68

The Convent NYC Reviews and Tickets

68%
(26 Reviews)
Positive
50%
Mixed
42%
Negative
8%
Members say
Great staging, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Jessie Dickey’s world premiere is a toothy dark comedy about desire, devotion, and the mystery of intrinsic divinity.


Read more Show less

Member Reviews (26)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
60
Banal, Cliched, Excruciating, Fluffy, Slow

See it if Had a great supporting actor. If you want a show about women in a contrived setting.

Don't see it if If you want a well written play. Very poorly written, slow, and banal.

85
Thrilling, Physical, A little schematic, Beautifully played, Smart

See it if you like scripts that take a risk & productions that do things that only live theater can do.

Don't see it if you are looking for a realistic peek into life among the nuns. Read more

Critic Reviews (14)

January 24th, 2019

"As the play’s structure comes to resemble a reality competition with arbitrary tasks, the six pilgrims likewise come to resemble the clichéd characters in a lifeboat story...These questions remain crucial ones to ask, but Ms. Dickey’s round-robin structure diminish their impact. In a way, so does Mr. Talbott’s deluxe staging, by enhancing the play’s conceit at the expense of its characters...For me, the best moments of 'The Convent' are thus the quietest ones."
Read more

February 1st, 2019

“A women’s retreat at a French medieval convent sounds as if it would be a quiet, drama-free endeavor—and who wants that at the theatre...Melodramatic plot twists and a reveal you will see coming for miles follow...This is the kind of stuff that Busch’s comedies parody, but Dickey’s commitment to big feels is commendably unflinching—she does not hide behind ironic distance—and Talbott’s handsome production matches it."
Read more

January 25th, 2019

"Dickey certainly allows a fair amount of ridicule to shine through such earnest 21st-century faux mysticism. Even so, neither Dickey nor her equally sardonic director Daniel Talbott ever mocks the quest for enlightenment itself...Dickey's resolution of plot threads is less elegant than her poetic exploration of them throughout the rest of the play...Fortunately...nothing is too neatly tied to keep you from sitting in this playwright's finely crafted well of uncertainty."
Read more

January 28th, 2019

“The women of ‘The Convent’ are almost entirely without inner lives. They're a shelf of empty vessels passing for characters, each defined by a single factoid...That there's a fine line between contemplation and navel-gazing is something with which ‘The Convent’ is incapable of grappling...’The Convent’ suffers from deficiencies in the areas of character and conflict...Talbott's direction keeps the action moving...He can't get better than uneven results from his leading ladies, however.”
Read more

January 25th, 2019

“This production disappoints...The playwright contributes some poetic language...Unfortunately, the beatific thoughts tend to get lost...A hurried pacing by Talbott...also skims through the talk...Perhaps another director might be better attuned to the sensitivities of the characters—some of whom appear to be underwritten...While there’s interesting stuff going on in ‘The Convent’...This play and its characters scarcely broach the story’s possibilities.”
Read more

January 31st, 2019

"While Jessica Dickey's 'The Convent' may not have any new answers and may cover familiar material, it does so with such vitality and theatricality, that it becomes a memorable experience. Under the direction of Daniel Talbott, the seven actresses led by Samantha Soule and Wendy vanden Heuvel are compelling and expressive. By the time the play is over, the audience has experienced much that the inmates of the retreat have gone through."
Read more

January 28th, 2019

"Some of the characters are more fully drawn then others, but Dickey has a way with language and most women will probably find something to relate to in this play (not that men can't get something out of it as well). The scenes with all the women talking and bonding are the most enjoyable, thanks to the writing as well as the performances, and have been staged with a delicate hand by Daniel Talbott."
Read more

January 24th, 2019

"Overwrought, overacted feminist play…While the idea of women seeking spiritual and even psychological guidance in a retreat can be valuable, what we see here never convinces us that there's much to gain at this particular place by these particular women from this particular leader, whose own failings will gradually come into focus… Moreover, none of the largely uninteresting characters…are in the least credible…What works …are its technical and design elements."
Read more

January 24th, 2019

"A satisfying, if occasionally uneven, dramedy...The ensemble is made up of strong performers, and each is given at least one standout moment that feels uniquely of that character. This speaks not only to the actors' abilities but also to Talbott's attention to nuance...Dickey has a natural ability to use language to probe emotions, and to sneak up on an audience with humor...Executed by an able cast and a thoughtful director, it makes for a memorable stay at 'The Convent.'"
Read more

January 25th, 2019

“The performances by this talented ensemble help bring the issues raised by the play to light. I especially enjoyed Soule's layered performance...Directed with sensitivity, whose staging enhances the play, we see the conflict women are having with freedom and where they stand in this world...Dickey’s words flow but if you have mother issues, this play will push your buttons.”
Read more

January 26th, 2019

“’The Convent’ is uninspiring...And that saddens me because I had been a great fan of Dickey’s debut play...Each of the women strikes the one note the play has assigned her...They’re not given much in the way of motivation or backstory but each gets the chance to chew the tapestry and...they gnaw away to varying effect...The one saving grace...is the set by...Abrego...and images created by Freer...Their work sparks a sense of wonder that the play itself only aspires to.”
Read more

January 25th, 2019

"Whole sequences are clearly written to be funny but, as performed under the direction of Daniel Talbott, are painfully not. Other portions of the play involve moments of magic and serious drama that is unearned. The tone remains unclear throughout...The central problem, though, is that nearly every character remains a mystery to the audience...A promising and intriguing setup that is, unfortunately, bungled in execution."
Read more

S
January 24th, 2019

“A new, gorgeously lyrical work...The play is missing those elusive moments that allow us to inhabit, however briefly, the internal lives of these people...And while the direction is crisp and energetic in its pacing and choreography, the characters too often resort to screaming...That the play succeeds as often as it does is a tribute both to the production’s formal elements as well as Dickey’s virtuosic abilities with language. Her words ensure that you are irrevocably, helplessly, drawn to the stage.”
Read more

T
January 25th, 2019

"Superb...Soule has the meatiest part, and she tackles it with relish...Odette is excellent as Jill, a married woman with deep wounds, and Vanden Heuvel nails Mother Abbess, who harbors some dark secrets of her own. Dickey’s dialogue crackles with truth while Talbott’s direction is both warm and energetic.”
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

83
Great
1K+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: East Village

This family-friendly show celebrates the power of percussion and the sheer joy of banging on things.

Buy
82
Great
500+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

An actor drinks heavily (in the vein of Comedy Central's 'Drunk History') and then tries to corral others into…

Buy
81
Great
28 Reviews
Opens Aug 09
NYC: Upper W Side

Shakespeare in the Park is back this summer with Jocelyn Bioh's joyous adaptation of "Merry Wives."

Buy