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Summer Shorts 2016: Series A

From 14 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Quirky, Disappointing, Edgy, Clever

About the show

This annual festival of new American short plays from top playwrights (like Tony nominee Neil Labute) returns to 59E59 for its 10th consecutive year. More…

The festival's two separate series consist of three plays each, and run in rotating repertory.

'The Helpers' by Cusi Cram
Directed by Jessi D. Hill
Jane and Nate have a complicated and thorny past. Jane used to help Nate but, now that the tables are turned, can Jane take the leap and let Nate help her? A bittersweet comedy about risk, kindness, and how difficult it can be to let people in.

'After the Wedding' by Neil LaBute
Directed by Maria Milleaf
A man and a woman meet to discuss her infidelities. However, the more the woman confesses, the more the man professes his love for her. 'After the Wedding' is a comedic and bittersweet look at love, lust, and forgiveness.

'This is How it Ends' by A. Rey Pamatmat
Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar
How would you spend your last day on Earth? Jake is about to find out, because his all-too-perfect roommate Annie has just broken some seriously disturbing news. She's the Antichrist, her coworkers are the Four Horseman, and the end is most definitely nigh. A hilarious and touching new play about life, love, and making the most of the time we're given.

Member Reviews (14)


Entertaining, Quirky, Disappointing, Edgy, Clever
Avg Score

Clever, Entertaining, Original, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy variety. I loved the characters in Helpers and the unfolding truth in After the Wedding. I thought How It Ends was awful.

Don't see it if You aren't willing to sit through one bad play in order to see two good ones.

Great writing (labute), Great acting (after the wedding), Insipid (this is how it ends), Disappointing (the helpers)

See it if you want to enjoy a sharply written and naturally, confidently, effectively acted one-act play by Neil Labute (After the Wedding).

Don't see it if you aren't prepared to sit through a throw-away one-act by Cusi Cram (The Helpers) and an execrable, amateur play by A Rey Pamatmat.


See it if you don't mind sitting through 2 uncompelling two-handers to get to the last piece, which is well-acted, fascinating and thoughtful.

Don't see it if you're expecting the 3 plays to have any thematic links, or if you're expecting the 3 plays to have any real dramatic heft.

Good acting, Disappointing, Edgy, Uneven, Forgetable

See it if you have a prepaid subscription or you have a special interest in one or more of the playwrights.

Don't see it if you are looking for something special and/or memorable.

Banal, Disappointing, Dull, One out of three is worthwhile, Inconsistent acting

See it if you are a fan of Neil La Bute. His play is outstanding, blessed with good directing and acting. The last play is sophomoric. The first, meh.

Don't see it if you will be satisfied by only one of the three plays.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Insipid, Raunchy

See it if You enjoy plays laced with lots of profanity. You especially enjoy watching mediocre plays being performed by talented actors.

Don't see it if Profanity used excessively is not your thing. You are not in the mood to be indulgent about less than proficient contemporary playwriting.

Tepid, Uneven, Indulgent, Sketchy, Disappointing

See it if are a LaBute fan or if you are a fan of short plays that don't go very deep

Don't see it if like theater with more meat on its bones

Quirky, Refreshing, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Like short plays by known and upcoming playwrights. Grounded was really good and the O'Hara pkay broke the fourth wall like usual.

Don't see it if Want standard dramas. These are a bit quirky.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Edgy, Hilarious, Raunchy

See it if Like cuss words, controversial topics, 1-acts, minimal staging, humor, good dialogue, homosexuality. I enjoyed Series A, more than B overall

Don't see it if Hate all the above and are too religious where anything anti-Christ offends you...

Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if you are interested in new work by three playwrights or are a fan of the three playwrights featured here.

Don't see it if you are interested in seeing these playwrights at their best-much of the work seems underdeveloped and hurried...each has done better work.

Quirky, Original, Hit and miss

See it if If you want an evening that crosses genres. You are willing to take a chance on 3 plays when you may only like 1.

Don't see it if You aren't into plays about death. Irreverent religious plays are offensive to you, or you don't like short plays

Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Edgy, Great acting

See it if You love short plays about people and their flaws. Great acting. Wonderful Staging.

Don't see it if You want character development and a long story. They are short for a reason. If you don't like slice of life.

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

See it if you enjoy short plays with interesting dialogue and unique approaches to life. You are intrigued by what can be communicated in a short tim

Don't see it if you only like big shows with lots of gimmicks and fancy scenery. These are basic and pithy, virtually no scenery and little action.

During previews
Entertaining, Clever, Quirky

See it if You enjoy one act plays.The three plays,one by Neil LaBute,are very diverse in themes. The last play was somewhat wacky and disjointed.

Don't see it if You prefer more traditional fare.The first 2 plays each had 2 characters and clever storylines.The last play, with 6 characters,was nutty!

July 31st, 2016
“‘After the Wedding’ is the type of one-act play that suggests a larger picture outside of its diminutive frame. The other works in the program are more self-contained...'This Is How It Ends' feels like an extended high-concept joke that emerged from a merry late-night gab session...'The Helpers'...
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July 31st, 2016
“Cram’s 20-minute piece is the least substantial: an anodyne park-bench reunion scene...Neil LaBute’s equally brief but more substantial ‘After the Wedding’...Tautly written, well acted and directed with cool assurance by Maria Mileaf, it delivers a quick and dirty jab...A. Rey Pamatmat’s ‘This I...
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August 3rd, 2016
"'The Helpers' is a bittersweet comedy about two captivating characters that shows how difficult it can be to embrace others. It is superbly written and wonderfully performed…In 'After the Wedding' the dialogue is completely compelling and seamlessly delivered...'This is How it Ends' is a well-st...
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August 2nd, 2016
"The most amusing piece is also the thinnest: 'The Helpers'...Provides further evidence of Cram's wry way with a line and difficulty with plotting…'After the Wedding' shows the playwright Neil LaBute spinning his wheels...'This Is How It Ends' may have looked good on paper, but it suffers from po...
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