris has written a complex and compassionate play, but not a preachy or judgmental one. The audience is never pushed to forgive or condemn, but rather to evaluate."
Read more

Theatermania
November 15th, 2022

"It powerfully reclaims the stage as a home for dangerous ideas, a place where the thoughts we would rather ignore confront us — not with startling moral clarity, but sublime doubt."
Read more

Lighting & Sound America
November 15th, 2022

Even the most hair-raising of [Norris’] works pales in comparison to Downstate. Taking direct and deadly aim at one of society's bedrock pieties, he builds his latest drama around the residents of a group home for sex offenders, a gambit certain to ride the audience's nerves to the breaking point. Then he surrounds this household of parolees with interlopers who, if anything, may be even less sympathetic. It's a blackly comic tour of humanity's fallen state, posing questions likely to keep you sleep-deprived. And yet, despite its grotesque subject and appalling cast of characters, it is savagely, uncompromisingly alive.
Read more