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Manhattan | 1h 20m | Already closed

The Great American Drama

From 11 critic and 42 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Ambitious

About the show

New York Neo-Futurists presents this ever-changing theatrical experiment inspired by what the audience says they want to see onstage. From the company behind the long-running hit 'Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.' More…

What makes a piece of theater a success? 'The Great American Drama' is a living theatrical experiment to test the validity of the American Dream: that anyone, regardless of their given circumstance, can achieve prosperity and success through hard work and determination. Through interviews and surveys, you’ll tell the troupe how you like your theater and what would make you buy a ticket, and four Neo-Futurists will strive to deliver everything demanded of them. The cast will even invite the audience to review them each night and change the show accordingly in their pursuit of its success.

Theater Pizzazz

"Sampson and co-director Greg Taubman wisely take on the challenge by using broad comedy as a starting point and daring to be uncomfortable and even pleasantly boring at times, allowing an actively participating audience to take an occasional breather. When the show goes for maximum discomfort, it’s astonishing...In being daring, however, it is never crass, and in being honest, it is thankfully never saccharine." Full Review

New York Theatre Review

"The moments where the next part of the show was decided by fate or by a decision from the audience felt the most truthful and raw. It was times like these that had me thinking that they really were giving us what we wanted, and the actors’ vulnerability in those moments was thrilling. In contrast to these lovely scenes there were some sections that felt overly choreographed or a way for actors to show their unique talents." Full Review


"The scenes alternate between serious and humorous, well-rehearsed and frantic. Some of the most well-received and most powerful moments are the solemn ones...But humor also has an important part to play in the show...This show would be impossible without a great deal of honesty, compassion and joy on the part of its actors...There are definitely still improvements to be made...Clarity is sometimes a concern...But overall, the play is certainly a success." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"The cast is talented, inventive and energetic, however the best moment is when Connor is left alone and gets real with the audience. In that moment he exposes his truth, his fears and his hopes...I would like to see this piece developed, but with a broader scope of all ages and opinions. This needs to come from people other than artists, like the people who really buy tickets." Full Review


“A jagged series of meta-theatrical vignettes with the broad theme of The American Dream…It’s an uneven experience. Essentially it’s a glorified and arch 90-minute, scripted, sketch-comedy show…The staging of the scenes is swift and achieves the suitable tones of humor and occasional seriousness…Some of the sequences ramble and are not so accomplished, but then it’s on to the next one as they are uniformly short…The result is sporadically entertaining and modestly provocative.” Full Review

Theater In The Now

"On the surface, 'The Great American Drama' looks messy but the inherently thrown-together feel is overcome with passion and heart...Co-directors Sampson and Greg Taubman needed to figure out a way to tighten each moment so any flaw or flub that arose felt deliberate...'The Great American Drama' is unlike anything you’ve seen before. And yet it’s exactly like everything you’ve seen before. It’s an ambitious undertaking that I’m certain will find its footing." Full Review

The New York Times

"Based on the results of an online survey asking people to rank what they like best at the theater...So what do people want from a play? Turns out, many pollsters now equate theater with a certain blockbuster musical...The team struggled even more with requests like 'to be transported,' as skits floundered in the twilight zone between comedy and earnestness. If 'The Great American Drama' established one thing, it’s that theater is more than the sum of its parts." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The cast is ever game and always personable...But this is a largely shapeless, hit-or-miss evening of comic and/or dramatic bits, and around the two-thirds point my patience ran out. It doesn't help that the piece seems to end several times...If you visit 'The Great American Drama' not expecting anything great or dramatic, you may have a passable time...To my eyes, it's a collection of talent in search of a viable format." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"There are instances of audience interaction both direct and indirect, and it's at these moments that 'The Great American Drama' feels most alive and the performers closest to connecting. Too much of the rest of the time, there's a crisply pressed artificial quality to the proceedings...The actors are dynamic, resourceful, and apparently tireless, equally adept with the comedy and tragedy that emerge...But they can't quite make it add up to anything." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"Each of the performers is friendly, approachable, and personable. They may even have acting chops that would prove satisfactory in a more conventional theatrical framework. But they're not especially strong as improvisers or satirists, nor, as an extensive solo called 'Soulbird'...demonstrates, would you ever see them on 'The Voice.' Nothing here comes close to the kind of wit and panache we associate with even the weakest routines on 'SNL' and other comedy showcases." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A ticket is a guaranteed new, fun experience. Some parts admittedly founder while others shock the theatre with a poignancy that any Broadway play could only aspire to achieve. What makes these moments even more special is that the performers are so tangible and personable...The four minds behind 'The Great American Drama' are sure to entertain, and sure to set a classy example of what it means to be a truly humble, selfless actor." Full Review

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Masterful, Must see, Resonant

See it if You want to laugh uproariously in one scene and be on the verge of tears in the next. You care about what's happening in the world.

Don't see it if You're not familiar with theatre, you don't appreciate "meta" commentary. You want to see something that's just silly without a message.

Also See this show. It's brilliant. I went in thinking it was going to be g... Read more Read less

Funny, Clever, Delightful, Must see, Entertaining

See it if You like fun, interactive theater. This is a troup trying to make it big. See it

Don't see it if You want to see raw emotion in a production

Funny, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you like the neo's or just enjoy true theater that can be edgy at times.

Don't see it if you don't like non-linear, or continuos storylines, or are easily offended.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like interactive theatre that is creative and innovative. You like current topics and creativity!

Don't see it if If you like traditional linear shows and dislike being asked to be part of the theatre experience

Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy productions that are experimental in nature, and if you appreciate theatrical experiences that are never the same thing twice

Don't see it if you don't have a "ready-for-anything" type of attitude.

Ambitious, Refreshing, Relevant, Great music, Unique

See it if You're up for a fresh & different theatrical evening. Timely questions abound about the nature of time, life, ethics & the American Dream.

Don't see it if You don't want to engage, expect a storyline or traditional scripted play; or dislike having to think.

Also With scripted set pieces, improv, constant engagement with the audienc... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Relevant

See it if you like your theater experimental and unadorned.

Don't see it if you want a strict narrative piece

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You can appreciate theater as both pandering entertainment and as art.

Don't see it if You're not open to an unusual theater experience.

Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You want to see something new and original. You don't mind improv and things that are made up as they go. You like topical humor.

Don't see it if You want a serious organized drama you want a big Broadway musical. You want something that's been done a hundred times before.

Funny, Absorbing, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy theatre outside the box. Very tongue in cheek but in a sincere way.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy theatre that will make you think. But if that's the case then stop going to theatre.

Delightful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You want to take a unique journey w/the actors & audience for a moving & funny experience that's part theatre & social experiment.

Don't see it if You don't like experimental theatre. You don't like shows that were created through improv. You want a show w/a story.

Funny, Clever, Must see, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if Experimental theatre that directly engages with the audience

Don't see it if you just want a proscenium-bound fictional escape

Original, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you're up for experimental theater. This is a clever, original premise that kept us guessing what was coming next; we weren't disappointed!

Don't see it if you want a plot, a 'through line,' or everything spelled out for you. You'll be thinking and talking about this for a while figure it out.

Also The premise is based on notes given to the playwrights about what peop... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if You've ever had a dream, like experimental theatre/new experiences, enjoy thoughtful work/being moved to reflect on your own life

Don't see it if You aren't open to audience participation.

Also Go early to hear some great music!

Clever, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Uneven

See it if you like episodic shows that are topical as well as entertaining

Don't see it if you need a show with a strong through-line or are put-off by a show that is hit or miss; some material works, some doesn't

Funny, Clever

See it if You like improvisational theater and good performers

Don't see it if You don't like improv

Dizzying, Edgy, Intense, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you want to see great actors experiment with a show. You never know what version you will see since the show changes each night.

Don't see it if theater that tries to push boundaries makes you feel uncomfortable.

Funny, Delightful, Quirky

See it if you get a chance. I think it closed today. I'm sorry you missed this clever unique show.

Don't see it if you don't like unlinear shows.

Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You want to see experimental threaters: including interactions with the actors and the actors' carrying out feedbacks from the audience.

Don't see it if You want a coherent story. Experimental theater is not your thing.

Clever, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Experimental

See it if You like experimental theater that plays on current events and life experiences

Don't see it if You like a show with a linear plot and high production value

Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if You want to see an innovative concept executed well. It's an easy to swallow yet complicated enough experimental piece. Solid performing.

Don't see it if Experimental shows are not your thing. You don't have a curious mind.

Funny, Edgy, Relevant, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy experimental theater w a talented, committed cast

Don't see it if you dislike improv or similarly free-form performances. There is no real storyline

Thought-provoking, Interactive, Experimental, Sometimes silly

See it if you like to participate in your theater, and you want to help a very earnest young playwright with an ambitious theatrical experiment.

Don't see it if you like traditional theater, you're unwilling to accept that when theater is created by the audience, sometimes it's pretty disjointed.

Also You'd be hard pressed to find a more unique experience at the theater,... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Edgy, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if you like seeing young people experimenting

Don't see it if you get bothered by lots of political pronouncements

Funny, Ambitious, Indulgent, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if you like devised pieces experimenting with outside ideas and a non-linear structure.

Don't see it if it is painful for you to see a style of show that feels dated and periodic forced moments.

Cast & Creatives (15)