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Public Servant

From 98 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Slow

About the show

Theater Breaking Through Barriers kicks off its 40th Anniversary season with this world premiere drama by Bekah Brunstetter ("This Is Us") about a county commissioner and a woman who needs his help. More…

In "Public Servant," Ed has been newly elected as county commissioner. Ed is one of the good ones. With his daughter Hannah by his side, he is going to change the world -- or at least his little corner of it. Meanwhile, all world-weary Miriam needs is for a city inspector to sign off on some paperwork. Disillusioned with the system but desperate, she turns to Ed for help with what should be a simple request. But in the world of politics, is anything ever simple?


Member Reviews (98)

MEMBERS SAY:

Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Slow

68
Indulgent, Edgy, Funny, Ambitious

See it if A show that starts out fine but spirals after an hour. Good set design and lighting and Ed 's role is well done.

Don't see it if If you dont want a show that gets needlessly political. If you dont want a political show that is pointless in its politics.

65
Mediocre production, Good concept, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if ... you'd like an interesting story about a local commissioner with family/parenting problems. Slow pacing. Understated writing and acting

Don't see it if .. you prefer high drama and intense conflict

During previews
69
Great staging, Relevant, Resonant, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you like important messages in a play that needs better direction. TBTB goals are great and worthy of support.

Don't see it if you want great interaction among the characters. Difficult to enjoy with hard-to-hear male actor, overly warm theater & uncomfortable seat.

During previews
68
Relevant, Intelligent, Tedious, Uneven, Slow

See it if You are interested in the company Theatre Breaking Through Barriers and their efforts to present a play.

Don't see it if You can’t deal with a plot that develops excruciatingly slowly and a play in which there seems to be long pauses between spoken dialogue.

Also I saw the very first performance so presumably the timing will speed u... Read more Read less

During previews
60
Slow, Intelligent, Relevant, Cliched

See it if you enjoy exploring the lives of characters who try to be good but don't always succeed and of characters with disabilities.

Don't see it if you expect realistic, three dimensional characters who act in complex nuanced ways. These characters were made for TV.

During previews
67
Relevant, Slow, Great staging

See it if You want a piece investigating reproductive health and how politics relate to a community.

Don't see it if You want a well paced show, with actors responding to each other. Such long pauses, the actors were acting, not reacting.

During previews
65
Slow, Disappointing

See it if Too many important issues crammed into a short play thus fragmented in content with awkward scene changes which do not help.

Don't see it if you do not have the patience for a slow moving play

During previews
62
Disappointing, Cliched

See it if If you enjoy small cast and contemporary themes this might appeal to you

Don't see it if You enjoyed the cake and assumed the same author would bring the same wit and smart dialog to this production

During previews
69
Ambitious, Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Excruciating

See it if You are interested in a play trying to address contemporary issues

Don't see it if Do not expect anything extraordinary, a bit amateurish, predictable

During previews
69
Slow, forgettable, unoriginal, timely, good actors

See it if You want to see a not very original message play about women's rights (abortion) and plight of the middle class (also fertility problems).

Don't see it if You are a theatergoer accustomed to more original, higher-quality off-Broadway productions.

Also I saw this for free. I'd have been pretty upset had I paid 60--or even... Read more Read less

During previews
67
Shallow, Cliched, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You like slow-paced drama, with little humor. Plays with a germ of an idea that is barely developed. Adequate acting, awkward direction.

Don't see it if You crave a play that makes you think beyond the obvious, acting that finds complexity of a character. You hate pause-inspired performances

During previews
50
Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow, Great staging

See it if You are interested in the company Theater Breaking Through Barriers and their efforts to present a play.

Don't see it if you have no tolerance for self indulgent characters who make no significant connection to each other or the audience

During previews
68
A little trite., Good acting and staging., Has potential.

See it if you enjoy good staging and decent acting by an interesting company.

Don't see it if you don't like talky, fraught interpersonal relationships and a civil service overlay. Main character did not project-strained to hear.


June 11th, 2019
“’Public Servant’ is the second part of a trilogy that started with Ms. Brunstetter’s ‘The Cake’...The new play is about parenthood, paternalism and what it means to work for the people...’The Cake’, though, is a more polished and organic work than ‘Public Servant’, whose plot and dialogue can se...
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June 6th, 2019
"A heartwarming vision of how life could be, if not a particularly enthralling drama...Although their performances feel broad, the three actors fully commit to each beat...Director Geordie Broadwater crafts some tender moments between the actors, but it's not enough to compensate for a sluggish p...
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June 7th, 2019
“Under Geordie Broadwater's direction, the action ambles at an unhurried pace, taking time for moments of insight into three sadly deprived lives...And sometimes Brunstetter's throwaway sense of humor casts a strangely revealing light...The cast is adept at inhabiting this scratchy, solitary trio...
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June 6th, 2019
"Edmund T. Morris' white picket fence that greets us inside Theatre Row for Theatre Breaking Through Barriers' world premiere of 'Public Servant' may not initially impress us, but it proves before long to be the ideal metaphor for Bekah Brunstetter's gripping play - it's both deceptively simple a...
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