Already closed | 1h 35m | Midtown E

How To Load A Musket

From 14 member  reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant

About the show

Less Than Rent's new production explores the lives of historical reenactors. More…

From the show:

Every year, across the country, thousands of historical reenactors stage the bloodiest, most divisive battles fought on American soil. Pursuing total authenticity, they fire muskets, chew hardtack, and wear handmade period clothing in brutal weather.

Drawing on a series of interviews begun by playwright Talene Monahon in 2015, the play weaves together verbatim conversations with Revolutionary and Civil War reeanactors. How to Load a Musket offers a unique look at this all-consuming hobby and the people who practice it as they find themselves caught in the crosshairs of a national battle over how history is told.


Member Reviews (14)

MEMBERS SAY:

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant
74
Avg Score

75
Interesting subject, Quirky, Slow, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you're interested in US history (Revol/Civil War). Meet quirky participants in re-enactments. Not much plot, but interesting stories.

Don't see it if you need plot (only arc is abt creating HTLAM). But strg acting, solid staging, Drags a bit. You'll learn how to load/to wear 3-corner hat.

79
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if great acting, actors play multiple parts. Interesting to learn about this world and various outlooks. More like a documentary than a play.

Don't see it if If you don't want to think about the topic of war reenactors or current politics. The play is about an hour and a half, no intermission.

81
Ambitious, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you are interested in a look into real mindsets that may be unlike your own, even inexplicable to your own.

Don't see it if you don’t wish to examine the justifications people give for their racism that they don’t think is racist.

84
Resonant, Funny, Entertaining, Creative

See it if you want to see something that is seen as quirky turned into an interesting hobby.

Don't see it if you don't like monologues...each person speaks individually for the most part. Don't let that deter you, it's really well put together.

80
Uneven, Great acting

See it if You want a well-acted and complex look at the weird world of war re-enactment.

Don't see it if You want a play with even and consistent pacing.

87
Quirky, Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting, Clever

See it if You want to enjoy an excellent ensemble cast in a great take on a subject you might have dismissed

Don't see it if You want each actor to play one singular role

45
Slow, Banal

See it if You are someone who enjoys non-linear plays. Or have an interest in reenactora.

Don't see it if You are someone who likes linear plays. Or plays with a straight forward plot.

Also Because of the way the material is presented, I never felt I got to kn... Read more Read less

87
Clever, Informative, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy history told in an informative manner that also feels entertaining. Characters play more than one part, but each is convincing.

Don't see it if You do not like historical data.

82
Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if A semi docudrama on why some Americans dress up in Civil and Revolutionary War uniforms

Don't see it if actors playing multiple parts can be confusing

Also Ends up being a timely and thought-stirring essay on the meaning of pa... Read more Read less

50
Uneven

See it if You like shows where characters break the fourth wall. You are interested in reenactors.

Don't see it if You want a strong through line.

Also There's some interesting moments, but it didn't string together for me... Read more Read less

50
Slow, Ambitious

See it if You like quirky pieces about quirky characters.

Don't see it if You prefer plays with a traditional plot. Prefer plays where actors don’t play multiple roles.

Also There’s some interesting characters and plot lines, but we are only se... Read more Read less

86
Relevant, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You like new work, possibly still evolving. Verbatim quotes from reenactors woven into thoughtful play, w insights to their motivations

Don't see it if Slick production with elaborate sets. Questions answered at the end.

100
Edgy, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It’s really good on all fronts, super well done educational/docustyle theatre. Great cast!

Don't see it if You don’t like American history

65
Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you want a docudrama that's heavy on the docu and light on the drama. See my review at TheaterLife.com for details.

Don't see it if want a docudrama that's heavy on the drama and light on the docu. See my review at TheaterLife.com for details.


January 16th, 2020
"A Play About Re-enactors Gets Real: Talene Monahon’s show at 59E59 Theaters feels provocative but unfinished, a pieced quilt of overlapping textures and ideas."
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January 17th, 2020
3/5 Stars "While much of what the reenactors have to say about the United States, both then and now, is thought-provoking, 'How to Load a Musket' still feels like a work in progress. Monahon's noble effort to give everyone a voice, including herself...results in a kind of cacophony."
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January 17th, 2020
"Monahon draws her interview subjects out beyond the obsessive pointillism of period costumes and replica munitions, and, with the director Jaki Bradley, presents a complex portrait of a darkly peculiar American pastime."
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January 16th, 2020
"How to Load a Musket Takes Aim at Historical Reenactment: Talene Monahon's new documentary play explores why some Americans dress up in Civil and Revolutionary War uniforms."
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Cast & Creatives (4)