The Convent NYC Reviews and Tickets

68%
(26 Reviews)
Positive
50%
Mixed
42%
Negative
8%
Members say
Absorbing, Great staging, 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.


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Member Reviews (26)

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942 Reviews | 225 Followers
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.

741 Reviews | 121 Followers
70
Great staging, Funny, Relevant, Slow, Ambitious

See it if a magnificent set and excellent direction is enough for an interesting evening.

Don't see it if you want plot twists that are surprises. Everything seems to be telegraphed before it happens.

668 Reviews | 155 Followers
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

612 Reviews | 269 Followers
64
Convents are supposed to be quiet; not this one where women on a retreat carry on about their deep feminist concerns; result: an over-the-top group therapy session

See it if inventive set, some powerful acting, interesting feminist exploration of women's sex & relationship-based problems

Don't see it if cliche-ridden complaints about marriage, children, sex, god, etc.; 30 mins too long; too many strident angsty declarations

533 Reviews | 488 Followers
75
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Confounding, Refreshing

See it if you're interested in a pretty incisive look at what it really means to discover yourself, and what it really costs.

Don't see it if you don't want theater that challenges you.

481 Reviews | 317 Followers
60
Nice staging, Indulgent, Disappointing, The actors were fine but the play was uneven

See it if you want to see a play with all female actors focused on issues relevant to women. But very contrived situation. Not at all realistic.

Don't see it if I would not really recommend this play. It was not that interesting. Actors all did a good job though. Read more

488 Reviews | 103 Followers
11
Excruciating

See it if You want to see a great actress with a bright future brittany anikka shine in a nice supporting role

Don't see it if You are hoping to see a play with a plot that makes sense. Also if you are bothered by over acting and a set that does not make sense Read more

374 Reviews | 69 Followers
65
Absorbing, Ambitious, Over-dramatic

See it if You like feminist stories and unusual mistical journeys. Over the top acting.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy in your face conflicts or are bothered by mistical or religious storylines.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
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."
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New Yorker
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."
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Theatermania
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."
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Lighting & Sound America
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.”
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New York Stage Review
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.”
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TheaterScene.net
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."
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Theatre is Easy
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."
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Theater Pizzazz
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."
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