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Slave Play

From 154 member  reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking

About the show

In this provocative new play, Jeremy O. Harris rips apart history to shed new light on the nexus of race, gender, and sexuality in 21st century America.  More…

The old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation—in the breeze, in the cotton fields...and in the crack of the whip. It’s an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master’s House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip’s fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary’s big, black boot in the barn. Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.

This play contains nudity, sexual content, simulated sexual violence, and racially violent language. Recommended for ages 17+.

Member Reviews (154)


Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking
Avg Score

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intense, Raunchy, Riveting

See it if Compelling acting and situations. Unique play, deals with important issues about race in a surprising way.

Don't see it if Very explicit sexual situations, nudity, sexual and racial language. Could be awkward with the wrong friend/family member. Be aware of that.

Also The play is two hours and 10 minutes with no intermission. I was not b... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Overrated, Resonant, Jeremy o. harris: a playwright to watch

See it if you want to see the first work of a young up-and-coming playwright. This play is not entirely successful—two-thirds of it are good.

Don't see it if you don't mind plays with structural problems and tons of repetition. I don't think Robert O'Hara was the right choice to direct this play.

Also If you like character development, this is not the play for you. The t... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Edgy, Raunchy, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you're looking for risk-taking theater and like edgy shows about race and sex. Some interesting twists and great acting performances.

Don't see it if you don't want to see sexually explicit material. There is a lot of simulated sex and some nudity. Some will hate it, some will love it.

Absorbing, Great acting, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Edgy

See it if Some standout performances. The story draws you in immediately. An emotional roller coaster.

Don't see it if I don’t get what the playwright meant to say with this play. If it’s what I think he meant, I disagree. Strongly.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense

See it if interracial relationships in therapy, effects on sex life; historical scenes about white plantation owners sex with slaves

Don't see it if nudity, sex scenes acted out with detail, verbose therapy sessions; very, very long (at least 125 intermission-less minutes)

Also actually found the historical sex scenes far more interesting than the... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging, Quirky

See it if like a quirky play with a very modern take - very breaking the fourth-wall kind of show

Don't see it if topic and staging can be uncomfortable to some - and play can be edited down somewhat

Ambitious, Confusing, Funny, Edgy, Intense

See it if You want to ponder the intricate nature of race and sexuality in a serious yet comic style

Don't see it if You take therapy seriously and aren't in the blame game

Uncomfortable to sit through withiout the aide of an intermission, Indulgent, Excruciating, Confusing

See it if you don't mind having your thoughts on race relations here in the United States of America poked at.

Don't see it if being provoked for an hour and fifty minutes without a reward for having taken the provocation is not your cup of tea.

Also I sat watching the play with my mouth agape. It stayed agape throughou... Read more Read less

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

See it if A very interesting play that surprises you in many ways. It is a clever concept very well done. The performances are excellent.

Don't see it if You are close minded or offended by issues pertaining to sexuality and race.

Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you are up for a show that can shock, provoke and make you laugh. Deals with the heritage of slavery in an unusual way.

Don't see it if Happy go-lucky musicals are your favorites.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Raunchy

See it if I other than fine performances from the actors, I cannot think of a good reason to see this play.

Don't see it if You do not wish the see, and may be bothered by, onstage depictions of sexual mistreatment.

Provocative, demanding, innovative, bold

See it if complicated, smart, funny, sometimes uncomfortable writing with excellent actors is what you want from new writers; provocative in every way

Don't see it if subjects explicitly sexual, racial, intimate, historically disturbing and contemporarily relevant is your form of engagement/entertainment

Also Author also has a great sense of humor that comes through especially i... Read more Read less

Clever, Ambitious, Edgy, Great writing, Unusual

See it if you enjoy a good story with some surprises; you like great writing with a cast to match;

Don't see it if you are offended by portrayals of explicit sex; you prefer musicals; you have no interest in plays involving interactions of blacks & whites

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Funny, Indulgent

See it if You admire an ambitious mess over a perfectly executed mediocrity. If you enjoy questions of the intersection of race and sexuality.

Don't see it if You need your plays clean in any sense of the word. This is sexual, it’s uneven, it’s all over the place.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense

See it if You want to be completely shook by a play that will make you feel all sorts of emotions. This play brought the drama. It was intense & fine.

Don't see it if You don’t want to be faced head on with some intense storytelling. These actors give you everything they got. You walk away feeling heavy.

Great staging, Edgy, Raunchy, Funny, Seemed very long

See it if you want a play within a play, seemingly exploring sexuality between races on a plantation. Well acted.

Don't see it if nudity and/or interracial relationships upset you. Also, it dragged when characters started to expound at great length.

Ambitious, Edgy, Intense, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if your are open to a "nothing is as it seems" drama about race, gender, and sexuality in America today. Deals with complicated racial dynamics

Don't see it if you aren't willing to feel uncomfortable with the nudity as well as the incendiary examination of racial issues today especially white/black

Thought-provoking, Intense, Indulgent, Unfocused

See it if you want a mixed bag of messages about sexuality and race.

Don't see it if you're looking for a clear message. There's a lot happening here - much of it really good - but too much to deliver the point.

Also I'm in the minority here among my friends, but I didn't love this play... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Quirky, Relevant

See it if you enjoy supporting talented young playwrights. And if you like being challenged while you're being entertained

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable with nudity or you're uncomfortable with sex depicted on stage.

Interesting and relevant

See it if you are open to being shocked and, at times, uncomfortable. There is also one hour, which is very funny. This playwright has a lot to say.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with racial or sexual issues. Or if you're expecting a traditional plot format.

Clever, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see what all the fuss is about

Don't see it if you feel that some of the imagery may be upsetting to you

Excruciating, at times, Overrated, Thought-provoking

See it if can endure pseudo-analysis supposedly of acting, but it is more of a project for school with predetermined, set ideas of outcome.

Don't see it if you do not wish to see nudity on stage or too graphic sex acts performed.

Profound, Relevant, Intelligent, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You like to leave the theater in deep thought.

Don't see it if Explicit sex scenes make you uncomfortable.

Absorbing, Profound, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Great writing

See it if You enjoy challenging, complicated, and complex plays about sex, gender, race, history, and how all of those things can intersect.

Don't see it if You prefer light and fluffy theater with less meaning or challenging material. You prefer escapist entertainment.

Confusing, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if therapy plays are your thing.

Don't see it if you want a realistic, in depth discussion on the ramifications of race in America.

December 9th, 2018
"Willfully provocative, gaudily transgressive, and altogether staggering...Its urgency and sheer cultural heft, deployed like weapons in a furiously entertaining production...Harris manipulates white discomfort expertly...Until I encountered his potent brew of minstrelsy and melodrama I hadn’t kn...
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December 14th, 2018
"What is it, exactly? A satire? A sex comedy? An exploration of identity as performance, in the vein of Jean Genet? A topical political provocation? A sincere dissection of race in America? All of these things are true, but even together they don't do justice to what Harris has cooked up...’Slave...
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December 10th, 2018
"The piece understands the old-fashioned showmanship of a good twist...The pitch-perfect and vulnerable-as-hell performances by the play’s splendid octet of actors are what keep the sense of compassion in Harris’s work at the forefront. Not only does director Robert O’Hara embrace the fierce, fas...
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December 18th, 2018
“The play acts like a whittling knife, refining and clarifying as it cuts. The first act is broad and impressionistic, and each of the next two sections is more realistic and denser with psychic danger than the last...What ensues is not only a deft exploration of what happens when love and power ...
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