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Heroes of the Fourth Turning

From 174 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant

About the show

Will Arbery's ("Plano") new drama offers an exploration of a country at war with itself, through its story of four young conservatives who have gathered at an after-party in rural Wyoming. More…

From the show:

It’s nearing midnight in Wyoming, where four young conservatives have gathered at a backyard after-party. They’ve returned home to toast their mentor Gina, newly inducted as president of a tiny Catholic college. But as their reunion spirals into spiritual chaos and clashing generational politics, it becomes less a celebration than a vicious fight to be understood. On a chilly night in the middle of America, Will Arbery’s haunting play offers grace and disarming clarity, speaking to the heart of a country at war with itself.

Member Reviews (174)


Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant
Avg Score

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

See it if you want to see a brilliant, impassioned, uncritical, taut political drama set in the backyard of rural, conservative, evangelical America.

Don't see it if you can't sit for 2 hours without an intermission; you have an allergy to herbal cigarettes; you prefer to live in a political bubble.

Also Those who have criticized this play because it is "only one-sided" are... Read more Read less

Overrated, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if 5 super actors. Much political rhetoric (digs on both side) Partner says interesting effective lighting.

Don't see it if 2 hours plus should have an intermission. No need for a lighting director. Does not match the best Wyoming production (Laramie Project).

Also Be ready for two late sound blasts and an opening gun shot.

Surprising, Great acting, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if curious about young conservative, devout Catholics & how they maneuver in the world, enjoy political discussion and funny, serious behavior

Don't see it if don't want to spend time with young conservatives, have a hard time with unpleasant characters, uncomfortable with religious discussions

Also This play is well worth seeing. It is funny, often hilarious, but also... Read more Read less

Interesting concepts, Dim lighting, Loud, Indulgent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like plays where diatribe dominates the dialog. The range of points of view is interesting and well presented by excellent performers.

Don't see it if you are not tolerant of fast dialog without much information. The where & why are slow coming & some info never shows. Lots of loud noise

Gathering of 4 young conservative graduates of fundamentalist christian college in rural wyoming is occasion for fierce debate about fate of severely divided country post-trump

See it if shows religious conservatives as deep/thoughtful; clearly explains their anti-LGBT/abortion stance; key insight: sex looms behind doctrine

Don't see it if every character is hyperbolic particularly the Christian warrior/Ann Coulter stand-in & the confused wreck; lacks satiric edge

Also Periodically interrupting the voices of the 4 graduates is a deafening... Read more Read less

Too long (2 hours no intermission), Badly lit (too dark!), Intense, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if John Zdrojeski gave a great performance. Whenever he was speaking it was interesting. Acting was good in general but plot/conversation NOT

Don't see it if WAY TOO LONG. 2 hours NO intermission so you are STUCK. I felt like I had lost all track of time and that it was never going to end.

Also Some parts were absorbing and acting was good, but given that it was a... Read more Read less

Timely, Half slow/half absorbing, Great writing, Great acting and direction, Divisive

See it if interested in listening to a foreign set of ideas that might be contradictory to yours; good acting by all; love Michelle Pawk; topical.

Don't see it if 1st hour is very slow in building to the meat of the second hour; you need action, this is all talk; old fundamental values offend you.

Also In the playwright's notes, he says he wrote this play to understand hi... Read more Read less

Plotless, No character development, Overlong, Dizzying, Cliched

See it if you like a play about Christian Conservatives with a lot of talk that goes absolutely nowhere.

Don't see it if you like character development and plots in your plays. You will be sitting for 2 intermissionless hours—2 hours that you'll never get back.

Also Why are the lights shining in the audience's eyes at the opening of th... Read more Read less

Wacko, Way out there, Plodding, Boring

See it if you want to be bored for 2 hours, no intermission.I was looking forward to a show with right wing point of view, but this was about weirdos

Don't see it if you don't want to be bored with far out garbage.Doesn't help you understand ANYTHING about life, politics or religion.

Thought-provoking, Clever, Slow, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you're interested in seeing developed young conservative characters. Good writing—audience disagrees with characters but still sympathetic.

Don't see it if you can't sit through a slow and dense play without intermission or have no interest in exploring politics & conservative thought processes.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Intense, Indulgent, Confusing

See it if A group of Conservative Catholics bloviate for nearly two hours on their view of life. If you're a conservative, you might like this.

Don't see it if If you're not a Conservative, you might find all the talk of "baby killers" and vilification of liberals tiresome. I did.

Intense, Wordy, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if you want to understand other points of view i.e. the conservative, religious right.

Don't see it if you can't sit through two hours of characters pontificating about their beliefs. Hard to believe anyone talks like that at a party.

Intense, Fresh topic, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if Here in NY we rarely meet serious right-wing discussions in the theater. The conversations are deep & deeply felt. Eye-opening & meaningful.

Don't see it if There is some humor but also quite a lot of Roman Catholic philosophy. Not impenetrable, just new territory to explore for some.

Intense, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you are interested in Catholicism, religion, finding oneself. Four confused souls talk in the night.

Don't see it if sitting for two hours no intermission is too hard for you. Lots of dialogue, one must listen, not much action. Not sure if there is a plot.

Also Not sure what the point of this whole experience is/was. Maybe that is... Read more Read less

Poorly lit, Way too long, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You have the patience to see a conservative POV script that needs a good hair cut. Well acted, but not well directed or edited.

Don't see it if you hate shows that are so poorly lit that you end up with eyestrain. People around me were nodding off. Monologs droned on in the dark.

Also The concept of this piece is really interesting! individuals with the ... Read more Read less

Intense, Relevant

See it if Glimpse into the universe and upbringing of midwestern conservatives. Some rooted in love vs. some rooted in anger (the right wing).

Don't see it if Far right comments are triggering. They're present but less explanatory of why they believe such extremes. More discussion vs. plot.

Also Diversity: 2 leaders are both female (right wing commenter and preside... Read more Read less

Must see, Intense, Excruciating, Great staging, Dizzying

See it if A searing, vital, important play about ideological divides, even on the same "side." Genius character sketches and relentless dialogue.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about ideas, conversation, and character (however unsympathetic). There may be less plot than traditionalists desire.

Also For an incredibly insightful, thoughtful, and thorough review see Vins... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Banal, Ambitious

See it if You have an open mind, don’t get angry when others don’t share your viewpoint, are curious and open with political discourse, and like plays

Don't see it if You’re rigidly anti-conservative, can’t view theater as diverse and as art, want some big shocking events to happen, or need a big theater.

Slow, Overrated, Great acting, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a well acted play addressing topics rarely explored on stage.

Don't see it if You are looking for a play that offers a coherent and incisive exploration of political ideologies.

Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if you are actual open to views that may differ from your own and are willing to sit in the dark and accept it

Don't see it if conservatism and/or Catholicism is a full turn off as subject matter

Thought-provoking, Slow, Ambitious

See it if a play involving conservative Catholics sounds appealing; narcissistic characters are of interest to you;

Don't see it if you like a well-lit stage; you want a play that's fun; you prefer comedies or musicals

Realistic, Dangerous, Intellectual

See it if you like big ideas, philosophy, theater at its Greek-est.

Don't see it if you can’t stay engaged in a plotless, intense character study.

Also having grown up in an extremely religious household and attending a re... Read more Read less

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

See it if you're looking for a fresh perspective on today's politics with well drawn complex characters and great performances.

Don't see it if you dislike plays about ideas with lengthy speeches featuring conservative opinions and positions.

Bracing writing & direction, Lots of dense polemics, little action, Conservative characters rarely seen onstage, Strong ensemble

See it if to be challenged by an uncondescending look at a range of right wing Catholic viewpoints as 4 old friends reunite & reignite conflict

Don't see it if unwilling to listen to ultraconservative ideas--necessary for a play that doesn't ask us to agree with its characters in order to engage

Also Arbery sets himself a steep challenge here: to respectfully & accurate... Read more Read less

Quirky, Intense, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you would like to hear political conversations that address some of today's issues (albeit not the impeachment).

Don't see it if you have absolutely no interest in politics (or if you want a musical).

October 7th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "In ‘Heroes of the Fourth Turning,’ a Red-State Unicorn: An astonishing new play by Will Arbery risks a rare stage subject: Christian conservatism."
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October 8th, 2019
5 Stars "Danya Taymor presides over a perfect production that left me with my heart in my mouth and my pen scrambling across the page. (This is the kind of play you know you'll need to read again someday.)"
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October 7th, 2019
"Deep in Red America (But Not at the Diner) in 'Heroes of the Fourth Turning'"
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October 20th, 2019
"A Play About the Nuances of Conservatism in the Trump Era A group of friends grapple with ideologies in Will Arbery’s 'Heroes of the Fourth Turning,' at Playwrights Horizons."
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Cast & Creatives (3)