Already closed | 1h 30m | East Village

Office Hour

From 124 member  reviews
Members say: Intense, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

About the show

Playwright Julia Cho ('The Language Archive') returns to the Public with the New York premiere of this taut drama about a teacher and student desperate to change the narrative of who they are and how their story ends. More…

Gina was warned that one of her students would be a problem. Eighteen years old and strikingly odd, Dennis writes violently obscene work clearly intended to unsettle those around him. Determined to know whether he’s a real threat, Gina compels Dennis to attend her office hours. But as the clock ticks down, Gina realizes that 'good' versus 'bad' is nothing more than a convenient illusion, and that the isolated young student in her office has learned one thing above all else: that for the powerless, the ability to terrify others is powerful indeed.


Member Reviews (124)

MEMBERS SAY:

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

79
Intense, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Powerful, Relevant

See it if you seek a tense, eloquent, well-acted take on the timely topic of school shooting that also explores compassion, loneliness & misjudgment.

Don't see it if you expect any concrete conclusions to a complex topic. [The show asks more questions than it answers.]; you're uncomfortable with violence.

84
Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You enjoy highly relevant, topical thrillers, especially those that toy with both the audience’s and the characters’ perceptions of reality.

Don't see it if You can’t stand edge-of-your-seat, intense plays where you’re constantly waiting for a gun to go off.

90
Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if You'd want to watch one teacher try to get through to a troubled student and all the things she really tries. 90 minutes flies by.

Don't see it if You don't have earplugs, as there is a particularly loud moment (that goes on for a while) towards the end.

80
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Startling

See it if You are interested in the role of teachers as moral coaches for teenage students. Are they trained professionals?

Don't see it if You are not interested in the current problem of student safety in schools. You shock easily.

Also Where does the responsibility of the parent end, and that of the schoo... Read more Read less

62
Resonant, Ambitious, Intense, Misguided, Absorbing

See it if you are an admirer of Julia Cho or Sue Jean Kim.

Don't see it if you expect a serious commentary on gun violence in America.

Also The play's sensationalistic approach trivializes an important subject.

70
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Slow

See it if You can tolerate gun shots and violence in a university office.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a pleasant and comfortable experience.

56
Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want a look at a potentially volatile situation and how it may be dealt with. Or want to see the inner workings of a troubled mind.

Don't see it if Gun violence is a trigger, or watching an agonizingly slow conversation drag on, while constantly waiting for the shoe to drop.

79
Clever, Profound

See it if You want to see an intense show about a very touchy subject

Don't see it if Seeing a play about gun violence is going to bother you.

Also I love when as an audience member I feel scared. This doesn’t happen t... Read more Read less

85
Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if Exploration of a potential school shooter that plays with our perceptions, stereotypes and fears to explore how we can find understanding

Don't see it if you're looking for a light comedy or don't like plays which remain ambiguous. What-if scenarios & unanswered questions, but that's the point

46
Slow, Intense, Excruciating, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if Interesting premise. What makes a student potentially dangerous and how did he get that way?

Don't see it if Terrible execution. Says nothing about the subject. One character spends half the play in silence, and when he talks, you wish he’d shut up

70
Ambitious, Dizzying, Indulgent, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you enjoy contemporary dramas that touch on everyday subjects

Don't see it if you deplore dizzying drama complete with gunshots

69
Relevant, Intense, Disappointing, Slow, Cliched

See it if a teacher trying to help a student with issues that could lead to gun violence; teacher relates her own experiences to the student

Don't see it if contrived dialogue, sounds like a therapy session; gun shots; a very important topic but doesn't have emotional pull of real cases in news

70
Excellent acting, Good production, Confusing, Relevant, Talky

See it if like fine acting and stories about psychological wounds and violence caused by family, discrimination and other deficits in our society.

Don't see it if you dislike plays about serious and flaws in our society that can be confusing, talky and slow at times.

73
Absorbing, Great acting, Scary

See it if You think about what kinds of "signs" people should be watching out for when they want to stop certain people from having guns

Don't see it if You might be scared by a simulated mass shooting

81
Riveting, Taut, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if You have an interest in an examination of the the struggles of growing up as an outsider, and not fitting in.

Don't see it if You do not care for sitting on the edge of your seat, or considering issues which never troubled you growing up.

65
Ambitious, Unrealistic, Disappointing, Slow, Violent

See it if You can watch a violent drama unbound by its unrealistic premise

Don't see it if You are offended by violence and graphic language and imagery.

Also One must suspend belief considerably to tolerate this play. The profes... Read more Read less

70
Confusing, Edgy, Intense, Resonant

See it if You like writing about writing, or have sympathy for the angst of isolation and parental pressure.

Don't see it if You have shooting-related trauma. You think this is going to be "about" gun violence.

Also Unfortunately, this production seems destined to be overshadowed by co... Read more Read less

71
Edgy, Intense, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if You are interested in adolescents at risk and how their distress affects other students and faculty.

Don't see it if You are easily startled by loud noises.

Also The question that lingers is what role can adjunct faculty play in rea... Read more Read less

78
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if Meditation & exploration of gun violence,isolation,mental illness inspired by Va Tech shootings but dreamlike & oddly lacking verisimilitude

Don't see it if You can’t take gunshots scenes depicting mass shootings on campus or how easily we become insensitized to violence

65
Ambitious, Disappointing, Great staging, Intense, Loud

See it if you are interested in examining gun culture in America or what might cause a killer to consider killing.

Don't see it if gunfire in theaters scares/frightens you because there is a ton.

82
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you want to see a play that brings up the very important topic of gun violence and teenage angst.

Don't see it if you want to see a play that gives answers to the important topics it brings up.

Also the play gives you a lot to think about. The situation it brings up ca... Read more Read less

54
Relevant, Ambitious, Disappointing, Intense

See it if You want to witness what teachers face in their classrooms with difficult students. It touches on anticipation of violence.

Don't see it if You have expectations of real resolution of a student's fears. Turns to maudlin scenes of violence intended.

68
Ambitious, Slow, Intense, Banal, Disappointing

See it if the play attempts to address a very disturbing and difficult subject (gun violence), but ultimately doesn't add much to the discussion.

Don't see it if very loud gunshots disturb you. The play is talky and feels like an unfinished effort; the setup and the behavior feel artificial.

74
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging, Relevant

See it if you want a thoughtful exploration of gun violence among disaffected students who feel isolated by society; strong acting/writing

Don't see it if , like the Times reviewer, gunshots are a "trigger" for you; there are a number of blanks fired. Note the play is dark but not frightening

72
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you want to see a play about a teacher who cares about a troubled student...

Don't see it if you don't like watching violence or are looking for a light piece of theater...


November 8th, 2017
“If you remove from the story the threat of violence and its fulfillment, there’s very little story left...Cho tries to finesse this structural problem by introducing a meta-theatrical game of three-card monte...It’s hard to pay attention either way, because so many of the vignettes end in variet...
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November 8th, 2017
“'Office Hour' is physically difficult to sit through. Part of that reaction is a judgment on its quality...But you may also be experiencing something like a literal fight-or-flight response...Cho’s 'All in the Timing'–style conceit spirals into absurdity, and the audience laughs uncertainly...If...
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November 8th, 2017
“Has moments that feel vital, honest, and valuable. It’s also built around a scenario that I find deeply questionable, perhaps even irresponsible...At its most effective moments, 'Office Hour' is interested not only in the question of gun violence, but in the painful, isolating struggle faced by ...
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November 8th, 2017
“The dialogue too often feels contrived and artificial, designed to make sociological points rather than convey three-dimensional characters...The playwright indulges too often in the sort of narrative fake-outs that are certainly shocking but eventually prove wearisome in their repetitiveness. ‘...
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