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New York | 2h 0m | Already closed


From 7 critic and 71 member reviews
Members say: Relevant, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

About the show

59E59 presents this explosive new play about free speech, the dangers of polarization, and using art as a means for change. More…

A high school senior is suspended when he tries to burn an American flag for a school art fair project. Undeterred, he conspires with his classmate, a slam poet in trouble for an expletive-laden poem, to enter a controversial new piece, setting off a free speech firestorm in a small Ohio town. 'Education' is a provocative new play about two young people who fight for their right to express themselves in a society hostile to and fearful of change.


“‘Education,’ Brian Dykstra's new play, is an incendiary investigation into censorship, free speech and responsibility in electric theater. It purports to be about Art as a Weapon but its themes go much further than that. The protagonist Mick, a biracial 17-year-old high school senior, has a rant that list all the things wrong with American society at this time which is simply scorching. All high school students should be so articulate.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The conversation grabs attention from the moment the lights come up...What doesn't work is Mick and Bekka as a believable devoted couple. There is simply no chemistry between Jones and West...The script is close to flawless with flowing dialogue and wonderfully developed characters...Teenage audience members are sure to relate to the pressures and responsibilities...Adults will recognize the many ways art has been used as an effective weapon in the last few decades." Full Review

Plays to See

"'Education' is a clever, passionate, and engaging discussion on the helpless frustration of needing to make a stand; however, while it definitely wants to educate its audience, it slips into the trap of many who are convinced of what they have to say – being too proud of its own cleverness...'Education’s' language occasionally gets caught up in itself, as though the characters are speaking past each other...Yet as the show progresses past these small pitfalls...the show finds its rhythm." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Showcases Dykstra's talent for composing rants. Time and again, the characters in his provocative, if overloaded, drama spout off, furiously and eloquently...One's initial delight fades as the characters are overtaken by speechmaking...'Education' isn't really a success, but it's the work of a playwright who is willing to take on all sides of an argument, sending it spinning in all directions and the hell with the consequences. And his strong words can seem like a revivifying blast of fresh ... Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"Pushes a lot of hot buttons but the play itself very rarely ignites…There's plenty of potential here for a spirited discussion drama… However, not only is there too much to digest, Dykstra's overly contrived dramaturgy deprives the issues of characters and situations believable enough to warrant us making more than a shallow investment in their problems…There's a feeling of schematic contrivance behind every scene and debate, with the characters more strawmen and women than human beings." Full Review


"The best stage rants are targeted and precise...By aiming at every target, Mick's rant hits none of them - and this gives us a pretty good indication of the direction of the rest of the play....Perry's production does little to enhance a predictable script...Although Perry's unimaginative staging mostly has the actors gesturing and moving forward on each line, exciting performances do occasionally escape her clutches...We learn almost nothing from 'Education', and feel even less." Full Review

The New York Times

“Hard to locate any actual conflicts…Mostly these characters talk over and around each other, quibbling over semantics instead of articulating ideas. A lot of the dialogue is forgettable...The words themselves wouldn’t matter so much if the play and the arguments that undergird it were more credible…Outside the theater, real-life teenagers are organizing behind a political movement that is coherent in its aims and persuasive in its message. I don’t think they’d recognize themselves here.” Full Review

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Great writing, Great staging

See it if You want to educate yourself on the issues of education. It's timely, passionate and takes you into the political landscape of what counts.

Don't see it if You want a light fluff play. This one challenges and makes you think about our planet.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you believe in a world where the freedom of ideas and speech are as important to you as breathing.

Don't see it if you want to continue to live in a world where censorship rules and burying your head in the sand is how you survive.

Also Brian Dykstra has written a brilliant play about free speech, passion,... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if Like relevant social commentary from a youth perspective, extremely believable acting

Don't see it if Are uncomfortable with swearing and religious commentary that is not always positive.

Also I was on the fence about seeing this show, even for the free Show-Scor... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting

See it if Fabulous acting. Subject matter makes one think after leaving the theatre. This is a serious play.

Don't see it if If you do not like to think or feel about our citizen rights.

Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if The actors were people youcould readily understand.Their points of view might differ from your own but they made you question your own views


Also on many levels.It was one of the best plays that i have seen all year ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Intense

See it if You want to watch superb actors handle an interesting, relevant new story.

Don't see it if You aren't interested in plays discussing topical subjects of censorship.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing

See it if You like a political drama with some exceptional performances by a small cast.

Don't see it if If you have rather conservative views on the process for political suppression of expression.

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you appreciate great writing and great acting in a currently relevant subject

Don't see it if if you don't care about the above

Funny, Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you like intelligent, surprising, thoughtful writing and great acting.

Don't see it if you don't like talky plays or plays that explore ideas.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You like to see an excellent representation of an extraordinary text of a very relevant subject. Gladly surprising .

Don't see it if There are no excuses. This is a highly recommended show. Entertaining and thoughtful.

Also Very creative stage fixtures. Great acting!

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like provocative smart plays on current issues.great monologues by good actors.

Don't see it if you do like controversial and uncensured issues.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if For excellent acting, relevant issues, thought provoking albeit confusing at times.."talky" If you can disregard NYT ultra critical review

Don't see it if Bored w/ plays on education..Don't like quick paced talky play. Prefer musicals, Expect play to be neat, summed up clearly.

Clever, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing

See it if You like small production shows with great acting about freedom of speech , art,activism , idealism and their consequences

Don't see it if You are triggered by religion and have no patience for art that pushes boundaries

Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Confusing

See it if you like excellent writing and acting, sophisticated analysis of current issues, complex intellectual conversation & interesting characters.

Don't see it if you dislike episodes of sometimes confusing intellectual "talky" debate about many current issues including religion and free speech.

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Education and Art lead young students to Activism and speaking Truth, but at what cost, and must maturing always lead to selling out?

Don't see it if You do not acknowledge that Atheists and Agnostics can be more ethical and act with more compassion than professed Christians.

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow

See it if A different interpretation of “art,” and the lengths one will go to protect his beliefs and loves. Jones and West are brilliant.

Don't see it if You do not like “preachy” productions, or if you are uncomfortable with abusive language.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like to see topical Theatre with many subject matters hit upon. It’s very relevant to today.

Don't see it if Like more easily absorbed less thinking type theatre.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Uneven, Activist theater, Youth empowerment trope

See it if you'd like to support the message (artistic freedom of expression is a right), even tho several theatrical elements falter along the way.

Don't see it if you dislike youth-centric or activist theater (esp w/ monologues), or are easily offended by unflattering portrayals of Christian parenting.

Also Much to like & appreciate in this well-meaning show (& I agree w/ the ... Read more Read less

Edgy, Relevant, Resonant, Indulgent

See it if You have have been given hope by the latest student marches and upset by the hypocrisy of many adults

Don't see it if You are easily offended by liberals and atheists...or if you do not like very "talky "plays

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you want to see a well acted and directed play that is timely and gives you something to think about.

Don't see it if you dislike a play that is often confusing,

Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if you enjoy very political themed plays

Don't see it if you don't like overtly political drama

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant

See it if The topics are relevant and the cast are talented and you tried to like it more but...

Don't see it if With long speeches it’s just get too preachy.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Relevant, Riveting

See it if Multiple themes play out by young students investigating freedom , art and attachment . In depth look at today’s youth.

Don't see it if Do not see if you prefer musicals or light dramas.

Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want a thought provoking evening with very good actors

Don't see it if you are not in to political theater or are looking for a light comedy

Play glorifying artistic freedom by students; to critics too “kumbaya”; ss community loves the play's passion; i’m more w/ community tho still see its flaws

See it if winning; many sharp/witty scenes in which school establishment, religious zealots get their comeuppance; appealing tale young rebels in love

Don't see it if overwrought; no real confrontation of ideas w/ free expression compared to blind xenophobia, religious intolerance

Also There were several ideas in this play that if developed might have tur... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (12)