Playwrights Horizons presents the world premiere of Robert O’Hara's ('Bootycandy') audacious comedy about a world without women. More…
Mark and Jason were keeping things casual until Jason got pregnant. But however unplanned the pregnancy was, nothing could be less expected than the chain of events it would set in motion. Robert O’Hara’s comic allegory envisions an uncannily familiar future – one long after women have gone extinct from centuries of mistreatment – where man’s capacity to f**k everything up soars to new heights.
“O’Hara’s audacious, hilarious allegory envisions an uncannily familiar future...One of the most exciting, eccentric plays I have ever seen...Like the best 'Black Mirror' episode on feminism...The madness of this premise opens for surprising choices and explorations into religion, abortion, and mass hysteria...Incredibly wealthy with wisdom, social commentary, and conversational sparks. O’Hara has achieved what many creatives desire: a discussion.” Full Review
“A genuinely original theatrical work...’Mankind’ is very funny and watchable, although to benefit fully from such novel ideas and quick-fire delivery under the direction of the playwright, a second visit might reveal further jokes and hidden depths...However, the play does considerably more than amuse, asking viewers to think deeply about many of our values today. Under the microscope are topics that include religion, abortion, gender equality, and even politics and the media." Full Review
"A gonzo nuts completely off-its-rocker laugh-out-loud tragedy, and I mean that as a compliment. It was near impossible to predict how the plot would unfold from scene to scene...The dark comedy dissects media culture, religion, and, most importantly, the permanence of patriarchy...O’Hara slyly builds a world where men continue to speak for women, even if they are not present...The ensemble of six men is uniformly excellent." Full Review
“A satire...You could also say it’s a farce and a tragedy...The production is excellent – Robert O’Hara has directed his own work crisply and clearly and has assembled an excellent cast and crew...A biting, sarcastic look at the species and where we could be heading. It will make you laugh and it will make you squirm. And very likely you will find some fault with it. But you should see it.” Full Review
“O’Hara’s wild gender politics satire...While the plot gets a little muddy in the second act...’Mandkind’ is so high-charged with imagination and audacity for its first half that the fumes of creative energy keep pushing it forward...Though the plot involves Feminism, ‘Mankind’ is more about the better side of men in their attempts to understand women; often looking foolish in the process, but still well-meaning.” Full Review
"'Mankind' is darkly comedic theatre. And though it’s quite apropos for its time, I was left a bit uncertain. I felt uneasy with a piece about a woman’s right to choose that seemed devoid of a woman’s perspective. Perhaps that’s just as it should be, perhaps not...Every idea posited by O’Hara has a compelling physical reality produced with startling technical precision...O’Hara understands his medium and allows us plenty of time for the journey; nothing is rushed." Full Review
“When the play’s thinking blurs and its dramatic focus skitters, its brash impudence will see you through...O’Hara’s anxiety or eagerness to get from one high point to the next, has left many matters fuzzy or unexplained...It’s hard to imagine that a dramaturg or a different director could have helped O’Hara find his way out of these foggy spells...’Mankind’ is bothersome in a good and potentially fruitful way, and that O’Hara’s continued audacity may well pay remarkable dividends.” Full Review
"A fun comedy that turns berserk...O’Hara’s premise is promising, his inspiration laudable, and his stated intentions honorable....But, ultimately, 'Mankind' is muddled. If it does establish the tone of a satiric cautionary tale, it’s not always clear what it is satirizing or what it’s cautioning against...O’Hara just seems intent on being playful without thinking out his imagined world with enough care." Full Review
“Even as 'Mankind' posits the radical adaptivity of male bodies, it suggests an equal adaptivity of patriarchal male rule as potentially disruptive energies are absorbed into a larger culture of surveillance, violence, control, and greed...Good material for satire, but O’Hara doesn’t seem sure how to shape it...Bravura moments are undermined by heavy-handed messaging and exposition. Like many an allegorical brainchild, the play seems like it was fun to conceive and harder to bring up right.” Full Review
"This new play allows its themes and comedic elements to collide so that everything spins out of control and loses the aimed for satiric balance...While the emotional impact of the basic premise is weakened by the everything-but-the-kitchen-sink thematics, O'Hara does once again display considerable directing skill...Despite its narrative flaws, 'Mankind' is praiseworthy for the fine performances, evocative design...All ensure that this is an interesting and never boring failure." Full Review
“If only I had left O’Hara’s new play at intermission, I would have had a pleasant but abbreviated evening. Until that point, the satire had remained relatively sharp and focused...Unfortunately...the play resumed and ran steadily downhill...I wish his inventiveness were coupled with more discipline. The satire generates surprisingly few laughs and rapidly becomes tedious...O’Hara demonstrates why playwrights should not direct their own work...A frustrating evening of missed opportunities.” Full Review
"The story keeps twisting even when you need it to stay put and shout. Another switcheroo arrives every few minutes, which quickly grows as tiresome and lets the satire deflate into mere sarcasm. It’s a problem of focus. Satire is about the sharpness of the darts but also of the targets. Here there are too many targets...This pinwheel of snark feels like a stunt, and there’s little that the cast can do, under the author’s distracted direction, to keep a feeling of agitated desperation at bay." Full Review
“A farce meant for millennials and those who thrill at self indulgent rhetoric...The cast is excellent...O’Hara has a wicked sense of humor, but he fails to truly outline his world...The play leaves more questions than answers...O’Hara, who directs his own work needs another eye. Maybe then we could see all of what he is trying to say instead of it being so muddled...Meant to make feel uncomfortable, but I just found it too self-indulgent to care.” Full Review
“A broad, futuristic satire of sexuality, feminism, religion...More than the playwright is able to manage smoothly...it has its moments...At the end of the first act the play goes off the rails...The play’s energy jumps a bit after intermission with a good sight gag, but it doesn’t recover enough and ultimately lurches its way to the finale. ’Mankind’, one hopes, is only a way station to a point when O’Hara manages to channel his energies and abilities to something more coherent." Full Review
"It doesn’t give a clue as to what one needs to be cautious about...O’Hara’s direction of his own work is generally more elaborate than the material warrants. Religion and abortion are clearly targets of 'Mankind', but whether it hits them is another matter...Despite their shaky material, Mount, and especially Moreno, shine as Mark and Jason. While everything and everyone around them flounders, they remain grounded. They bring solidity to a play that hasn’t quite found its footing." Full Review
“Nonsensical plot developments and…humorless SNL sketch-like treatments…all acted in an equally diverse assortment of styles ranging from naturalistic to campy exaggeration…The plotting is wobbly, the humor banal, the exposition indistinct, the characters cartoonish, and the situations lacking even the most basic grounding in a reality strong enough to help us suspend our disbelief…O'Hara's got real talent…but 'Mankind' could have used some Planned Parenthood assistance of its own.” Full Review
“Too idea-heavy and cloudy to see anything clearly. It is a progressively outrageous satire that blossoms into a convoluted mess of ‘hot topics’ easily lampooned out at us with no deeper analysis than the simplistic idea that men are dopey and foolish when it comes down to all of this. And that they eventually will take the easy route, just like O’Hara has in his direction and writing. At the end of this journey, we find ourselves even more lost and confused as before.” Full Review
"The offbeat premise is intriguing, but the writer fails to take it all the way, choosing a surreal treatment that is visually stunning but intellectually hollow...O’Hara, doubling as director, hasn’t quite decided how he wants us to feel about Jason’s dilemma...Despite being twisted, the Christian symbolism is clever...But it’s alarming to realize that, although the play seems to have come to an end, it’s only intermission and there’s another whole act to go." Full Review
“A ponderous, largely laugh-free affair that begins on a mildly inventive revue-sketch note and quickly proceeds to box itself in, leading to a second act that roams far and wide in search of a salient comic point...O'Hara's satire is so vague and generalized as to be toothless...The production coasts on the considerable charisma of its leading men...A satire without much sting -- O'Hara gets so tangled up in the details of his dystopia that his outrage is rather badly muffled.” Full Review
"Jason and Mark mostly alternate between bro-y detachment and screaming at each other, but in one of 'Mankind’s' strongest scenes, they start to open up about their pasts...O’Hara here succeeds in bolstering his sketch-like premise with a much needed dose of sincerity. It doesn’t last: We soon return to the world of cartoonishly drawn supporting characters, destructive male venality and idiocy, and mostly predictable digs at our messy moment’s sorry state of things." Full Review
“The play is a mix of occasionally fascinating but overall discordant parts...Some of the audience laughed and found the various conceits and flouncing funny, and elsewhere others sat in silence...The play is an exercise in both absurdity and cultural challenge. Its problems are more basic than its premise: You just don’t quite believe in the characters...Ends up feeling like the most feverish kind of mansplaining.” Full Review
"The play's very funny, very human opening is unfortunately quickly subsumed by a host of big ideas and controversial social issues...It all feels scattershot, and as a result, 'Mankind' is as frustrating as it is enervating...The second act is even loopier and more meandering than the first...Above all else, 'Mankind' lacks a self-reflective level of irony that might have made the play more successful as social satire...The play might have been more appropriately titled 'Mansplain.'" Full Review
"That pro-choice message is rather muddled here. If restrictions on abortion can really be blamed on male indifference, then surely such laws would disappear in a world where men got pregnant...Rather than dramatising actual women’s suffering, 'Mankind' thus ends up wallowing in impenetrable conceit. Despite its blundering stabs at satirical cleverness, the play also runs out of theatrical ideas more or less immediately." Full Review
“Though it’s more often men who are out of the picture, single-sex societies are a familiar sci-fi trope...Doesn’t probe the consequences of its premise beyond these basic parameters...Elements that might lend it human drama are often lost in the shadows...O’Hara doesn’t seem much interested in the voices and bodies of actual women...The irony of men inventing feminism is also surprisingly underplayed...If the play didn’t raise so many interesting questions, it would feel less frustrating.” Full Review
"An overlong exploration of toxic masculinity and a battle cry for women’s rights that suffers from an even more glaring shortcoming: an all-male cast...The polish of the production alas, also helps to underscore how undercooked the script sometimes is...It doesn’t help that O’Hara has opted to direct his own material...A different director might have helped this prodigiously talented writer to hone his material into a tighter, sharper edge." Full Review
See it if you can imagine the worst and still find humor. This play shows light on very relevant issues but makes it accessible through humor.
Don't see it if you can't open your mind to real issues that need to be addressed. If you don't already know they exist you should come and learn.
See it if If you like plays that present a totally new perspective on today's world and the future of "Womankind" in a "Mankind" world.
Don't see it if If you like traditional storytelling. But if you wanna move a bit beyond you comfort zone I highly recommend this play
See it if you find plays that spoof religion engaging; the thought of an all-male universe and its consequences delights you; you want to laugh
Don't see it if you find pro-abortion and anti-religion plays offensive
See it if you're in the mood for a smart, thought-provoking, dark comedy about women's rights and real feminism.
Don't see it if you're looking for a purely entertaining show/spectacle (although this is entertaining).
See it if you want to be transported to one of the most INTERESTING takes on the future of mankind, every created before.
Don't see it if you don’t want your mind BLOWN, because it will be blown, G-U-A-R-A-N-T-E-E-D.
See it if you dig original playwriting, biting satire, fresh insight, great acting and staging, social critique, provocative storylines, mind bending.
Don't see it if profane language or political incorrectness or sexual frankness or exploration offends you, or doctrinaire feminist politics appeal to you.
See it if you enjoy biting satire of misogyny, religion and much more. Features some well done audience immersion.
Don't see it if you are politically correct, sensitive, and don't have a sense of humor.
See it if you like to laugh and think. You like to explore society's big issues: gender, religion, politics. You don't need to be told the answer.
Don't see it if you need the point spelled out for you. You want to go deep on one issue rather than touch on many. You don't laugh about serious subjects
See it if You enjoy the occasional offbeat production, great satire and clever staging
Don't see it if You're conservative, especially religiously conservative or are looking for a more mainstream type play.
See it if You’re open to an endlessly surprising, over-the-top, biting, larger-than-life rasp of political satire. Not for the closed of mind or heart
Don't see it if You’ve no taste for metaphor or great leaps of imagination, have no sense of the absurd or only see things as they appear—especially onstage
See it if Anson Mount is fantastic! This was a surprising show, not what I was thinking but enjoyable all the same. Topical. Go women!
Don't see it if You want a more serious play because it does deal with serious issues, but is not portrayed as a drama. Warning: Minor audience interaction.
See it if You are not hung up about logic. It is crazy, but no more unlikely than the last year we've lived through, plus it is funny, and truthful.
Don't see it if You feel that people, men in particular, are upright citizens, and you think it would be rude to see them portrayed as venal and idiotic.
See it if you'd like to delve into a future without women; WWMD without us? Well, they'd f#@k, that's for sure, and f-up too; its a funny/scary future
Don't see it if you need a perfect story line and structure; play veers off in the second half from mostly riffing on men to fully riffing on religion
See it if You enjoy post-apocalyptic plays that challenge current ways of thinking, especially with regards to religion.
Don't see it if You’re expecting a play that challenges one particular idea. This play rambles and isn’t sure of what exactly it’s challenging.
See it if You’re looking for a screwball dystopian satire that takes aim at one issue after another
Don't see it if You’re looking for a play that interrogates one issue thoroughly, or if audience participation mortifies you
See it if you don’t expect a realistic rendering of the future—this is a live-action cartoon of the present
Don't see it if you want a show that changes minds rather than preaches to the choir; can't see religion mocked; are uninterested in pro-choice perspectives
See it if You want to have intense dialog after the show, don’t mind uneven tone, can handle discordant dialog and staging, and like ambitious shows.
Don't see it if You like light comedy, don’t like dystopian drama, have intense political theories, or need light, pat, storytelling.
See it if you enjoy great writing and satire. It's a unique take on misogyny, religion, and fascism. It's also quite funny. But it's not perfect.
Don't see it if you don't want to face the logical consequences of policies and actions to restrict abortion/marginalize women/ promote the police state
See it if You are a Robert O’Hara fan,like religious satires, great actors, futuristic settings, feminism, political themes, craziness ...
Don't see it if You like traditional plays and are very conservative about religion, feminism, and abortion themes. Detest same sex couples and marriage.
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