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New York | 1h 50m | Already closed

Kill Floor

From 11 critic and 23 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Intense, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing

About the show

Presented as part of Lincoln Center Theatre 3rd Stage (LCT3) which is dedicated to producing the work of new artists, this world premiere tells the story of an ex-con as she attempts to reunite with her son. More…

Andy returns to her hometown after three years in prison and takes a job at the local slaughterhouse while trying to reconcile with her 15 year-old son, B, a passionate vegetarian. This world premiere, which won an award at Williamstown Theatre Festival, is the playwright's professional debut.

1h 50m | Already closed | Claire Tow Theater (Upper W Side)

Stage Buddy

"'Kill Floor,' written by Abe Koogler and directed by Lila Neugebauer, is not just a straight drama; it has many moments of subtle humor peppered throughout. But most of all, the play’s portrayal of flawed and awkward characters is sublime...The characters form the backbone of 'Kill Floor,' a tableau of American Realism. You get to know these people and see them for who they are, flaws and all. They are human and real, and no matter how bad they seem, you are rooting for them in the end." Full Review


"'Kill Floor' is an intriguing debut for Koogler...Ireland is riveting as the gutsy protagonist...While Ireland is the main draw, there's some mighty fine acting here by the rest of the cast...As adroitly directed by Lila Neugebauer, 'Kill Floor' does offer food for thought...Count on it changing the way you look at the all-American burger." Full Review

The New York Times

"'Kill Floor' never strikes a false or strained note as Mr. Koogler observes the awkward cut-and-thrust of the relationships among the characters. But there’s not a whole lot of potent drama, and even though it runs just 90 minutes, the play’s pacing can feel desultory. Nevertheless, the actors burrow into their roles with impressive ease and dexterity. While they do not have a lot of, er, meat to chew on, they flesh out the fine writing with the ample humanity they bring to their characters." Full Review


"In many ways, we can tell that 'Kill Floor' is Koogler's first professionally produced play. Structurally, it has too many subplots that could use some smoothing. His dialogue has a tendency to veer into half and unfinished sentences. That's a shame since the script is otherwise so fresh. However, 'Kill Floor' is a dream come true for actors, featuring meaty conflicts and two-character scenes that are both tender and pungent." Full Review

Broadway & Me

"Not perfect, but worth seeing...Marin Ireland is achingly good as Andy, who knows how the rest of the world sees her and knows, too, that the odds are stacked against her being anything else..the play is better at charting the emotional damage that society too often inflicts on its weakest members...simultaneously overstuffed and slightly undercooked, but it's clear that the author has a curiosity about lives outside the theatrical mainstream and talent that should be nurtured." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"The play has a schematic quality nonetheless; the frequent scenes involving the two young men feel particularly forced. Director Lila Neugebauer succeeds for the most part in bringing out the work's more sensitive aspects, and Ireland once again demonstrates that she's one of the finest young actresses on the New York stage. But despite the strong efforts of everyone involved, too much of the play feels like heavy lifting." Full Review


"This is a play where nobody is happy with their life and it's only through the efforts of a fine company that the 90 minute piece sustains interest. Ireland, as is her habit, paints as fascinating a portrait as possible, but is certainly deserving of a meatier role." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Ireland acts up a storm in this slight (and vaguely unfinished) piece...While the drama (keenly directed by Lila Neugebauer) treads tamely along a predictable path of bad things happening to good (flawed) people, Ireland can still deliver shocks." Full Review

New York Theatre Guide

"There is no let up from the sadness, frustration and bitterness. Because of this the plot often becomes predictable, despite these fine performances...If we feel trapped as an audience, the exercise can be self defeating. We are all ready to descend into the basement of any character and see where the wild things are. The only caveat is that we have to be certain that the door at the top of the stairs is left open." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"For Koogler to live up to the promise he displays here, he needs to expand and deepen his focus, and be willing to give us more to view, more to gnaw on, while still maintaining a grasp on the mystery he so clearly loves...Too often we're like the Parnell cows: moving blind, waiting for the crack of completion that never arrives. The difference is, the cows don't need to know where they're going or why their journey matters. We do. And that's what Koogler hasn't provided in 'Kill Floor.'" Full Review

As Her World Turns

"The play just ends, quite abruptly. I can’t say it left much of an impression on me. I am glad they didn’t focus too much on the gory details of the slaughterhouse; aside from a few key facts about the process, they left most of it to our imaginations." Full Review

Exquisite, Great acting, Intense, Resonant, Great writing

See it if you want a startling new play with a huge heart, understated lyricism, trenchant observations, and deep soul

Don't see it if you'll have a hard time when things get upsetting, desperate, or grim (though the play strikes an elegant tonal balance)

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

See it if you like shows with thoughts, and character development.

Don't see it if you only like fluff.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you like provocative theatre, and incredible acting.

Don't see it if you are squeamish.

Original, Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense

See it if You like to see plays by new playwrights and good acting.

Don't see it if You're bothered by the slaughter of animals and blood on costumes.

Original, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you feel there are too few stories of the reverberating effects of prison on the lives of mothers and their children.

Don't see it if you would get queasy hearing about slaughterhouse processes.

Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if you enjoy stories about regular people with every day problems, or if you like stories about complicated family and personal relationships.

Don't see it if you want a comedy or if you don't like plays about relationship problems, in any form.

Intelligent, Intense

See it if You like a new fresh voice in playwriting and enjoy a coherent story

Don't see it if You need theater to be more than an intense TV script

Original, Great acting, Relevant, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You like new, different plays by new playwrights, even if the material is very dark.

Don't see it if You like more uplifting work. This is a downer.

Entertaining, Uncomfortable, Alright

See it if You find awkward and uncomfortable conversations and situations between characters amusing.

Don't see it if You don't find uncomfortable scenes or awkward conversations entertaining. As this show is one uncomfortable situation after another.

Great acting, Intense, Grim

See it if you really like new plays and seeing work by young playwrights that tackle big themes.

Don't see it if you are in the mood for something uplifting.

Original, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Serious

See it if you like to family dynamics.

Don't see it if you are bothered by teenagers in sexual situations.

Disappointing, Not ready for prime time, Very uncomfortable, Difficult to sit through

See it if You support new work and don't mind "rough draft" productions. Must be able to tolerate 90 minutes of awkwardness/pain among characters.

Don't see it if You are upset by abrupt, unfinished endings, in-your-face shouty acting to buttress middling dialogue, and uncomfortable situations

Ambitious, Intense, Slow

See it if want to see a not quite developed, new play with very good acting. Story could be interesting but needs some nuancing. Wanted to feel more.

Don't see it if you want to see a fully developed play. Characters are too one dimensional. Not a lot there to make you connect with their characters.

Disappointing, Weak script, Great marin ireland

See it if you love Marin Ireland. She is always, always, always good. This is a "45" level play with a "90" level actress. The plot was ridiculous.

Don't see it if you want an insightful, coherent play. It was worth suffering w/the script to see MI. She should be required to be shows 12 mos a year.

Also I'm catching up on plays I saw, but didn't review (I hadn't joined S-S... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Slow

See it if if you want to see the work of a new playwright and trending personal subjects; failed relationships, dysfunctional family struggles

Don't see it if you want geniune character insight, you squirm at fairly graphic sexual enactments, you expect crisp timing and good drama


See it if You are interested is seeing a first play by a very talented playwright. Dark, edgy, unsettling, well produced and directed.

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable seeing a story about a troubled, dysfunctional mother and son.

Play needs work

See it if you enjoy Marin Ireland in a role well-suited to her kinetic performance style, and seeing a play in a wonderful space.

Don't see it if you become impatient with a meandering script devoid of dramatic highlights and pedestrian staging.

Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched

See it if This was a poor script, confusingly directed, with some bad acting. It was cliched and not coherent.

Don't see it if you are interested in a strong theme put together well.

Too long, Awkward, Uncomfortable, Repetitive, Rough

See it if you don't mind actors who may as well have had a script in their hands it was so robotic. It wasn't ready to be onstage. Made me squirm.

Don't see it if a tumultuous reconciliation of estranged mom and son doesn't interest you. the acting was repetitive and boring. definitely not a must see.

Boring, Excruciating, Slowly paced, Bad script, Static

See it if you would like to ponder why Paige Evans and her crew at LCT 3 decided that this play was ready for a full production.

Don't see it if you enjoy seeing a play that features good quality writing, and is not at the Playwriting 101 level.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You love good acting and fresh characters. Very smart writing and well paced directing. Very human explorations. Humanly funny.

Don't see it if You like everything tied up nicely. Or if sexually [homosexual] provocative situations bother you.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you like well-written, well-acted multi-layered dysfunctional characters in a thought provoking drama that allows for possibilities

Don't see it if you only like fun-filled dysfunctional families that are rich and live in the Hamptons.

During previews
Sad, Great acting, Resonant, Great writing, Engaging

See it if you want to see a very well-written show about damaged people trying their best to connect.

Don't see it if you need the shows you see to be wrapped up in a nice little bow by the end.

Cast & Creatives (11)