Already closed | 1h 35m | Midtown W

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
75
Avg Score

During previews
92
Refreshing, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Excellent performances by the actors with a compelling script. The play was relevant hitting some hot political topics unknowingly.

Don't see it if Not an interesting set.

During previews
100
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You like great solid plays by a company that does amazing work all the time.

Don't see it if You don’t like shows that challenges the way you look at life. This company always delivers new ideas.

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
78
Intelligent, Good acting, Good writing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy "slice of life" dramas. You enjoy family stories. You want to support a company of disabled actors.

Don't see it if U're very pro-life.U dislike plays that "stuff too much" into 90 minutes & refer to a character's problems w/o explaining them adequately.

Also Spoiler alert. I liked this play & was glad I saw it. But IMO, 2 plot ... Read more Read less

During previews
79
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you are interesting in the struggles of a public official trying to do the right thing while balancing family & life issues.

Don't see it if Political drama does not interest you.

During previews
74
Funny, Slow, Great writing, Great acting

See it if You like humorous shows about inter-personal dynamics

Don't see it if This show ran a bit too long

During previews
79
Resonant, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a play about real people struggling with real problems.

Don't see it if you want light hearted themes and don't care to dwell on problems.

During previews
71
Refreshing, Great staging, Slow, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you'd like to see good acting about important social topics; don't mind a slow developing plot.

Don't see it if you want a show with some fast-paced action.

During previews
80
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You like seeing plays that deal with interpersonal relationships.also if you want to support using actors with disabilities.

Don't see it if If you prefer musicals or don't want to see a show that deals with infertility or abortion.

During previews
71
Good acting, Poor pacing, Slow, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy a play about civil discourse, family dynamics and local politics. Large current issues are brought up, but it’s not a meaty plot.

Don't see it if You can’t tolerate a slow plot, awkward pauses and scene changes. I really liked the cake and this is us, but this isn’t those.

During previews
79
Very sincere and well-intentioned plea for inclusiveness that could use a little more bite: a worthy near miss., Funny, Relevant, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if You're in the mood for a "we're all doing the best we can so lets try to be nice to one another because nobody's perfect" story.

Don't see it if You're the kind of jaded New Yorker who's got no patience with other people's shortcomings and problems.

During previews
75
Confusing, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if You want a slow moving story about 3 people dealing with their personal issues who come and go into each others life. Lot's of political tal

Don't see it if Small play that deals with some powerful hot political issues of the day.

During previews
75
Great staging, Romantic, Cliched, Banal

See it if Just another good performance, nothing special but nothing bad or annoying.

Don't see it if Do not like politicians, absolutely against abortion, feel that people with the limited abilities not allowed to have kids

During previews
80
Entertaining, Slow, Great staging, Great acting

See it if A story line put together for all of the actors

Don't see it if You like comedies and musicals

During previews
72
Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoyed "The Cake", and want to a play that is thematically in the same world. Also if you are from or have a soft spot for N. Carolina.

Don't see it if you need a script that is more consistent. While the script hits many high marks towards the end, the beginning feels unsure of itself.

During previews
70
Slow, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if An average and forgettable play. Really just didn't do anything for me. Male lead was difficult to hear and theater was a bit warm

Don't see it if You enjoy musicals or more upbeat content

During previews
90
Great staging, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you want to understand a bit more why it's hard to serve individuals right even as a politician/public servant with the best intentions .

Don't see it if you are not interested in Public Service. But try to see it anyway: It's a pretty good play with great acting and you might learn something.

Also We were really drawn into this play and enjoyed it a lot although we d... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Intelligent, Profound, Intense, Great acting, Clever

See it if you enjoy plays which deal with family and personal relationships.

Don't see it if cliched political rhetoric is not your "bag".

During previews
80
Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a play that deals with the tangled web of politics.

Don't see it if you want a play with more characters and more action - only three actors.

During previews
90
Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing

See it if You like a well-acted, well-written show that touches on relevant life experiences.

Don't see it if You want a big show

During previews
85
Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You want to see great acting by an all inclusive cast with great chemistry amongst the three leads.

Don't see it if You want something splashy. Straightforward story that ends predictably.

During previews
90
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You appreciate an absorbing glimpse of political and personal life intertwined with interesting twists at every turn. Good acting,

Don't see it if You’re politically sensitive and too far right to deal with issues of abortion and disabilities. Excuse the profanity also.

Also interesting staging. Believable story telling. Not to be missed.

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
79
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Want to see an interesting show with good acting that makes you think.

Don't see it if No reason not to

During previews
78
Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in a well written play with some humor and complex characters living with difficult issues.

Don't see it if You want a light show where you are not challenged


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...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more
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...
read more

Related content


Cast & Creatives (3)