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The New Englanders

From 63 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Disappointing, Thought-provoking

About the show

MTC premiere's Jeff Augustin’s newest play where a mixed race family, a teenaged daughter, and her dads are all trying to find happiness.  More…

From the show:

Can you ever really live the life you envisioned? In a mixed race family, a teenaged daughter and her dads are all trying to find happiness. Eisa wants to be the next Lauryn Hill and is struggling to break free of her sleepy New England town where she feels hopelessly trapped. Her fathers are being pulled in different directions of their own, one trying to re-connect with an old love, the other clinging to the path he always believed would be their future.


Member Reviews (63)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Disappointing, Thought-provoking
74
Avg Score

74
Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if Great and important themes being discussed, not really preached. Gives space for audience to think. Great acting.

Don't see it if Issues of homosexuality are not for you. Sometimes slow. Could use a little trimming​.

Also The unnecessary use of descriptive sexual language detracts from the u... Read more Read less

73
Entertaining, Great acting, Relevant, Funny

See it if You enjoy comedic family dramas. Great acting, especially by the young actress.

Don't see it if It's a good show but about 15min too long.

65
Disappointing, Edgy, Depressing, Shallow, Contrived

See it if Mixed race 2-dad 1-daughter family discover how isolated, lonely and disconnected they are. Some creative ideas & slice-of-life elements.

Don't see it if Not credible. The characters are too thin, and have inconsistent bizarre behavior. The teens are especially contrived. Band-aid ending.

55
Dull, Earnest, Relevant(ish), Disappointing, Trite

See it if u want a front porch view of a seemingly ordinary (albeit mixed race & gay) family whose cracks in their cheery facade get a cursory probe.

Don't see it if u expect any deep insight re: mixed coupling, gay marriage, discrimination, teen angst, drug use or the perceived tranquility of New England

Also This well-intentioned play tries to tackle too many issues, but does s... Read more Read less

76
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if A fine ensemble (esp the always interesting Bougere), Ali's strong direction & some potent writing from Augustiin helps hefty issue drama

Don't see it if Just too many plots lines (while all of various interest) to keep afloat Augustin's writing veers from astute to soapy to finally exhausting

73
Featuring black & white gay fathers raising a black teenage daughter in a small new england town, this play tries to update "our town" for the 21st century; unfortunately, this doesn't come close to being a successor to that classic

See it if some astute observations on growing up black in a narrow-minded white NE town; sharp perfs by Javier Munoz, black dad, & daughter Kara Young

Don't see it if tries to do much too much; different plot lines involving unhappy fathers, disgruntled teen & her teacher, simply don't cohere

79
Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if Interracial gay dads are impacted by infidelity, white privilege, and their angry daughter's vendetta against her white teacher.

Don't see it if "White people can't believe that we have lives beyond our skin/I'm a black student and you're a white teacher and it'll be seen that way."

Also Herbal smoking and vaping on stage.

20
Insipid, Banal

See it if You enjoy seeing new work and have patience for scenes that feel like "playwrighting 101". Insipid behavior by psycho kid & cheating dad.

Don't see it if You hate contrived 2 character scenes that are lots of talk & unbelievable in the extreme. Nobody talks or acts that way.

Also Really appalling how the girl drugged her teacher and wrote something ... Read more Read less

82
Black daughter upends gay dads

See it if Intelligent, probing drama of black and white gay dads trying to raise a black teen daughter while being the only family of color in town.

Don't see it if Great acting, direction and set. Uncomfortable drama for the white audience. Similar themes treated in "Fairview" and "Slave Play."

63
Slow, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if you want a surface look at race relations, at marriage, at parenthood.Directing left some good actors floundering.Writing is weak.

Don't see it if you are looking for a show that advances the discussion of gay marriage, interracial relationships, parenthood.

69
Overrated, Indulgent, Edgy, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy an interracial comedy(?) about gay dads and their HS daughter. It hits notes when it is serious

Don't see it if A poorly developed piece with too many side issues is low on your list

79
Surprising, Semi-flat-meets-semi-sparkling, Scattered and unwieldy story-telling and plot development at times, Solid performances and set design, Ambitious

See it if seeking a multi-story drama with seriousness, tenderness, humor, & surprise; unbothered by different arcs "fussiness"; a fan of the actors.

Don't see it if homophobic, need writing and character development that does not fall into the trappings of trope and stereotypy; need more cohesive work.

Also I’m a New Englander and while this play isn’t really an accurate refle... Read more Read less

85
Developed characters, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You are interested in a drama about family relations, marriage and parenting.

Don't see it if You are done with race and gender tropes in your plays.

Also I went in with expectations and the play far exceeded them. Yes, the t... Read more Read less

90
Refreshing, Great writing, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to see an excellent production with great acting and an universal theme.

Don't see it if You feel uncomfortable about seeing a gay family.

73
Uneven, Could have been more, Great acting, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a queer family's journey in suburban New England. It's a pretty soapy drama, so if that's your thing, you'll be well set.

Don't see it if you want to feel like your characters' choices are earned; you want fully developed characters; you are interested in full resolution

65
Insipid, Disappointing, Banal, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if and only if you are a fan of Arnulfo Maldonado scenic designs, and then maybe then you might enjoy the wooden performances on stage.

Don't see it if you are expecting a REAL story about a modern family, because you will be DISAPPOINTED by this tripe, as I was.

67
Character revisionist, Fine, Confusing, Slice of life

See it if you like plays just about life and dealing with expectations and dreams vs reality.

Don't see it if you need an exciting plot with major themes and drama.

Also Overall the piece is fine, but they tend to bend the character to suit... Read more Read less

68
Fluffy, Disappointing, Relevant, Funny

See it if you want to see a play that is very relevant with some tones of humor.

Don't see it if you want to see something with substance. Way too many and ridiculous story lines with make no meaning with such serious subjects.

100
Great staging, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if First of, I’d totally see this again- bummed it closing tomorrow— it’s totally my type of show: there’s humor, drama, and suspense. LGBT,

Don't see it if Interracial, inter-generational, timely... what else could I ask for? The acting was spot on, by all. The teenage, “mulatto”/black girl,with

Also Interracial dads was alive and real! All 6 actors were well cast. Ther... Read more Read less

70
Watchable, Funny, Improbable, Light

See it if you'd like to see a short play with some social themes of multi-cam, sitcom quality.

Don't see it if you want a robust and extremely deep examination of interracial, queer families in American suburbs.

Also the script needed much more workshopping. One character pays another t... Read more Read less

87
Thought-provoking, Clever, Resonant, Relevant, Great acting

See it if You want a fresh theater voice that presents a layered, yet not preachy, sense of living as a person of color.

Don't see it if You want a face paced, provocative, edgy piece of theater. This is a thoughtful, slice of life play

47
Disappointing, Cliched

See it if This play has everything but the kitchen sink. The overall character development is, at best, two dimensional. Sadly nothing feels authentic

Don't see it if Two actors bring life to their supporting roles whereas the leads fight against their clichés. The writing feels so simplistic and unedited.

76
Indulgent, Quirky, Relevant

See it if you are interested in seeing a family drama and watching characters fumble along, skirting happiness and (sometimes) decency.

Don't see it if you want to see something uplifting and fun. Some genuinely funny moments, but uneven writing, and I somewhat missed the overall point.

Also Solid performances from the cast, across the board. The characters are... Read more Read less

70
Average, Disconnected, Mild, Good premise, Shallow

See it if like small theaters and a story about the problems of a non-traditional family in a small traditional New England town. "Our Town 2019"

Don't see it if you want to get below a surface view of each character's motivations. Character development relies on stereotypes without enough depth.

85
Intense, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're interested in shows about the feeling / fear of being stuck somewhere and how that can eat away at you and turn you into someone else

Don't see it if you are frustrated when a character's motivations aren't spelled out clearly, or if you need your minority characters to be above reproach


October 2nd, 2019
"Trying Too Hard to Be Special: Gay dads and their 'woke genius' daughter face the limitations of life in a patchy new play by Jeff Augustin."
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October 2nd, 2019
3/5 Stars "Augustin cleverly puts a mixed-race family at the center of the story, illustrating that although chasing dreams can be more complicated for people of color, ennui is ubiquitous. While it is only 100 minutes long, however, 'The New Englanders' feels unfocused and overstretched."
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October 2nd, 2019
"The New Englanders Is Like a Donald Margulies Play With Gay and Black People: Two dads raise a rebellious daughter in New England in Jeff Augustin's latest play."
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October 8th, 2019
"Jeff Augustin's 'THE NEW ENGLANDERS' Seeks To Expand The Perception of Stage Characters of Color"
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