Manhattan | 1h 45m | Already closed

Mangled Beams

From 4 critic and 38 member reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the show

This new drama looks at the plight of Native American iron workers who removed debris at Ground Zero after 9/11. Rather than one man's quest for meaning, 'Mangled Beams' is a play about a People. 


On the morning of September 11, 2001, four men wait to be assigned work at the union hall miles from their home and families. Then the unimaginable happens. Unable to turn their backs on the tragedy, they go to work on the search and rescue effort at Ground Zero. While untangling the beams their Native American fathers and grandfathers once helped to put in place, they reclaim their identity and find personal redemption.  

Theatre is Easy

"Jamieson's script seems to dwell on Brad, giving us lots of information about his back story. But I was particularly interested in the characters of Becky and Dave, and their interactions and history. Yet all the actors have presence and give engaging performances...'Mangled Beams' is well structured and the characters are clearly defined, though I couldn’t help but wish it moved faster at the beginning." Full Review

Ethan Kanfer: New York Theater Reviews

"Scrupulously fair to all its characters, Jamieson’s script skillfully weaves its multiple narratives and themes of cultural and personal dilemmas into a cohesive statement. There is even a healthy dose of humor to counterbalance the seriousness of the subject matter. As with any large cast play, though, keeping a consistent pace and tone proves challenging...The heart of 'Mangled Beams' shines through regardless, but the show feels like it’s under construction." Full Review


"Informative, noble, and affective drama...Its didactic streak and overloaded exposition...prevent it from totally succeeding...Repetitiveness, tangents, and packing in too much information hinder the play's flow...Callahan's focused staging injects as much momentum as possible to the stilted script and guides the cast to expressive performances...Though earnest, passionate, and involving...doesn't quite cohere into a fully realized theatrical work." Full Review


"There's a quietly stunning sequence...No words are spoken for several minutes...Then the characters open their mouths, and the sublime mundanity devolves into melodrama...The difficulty is that her characters are less like people than parts in a theatrical machine...Big plaudits, then, to the performers who find personality amid the plot devices...There's a story worth telling at the core of this play about identity and conflicted patriotism. Too bad it's been mangled." Full Review

Great staging, Entertaining, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if You will learn about Native American iron workers, tribes, customs, struggles of a people that has never been staged before.

Don't see it if See it! It closes today!

Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if You care about Native Americans

Don't see it if There is no reason not to.

Profound, Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Great acting

See it if are interested in Native American plays.

Don't see it if the subject of 911 is uncomfortable

Absorbing, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant, Profound

See it if you want a play that explores an unknown aspect of 9/11.

Don't see it if you are not interested in a behind the scenes story of 9/11

Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a smart play that’s entertaining while tackling some very real very serious topics without ever feeling bogged down by them.

Don't see it if You can’t watch with some imagination and an open mind. For a small stage the recreation of 9/11 destruction and beams was impressive.

Absorbing, Edgy, Profound, Raunchy, Masterful

See it if you desire a play that shocks you with language and plot.

Don't see it if you live in a PC culture.

Absorbing, Great acting, Timely, Must see

See it if You want to see some great acting about the treatment of Native Americans pre-911 in the construction trades.

Don't see it if You have no interest in the above or are averse to some rough language, which was important in this piece.

Also Important to see especially in these trying political and social times... Read more Read less


See it if Interesting aspect of the many people involved in the clean up of ground zero after 9/11, as well of insight into native culture

Don't see it if you have no interest in a poignant take on a major event

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Conventional, Resourceful, Sincere

See it if you would like to experience a story about the lives of some New York Native Americans, told & presented by Native Americans.

Don't see it if you are looking for that big budget thriller about the fall of the Twin Towers--this is not it.

Also “Mangled Beams” isn’t great drama. But it compelled my attention from ... Read more Read less

Relevant, Absorbing, A very pleasant surprise, Good, low-buget set, Good acting

See it if Native American steel workers in NYC are discriminated against by union boss. They are beam walkers. Then 9/11 happens. Excellent story

Don't see it if Do see it! Closes tomorrow, April 29

Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious, Informative, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in Native Americans' role in the World trade Center construction & 9/11 Cleanup, and the problems they had to deal with

Don't see it if you're already familiar with the Native Americans' struggle outside their reservation & their part in World Trade Cntr work

Thought-provoking, Repetitive, Resonant, Intense

See it if You're interested in the role played by Native Americans in the 9/11 cleanup. Slow first act &clunky writing is somewhat redeemed by 2nd act

Don't see it if You don't support community theatre or aren't interested in the story. Good effort overall.

Relevant, Banal, Cliched, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if A strange mix of various plot lines tries to be relevant at the end Pretty much an I told you so on things you already know

Don't see it if You’re expecting great writing or acting this was pretty much so so and the material I think everyone knows already

Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if You want to learn about how Native Americans were involved in the cleaning efforts when 9-11 happened. Liked the story.

Don't see it if If you cant deal with a long opening scene where no words are spoken. So-so writing.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Cliched, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you know nothing about the Native American "Skywalkers" and would like to learn something.

Don't see it if you want a "show" and not a "tell".


See it if You are interested in American Indian culture and how it intersects with mainstream society, you want to support a niche company & new work

Don't see it if You need a fully polished play (this production lacks strong writing and direction)

Great 2nd act set, Informative, Well intentioned, Worthwhile story

See it if You are open-minded and willing to be educated about another kind of discrimination but in return shows kindness and patriotism.

Don't see it if You aren’t the least bit interested in Native American issues and don’t want to hear their story.

Disappointing, Slow, In need of editing

See it if you want to support Native American projects. Wish there were more about union racism experienced; and the beamwalker efforts during 9/11.

Don't see it if you have no interest in supporting Native American works. You want to see a well-edited play.

Banal, Disappointing, Slow, Amateurish

See it if you want to expose a serious, overlooked issue (the key role of native-American "ironwalkers" in building the WTC) to the public conscience.

Don't see it if you are impatient with nonprofessional productions where the points being made get lost in muddled writing and unsubtle acting.

Also This story deserves to be told in a higher-quality production.


See it if You want to support new work about issues facing Native Americans.

Don't see it if You want to see something above community theatre. Very clunky writing.

Cliched, Disappointing, Confusing, Excruciating

See it if I think there might be a good story under the wreckage of the writing and acting but the keyword is might. Every word and act was a cliché.

Don't see it if You could feel every actors' performance sweat, thereby every line felt memorized and not performed as the character, hence killing the show

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if if you like bad writing coupled with bad acting/ 2 good actors in it, good lighting.

Don't see it if if you enjoy a really badly written play that is not grounded with any continuity.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Edifying, Clever

See it if Great character analyses

Don't see it if Intense characters

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if you want to learn about Native American "skywalkers," their role in building NYC's skyscrapers and their work in post-9/11.

Don't see it if you have no sense of imagination (in seeing the wreckage) but want everything laid out for you.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Riveting, Intense

See it if This play was very informative regarding the Native Americans and their skill and ability to help in the clean up of ground zero.

Don't see it if I can't imagine anyone not wanting to see a production of this play.

Cast & Creatives (15)