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From 171 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

About the show

Lincoln Center Theater presents the world premiere of Dominique Morisseau's drama about how a mother’s hopes for her son clash with an educational system rigged against him. More…

Nya, an inner-city public high school teacher, is committed to her students but desperate to give her only son Omari opportunities they’ll never have. When a controversial incident at his upstate private school threatens to get him expelled, Nya must confront his rage and her own choices as a parent. But will she be able to reach him before a world beyond her control pulls him away? 

Member Reviews (171)


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

Relevant, Ambitious, Disappointing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy of-the-moment works. This deals w/the plight of a young Black man in America. Many issues raised, but imperfect as theater.

Don't see it if you want a fully coherent, credible plot and characters. Still, show is engaging and encourages discussion of impt topic. Mostly well acted.

Also I am not a fan of theater-in-the-round. I was seated far on the side (... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You want to see great performances in a well polished production.

Don't see it if Themes regarding race do not interest you.

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

See it if You like edge of your seat dramas that could be taken from today's headlines. Very relevant.

Don't see it if You're looking for a light fluffy night at the theatre.

Edgy, Relevant, Refreshing, Absorbing, Tense

See it if Family drama cleverly interleaved within a social issues drama. Excellent music/sound design. Good comic relief.

Don't see it if Social issues are stereotyped. Characters are good but a bit one dimensional. Themes are preachy.

Also All the characters are basically good people but the family is still i... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Intense, Relevant

See it if Morisseau's indictment of society's internalized racism via education system Using Wright's Native Son as template, it's brutally effective

Don't see it if Despite Blaine-Cruz's taut staging & a fantastic ensemble led by Pittman, a tendency to speechify creeps in harming the writing's beauty

Ambitious, Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you are concerned about the quality of inner city schools, temptations of urban youth, absentee parenting, race relations, teacher burnout

Don't see it if too many issues needing further exploration may tire you, depictions of unresolved matters and cultural misunderstandings frustrates you,

Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a very complex and incisive look at the black experience in today's America, that's deadly serious but never didactic.

Don't see it if you're looking for escapism. This holds the mirror up to our society extremely effectively and pretty devastatingly.

Relevant, Cliched, Disappointing, Intense, Overrated

See it if You are interested in work about black families and their struggles in society.

Don't see it if You think this is a hot-button play focusing on the ineffectual US education system. It's just the setting for a predictable family drama.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you like an intelligent show about the educational system, racial issues and parental difficulties.Simple but effective staging. Intense.

Don't see it if you prefer comedy or don't like discussion of racial or educational issues.

Also I had a problem with the last two scenes. The ending with the mother a... Read more Read less

Topically important, Eloquent, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Engaging

See it if you're concerned about the great educational racial divide in this country and how it affects the children, family and teachers.

Don't see it if you're looking for answers. Some scenes feel forced and choppy.

Also Smallwood is excellent but way too old to play a teenager. For me, thi... Read more Read less

Needed soemthing to seperate it

See it if you like stories about African American broken families

Don't see it if you are looking for something different. This has been done over and over

Also I didn't really care for the "blackbox" staging. The acting was great ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if You are interested in the problems of students fighting prejudices, both imagined and real. Broken family strife.inner city education.

Don't see it if You are tired of the same educational issues nature v nurture. Cannot sit without an intermission. Dislike teen violence.

Also The acting is terrific! The retiring white teacher is spot on!!

Serious, Necessary, Forward-looking, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you participate in American democracy; you’re interested in theater that offers more than frivolity and illusionism

Don't see it if you won’t engage w/ these characters as both people & archetypes. Play's good @ the literal level, but more powerful @ the metaphorical

Also Excellent cast articulates one of the defining social issues of our ti... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if you enjoy well written pieces that explore current racial and social themes.

Don't see it if you don't like being challenged

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

See it if An emotional family drama about race and the educational system; parents who want to avoid the school-to-prison Pipeline for their son

Don't see it if you want a play with easy answers - there are no simple solutions for raising teenagers or for teaching in inner city schools

Also The scenes involving the discussion (with video projections) of Brooks... Read more Read less

Great acting, Absorbing, Resonant, Profound, Must see

See it if like intelligent, powerful dramas lyrically told and portrayed by some of the best acting I've seen in quite some time.

Don't see it if four letter words offend you.

Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Resonant

See it if You are interested in plays that explore socially relevant topics like race, SES, acts of violence, and the role of educators

Don't see it if You want pure escapism and a light topic production; get headaches easily from florescent lights

Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Well-acted, Pensive

See it if seeking a fast-paced, performer-driven drama asking you to rethink educational systems, and parent/children & teacher/student relationships.

Don't see it if not invested in raw, natural-feeling stories of urban environments, teens in trouble, race, and the experience of teaching and parenting.

Also Pipeline takes the edginess of an urban street and resets it in what s... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Uneven writing, Namir smallwood a standout!

See it if you want to see Namir Smallwood's outstanding performance as a troubled teen. The subplot of the other teacher was outstanding. Best part.

Don't see it if you don't like dramas or show that give characters rationalized allowances for poor choices. Especially adults.

Relevant, Profound, Great acting, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy superb acting, honest and absorbing dialog, in depth characterizations covering implications of the race situation in the US.

Don't see it if you favor light entertainment, dislike serious drama that is pessimistic about race in the US and difficult and demanding to watch.

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Enjoy great acting of a subject that has been visited before

Don't see it if want any new insights

Intelligent, Great writing, Intense, Resonant, Great staging

See it if you enjoy intelligent, resonant family-dramas. Sometimes intense & a bit shouty, the acting is good, working off a very well-written script.

Don't see it if social/racial issues, especially in school settings, ain't your thing. As intense as it got on and off, it was also very humorous at times.

Also Had issues with how it resolves at the end.... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Good acting,, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a new play that addresses the issue of are we a product of our makeup or can we escape it by changing our environment.

Don't see it if you don't like social or racial issue plays that examine our social and ethnic makeup and how we our influenced by it.

Confusing, Edgy, Slow

See it if you are interested in seeing a very up and coming writer.

Don't see it if you do not like shows that feature violence.

Ambitious, Intense, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You can forgive some flaws in return for a powerful payoff.

Don't see it if You fell that some flawed writing and extraneous characters cannot be forgiven.

July 10th, 2017
"Lacks the driving coherence of Morisseau’s earlier work. But it confirms her reputation as a playwright of piercing eloquence. She bravely dives into the muddled shadows of social issues often presented in cold statistics and cleanly drawn graphs...'Pipeline' is more confused in its depiction of...
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July 12th, 2017
"A play that sometimes suggests a dramatized essay...Only 85 minutes long, 'Pipeline' sometimes feels thin on elaboration, and not all of its scenes are effective...But in dealing with subjects overfreighted with the weight of representation, the play leaves admirable space for discussion...In a ...
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July 10th, 2017
"Feels more like a sociology thesis than a play...The show has little dramatic urgency...While there are some powerful moments, 'Pipeline' overall fails to come to life...Morisseau seems to be reaching for a profundity that 'Pipeline' never attains. The stylistically awkward drama works best in i...
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July 11th, 2017
"Karen Pittman is giving a sensational performance in the new play 'Pipeline'...Dominique Morisseau has written some quietly devastating social dramas on her way up, but now the playwright has definitely arrived with this emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama that raises barbed questio...
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