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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)


Relevant, Great acting, Great staging, Absorbing, Slow
Avg Score

During previews
Great writing, Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Touching truth filled play lovingly dealing with family relationships, mental illness, disabilities, wanting to have a child and abortion.

Don't see it if Don’t see it if you are looking for fun and fluff.

During previews
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
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
Excruciating, Cliched, Banal

See it if you feel the overall subject matter might appeal.

Don't see it if you want a well-crafted piece of theater.

Also I was very disappointed. The acting was not strong. The lead did not s... Read more Read less

During previews
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
Refreshing, Relevant, Great acting, Funny, Entertaining

See it if you want to see an entertaining play with strong performances and a compassionate message that is both pro-choice and pro-parenthood.

Don't see it if if you don't like nuanced presentations on these issues

During previews
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a one act play that gives you a glimpse into the somewhat challenging world of politics and it's impact on people/community.

Don't see it if Hot button political topics are not of interest to you.

During previews
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
Entertaining, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy well acted ensemble pieces, you want your heart touched, you enjoy out of the box well written drama, you want to be entertained.

Don't see it if you only like musicals or broad comedies, you don't like intimate dramatic theater, if you are uncomfortable with discussions of pro-choice.

During previews
Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy good acting and good interplay between characters. If you like subjects that can be argued and debated.

Don't see it if you need a large cast of characters and are not into subjects that can be politicized.

During previews
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
Absorbing, Great acting

See it if you want to see a play which deals with several aspects of politics influenced by personal relationships.

Don't see it if you want a fluffy, feel good experience in the theater.

Also Well acted with some very clever staging. Several themes about local p... Read more Read less

During previews
Intelligent, Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy well written contemporary themed dramas that deal with complicated political issues in a respectful manner.

Don't see it if You prefer frothy comedies or dramas that take a strident point of view.

During previews
Disappointing, Intelligent, Entertaining, Slow, Great acting

See it if you will enjoy some strong performances about serious topics (with occasional humor). Despite being slow at the top, it's worth it.

Don't see it if Slow pacing the first few scenes will kill any possible enjoyment for you. It takes longer to develop than it should.

During previews
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.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Enchanting

See it if You're a fan of 'This is Us' and like stories dealing with morals, family, and politics.

Don't see it if You're a discriminatory person in any way. Actually, do see it. Maybe it will change you.

Also I'm a fan of Bekah Brunstetter's writing, and she does not disappoint.... Read more Read less

During previews
Underwritten, Safe, Disappointing

See it if You wanna see singing bland.

Don't see it if You want a full night if theatre

During previews
Intelligent, Resonant, Absorbing, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you are interested in the real world of small politics and when slogans clash with life.

Don't see it if You are interested in avantgarde theatre, light comedy or big messages.

During previews
Great staging, Resonant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if An interesting and touchy play with more than an hint to the current abortion debate going on nowadays...Relevant and touchy

Don't see it if You dont care...

During previews
Relevant, Great acting

See it if you liked Brunstetter's CAKE and respond to the conflict between city and midland values within a family.

Don't see it if you are allergic to naturalism.

During previews
Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like plays with timely themes

Don't see it if Are rigid in your beliefs

During previews
Intelligent, Funny, Great acting, Clever

See it if You want a good topical play written by a TV writer.

Don't see it if You want to maybe be more surprised? It's a really solid piece but isn't super riveting.

During previews
Intelligent, Great staging, Great acting

See it if I found the show to be thought provoking and provocative. It dealt with issues of disability, abortion, marijuana, gerrymandering, etc

Don't see it if If you’re not open and extremely conservative you might not like it.

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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