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

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

Disappointing, Great staging, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if You're a big fan of the game or looking for an exploration of mental illness/related issues.

Don't see it if Your looking for any kind of conclusion or neat answers. You've never heard of the game.

Also This piece was bit of a mess, a bit too all over the place for me. The... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Resonant, Quirky

See it if You like shows that play with time; you enjoy plays about contemporary life; you played the Oregon Trail computer game

Don't see it if You're not interested in stories about young women; you're expecting something grand in scope; you need high stakes

Also This play employs two parallel story lines - I thought one was signifi... Read more Read less

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You liked the Oregon Trail game or coming of age stories with strong female characters.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy thought provoking plays with existential themes.

Well-written, Clever, Resonant, Contemporary, 1980's and 90's

See it if You're interested in a teenage girl's struggles with social anxiety and depression. Pairs well in subject matter with DEAR EVAN HANSEN.

Don't see it if You're not interested in plays examining mental health. You have no familiarity with playing THE OREGON TRAIL video game.

Banal, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You want a dose of nostalgia.

Don't see it if You would like a play with good writing, characters, or story.

Quirky, Slow, Relevant

See it if you grew up in the 90s and played The Oregon Trail or like to see portrayals of depression on the stage.

Don't see it if you don't care much for shows that bring mental illness to the spotlight.

Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if 90s nostalgia is your thing. If you enjoy shows with deep hidden life questions. You enjoy plays with a message.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy thought provoking works that may have meaning's that don't immediately display themselves. You want something super light.

Also The show was quirky and relatable, with punches in the gut of moments ... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Funny

See it if You're in need of a reunion with your formative years that reminds you who you value and that you do in fact love who you've become.

Don't see it if You'd just as soon leave the 90s and all reminders they happened behind you; you don't like parallel plot structure or strong female leads.

Enchanting, Funny, Intelligent, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if you like poignant comedy, have ever felt lost/sad in your life, played the Oregon Trail computer game :)

Don't see it if you're looking for flashy...this is raw, visceral, simple.

Clever, Confusing, Entertaining, Funny, Fluffy

See it if You have ever played Oregon trail

Don't see it if You expect it to only be a comedy

Absorbing, Clever, Quirky, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if You want to encourage young actors and theater, see a solid play and laugh

Don't see it if You're expecting a million dollar bway show.

Funny, Nostalgic, Thought-provoking

See it if You played Oregon Trail as a kid, like nostalgia, are struggling with where your life may be going

Don't see it if you are expecting fancy sets and costumes, you didn't play the game, you don't like experimental shows

Great acting, Ambitious, Clever, Intense, Resonant

See it if You like shows that are giant metaphors for bigger things.

Don't see it if Talking or thinking about depression is emotionally overwhelming.

Clever, Funny, Quirky, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if You grew up playing the video game, you are interested in the struggle to find the right path to follow in life.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy whimsy, nostalgia, or millennial existential crises.

Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Refreshing

See it if You want to see a show well acted and directed.

Don't see it if You're not willing to think outside the box.

Funny, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing, Refreshing

See it if you've ever felt you might be doing something different than the norm, if you've ever questioned your guts, if you support family and women.

Don't see it if You hate surprises, you don't like laughing, and you aren't ready to discuss depression

Clever, Absorbing, Funny, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You are interested in current, socially relevant, thought provoking theatre, especially relating to human relations and mental health

Don't see it if You are looking for a light comedy

Great writing, Funny, Intelligent, Profound, Clever

See it if You want to enjoy a fantastic cast in a hilarious and moving play.

Don't see it if If you're more into classical theater than modern theater

Ambitious, Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Quirky

See it if You like new plays and ambitious indie theatre

Don't see it if What?! See it!

Clever, Funny, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You love original ideas, writing, and stories. You are a fan of humor and a fan of 90's humor. Also, a fan of theatre.

Don't see it if You have a family emergency...

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Profound, Funny

See it if You love to laugh and cry all in one sitting, and like to see theater that makes you want to have a conversation about it afterwards.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate an inventive and creative way of approaching a narrative (e.g. it doesn't necessarily have to be linear!).

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy the work of contemporary playwrights. Smart staging, terrific ensemble work, clever scenic design.

Don't see it if you do not like plays set in two different time periods. Also, if you do not like plays based on video games.

During previews
Delightful, Funny, Refreshing

See it if you like stories about dealing with life's problems; a funny and heartwarming play

Don't see it if you want to see older more experienced actors

During previews
Ambitious, Entertaining, Quirky, Disappointing, Well staged

See it if you or someone you know played OREGON TRAIL back in the 1990s, or if you can imagine dramatizing a computer game. Good performances!

Don't see it if you're expecting HAMILTON or 1776.

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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