Already closed | 1h 25m | Upper W Side

The Oregon Trail

From 56 member  reviews
Members say: Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great acting

About the show

Fault Line Theatre presents a play that contrasts the trials of an adolescent girl growing up in the late '90s with her 19th-century video game counterpart. More…

It’s 1997. Alone in her computer lab, 13-year-old Jane escapes from the awkward throes of puberty by virtually jumping in a covered wagon headed west on "The Oregon Trail." Under the guidance of the all-powerful Voice of the Game, we watch "Then Jane" navigate the perils of 1850s frontier life, while '90s Jane navigates the different but all-too-real dangers of high school, college, and, eventually, adulthood. Jane soon finds herself in her 20s, unemployed and battling an undefinable lifelong sadness she cannot name, even as “Then Jane” continues to face the tribulations of the trail. With nearly two centuries between them, both Janes face hardships that seem impossible to overcome—until they find one another.

Member Reviews (56)


Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great acting
Avg Score

Slow, Insipid, Excruciating

See it if It was a rough show to get through . I was itching to leave after 15 minutes. Bad script. Poor staging .... I wanted to root for it, but ...

Don't see it if I would not recommend it.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Slow, Relevant

See it if Despite an overall muddled feel, Brunstetter's then/now feminism often succeeds Acting is good esp E L Perkins but conceptualization stalls

Don't see it if Contemporary scenes never felt as potent as 1850s ones & lacked a needed punch Difficult to empathize with Vaynberg's malaise (acting?)

Clever, Slow, Ambitious

See it if it has closed but partner says 85. I found it too ambitious and fantasy like.

Don't see it if comp.of an 85 and a 70

Ambitious, Cliched, Funny, Quirky, Slow

See it if you're a Bekah Brubaker fan, enjoy stories of women empowering themselves and finding their purpose, like plays set in 2 time periods

Don't see it if you expect realism and are not a fan of whimsy, unwilling to look beneath a character's outward actions, not a fan of subtle, quirky comedy

Confusing, Disappointing, Amateurish, Bad dialogue, Banal

See it if You are looking to see a poorly written badly acted drama to compare with the many worthwhile ones being performed now in NY !

Don't see it if You care about plots that make sense. You are wanting to see new terrific young actors deal with a challenging script. Script/acting bad !

Subject matter/depression or ennui?, Danger of audience falling into the character's rhythms, Some good laughs, Stylish production values, Contrast of life/death 1800s issues with 21st century mental health issues doesn't pay off

See it if want to support new scripts, Fault Line Theatre, & young acting company in a well mounted production including interesting ideas & staging

Don't see it if depression/ennui as subject matter is not your cup of tea, suspension of disbelief with computer gaming as a conduit 2 other worlds

Also ennui = a feeling of utter weariness and discontent resulting from sat... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You want to laugh. You want to go on a journey with a young lady as she is coming of age and the the trials that life brings.

Don't see it if You are not interested in the journey of life that a young lady experiences. You don't want to laugh. You don't like non linear plays

Also I don't now about that video game "The Oregon Trial" but that did not ... Read more Read less

Great staging

See it if You like small ensemble shows dealing with relationships, mental health, and life choices.

Don't see it if you want something as good as The Dudleys!, this doesn't quite hit the mark.

Clever, Slow, Lacks chemistry

See it if You are a fan of old videos games. Are patient with stories that unfold s-l-o-w-l-y.

Don't see it if You are an impatient audience member.

Also I was rooting for this concept and this cast -- but the slow pace and ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent

See it if This has the potential to shine a light on depression, but the characters never reach their climax where they grow and change.

Don't see it if You are expecting more playfulness from the references to the 90s and the video game for which this play is named

Cliched, Funny, Quirky

See it if you have suffered from depression and grew up in the 90s. You like plays that stage multiple timelines simultaneously (e.g., Indian Ink).

Don't see it if you don't care about a whiny teenager's pseudo-problems or dysentery.

Also Another play which I felt had excellent promise, but squandered the pr... Read more Read less

Stuck-in-the-mud, Promising talent, Nice moments along the way

See it if you want to support a smart theater company and talented young artists. And you can identify with the lead character's depression.

Don't see it if you can't get past an undramatic premise. Emotional stasis isn't very involving & the connection to a hard-scrabble physical trek is rocky.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if you like very human accurate angst - amusing and clever and so funny.

Don't see it if you like everything linear - although still very easy to follow.

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You want to see everything the Women's Project produces.

Don't see it if You like a crisp, logical story

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Ambitious, Nostalgic

See it if you are a 90s kid who wants to reminisce and don't mind some suburban angst.

Don't see it if the story of a privilege white surbanite trying to find herself while struggling with mental illness will make you angry.

Funny, Entertaining, Resonant, Impactful

See it if you want to see a well-crafted coming of age dramedy. Or if you're an older millennial looking for a nostalgic theatrical experience

Don't see it if you're looking for something more high-brow or existential. This is a plot-driven, accessible show.

Funny, Refreshing, Quirky, Clever, Great writing

See it if you like female written plays, a relevant and refreshing way at looking at depression, quirky text and solid acting from young ensemble

Don't see it if you don't know like shows without an intermission, a predictable storyline or didn't care for the Oregon Trail game growing up

Slow, Insipid, Disappointing, Arduous, Overrated

See it if really interested in subject matter, in tribulations of adolescent girl and of Oregon Trail. Don't care if show may disappoint you.

Don't see it if If you likely to get bored with drab show and don't care how they have gotten the trail wagon to 3rd floor stage with small elevator.

Also Elevator is limited to the third floor with stairs to 4th floor box of... Read more Read less

Clever, Entertaining, Resonant

See it if You like solid scripts and strong performances. You can relate to feeling aimless as a young adult. You played Oregon Trail as a kid.

Don't see it if You're looking for nothing but comedy. The show has some very funny moments, but also some lovely and poignant ones.

Quirky, Slow, Good acting

See it if You are, were, or are responsible for an angst-ridden child of the early 90s, or would enjoy a character study of one.

Don't see it if You don't care about privileged young person problems. You want the show to effectively draw on the computer game in meaningful ways.

Great acting, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if you like a sweet story with some light messaging

Don't see it if you want a serious drama -

Slow, Funny, Quirky, Ambitious, Clever

See it if You are intrigued by the concept of choosing your destiny and are interested in the subject of depression.

Don't see it if You require elaborate sets to focus your attention on a story line.

Nostalgic, Smart, Hopeful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate contemporary stories of young people struggling in life but trying to forge ahead, with humor and heart.

Don't see it if you have no connection to the old computer game, in which case some of the references might fly past you.

Quirky, Great acting, Meh, Nostalgic, Intense

See it if you like dramas and/or shows about depression.

Don't see it if you don't like slow moving plots. You don't like dramas; it is not a comedy.

Quirky, Refreshing, Touching, Funny, Clever

See it if you might enjoy a well-acted, original modern coming-of-age play about a depressed teenage girl who learns how to cope.

Don't see it if you don't like non-linear story lines that go back and forth in time about sensitive female characters!

Also The use of technology, of going back in time to the days of the Oregon... Read more Read less

January 22nd, 2017
"A feisty, formally inventive comedy...Ms. Brunstetter has scripted earlier plays...'The Oregon Trail' is a great improvement, particularly in its nifty first half-hour. In Ms. Vaynberg’s expressive hands, contemporary Jane’s sly humor and cringing embarrassment feel wonderfully real and raw, hor...
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January 26th, 2017
“A sour, low-stakes comedy…Beyond scratching a specific nostalgic itch, the play offers few rewards…Jane's not really functioning, yet throughout the show's 90 minutes of self-destruction and indulgent passivity, neither she nor her doctor sister brings up therapy or medication. Whether Brunstett...
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January 22nd, 2017
"The subject is heady, and for a good chunk of the play, 'The Oregon Trail' delivers both a nuanced portrait of depression and a gently humanized vision of a game where, for the most part, the main goal was to kill weary travelers from typhoid...Yet 'The Oregon Trail' also never feels as fully fl...
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February 1st, 2017
"Depression is not an easy state to dramatize, and, in any case, Jane comes off as a pill—whiny, narcissistic, a perpetual victim...The fact remains that Jane's depression is presented without any insight and we are led to believe that her sufferings are equal to those of Then Jane, a notion that...
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