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The Profane

From 95 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting

About the show

Playwrights Horizons presents Zayd Dohrn’s timely drama featuring two families forced to confront each other’s religious beliefs, cultural traditions, and their own deep-seated prejudice. More…

Safe in the liberal fortress of Manhattan, Raif Almedin is a first-generation immigrant who prides himself on his modern, enlightened views. But when his daughter falls for the son of a conservative Muslim family in White Plains, he discovers the threshold of his tolerance.

Member Reviews (95)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting
Avg Score

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Clever, Edgy, Refreshing

See it if Culture clash between a secular liberal Muslim family and a fundamentalist one. Which one is more tolerant?

Don't see it if You are not interested in an exploration of traditional vs. modern values, and how people differ from what their backgrounds might suggest.

Also There are many clever parallels between the two families. I was partic... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy family dramas that explore cultural differences (here between 2 Muslim families) with a few twists thrown in

Don't see it if You don't like family dramas with arguing and limited fighting, not interested in portraits of Muslim life in the US or cultural differences

Great writing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Uneven, Compelling

See it if you want to see an incisive exploration of the way faith influences our lives, the blind spots we end up with and the limits of tolerance.

Don't see it if some uneven acting is a dealbreaker for you.

Relevant, Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Funny

See it if You're interested in new plays about modern, relevant topics -- especially those about religion and Islam.

Don't see it if You dislike living-room, familial dramas about religious differences between engaged couples, or have grown weary of similar work.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if enjoy seeing people react to different views of the same religion. The dialogue was witty and sometimes humorous.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy conflicts due to religion.

Intelligent, Relevant, Needs work, Engaging, Topical

See it if you are interested in cultural differences between secular and fundamentalist Muslims living in the US.

Don't see it if The play is engaging, almost until the end. Unfortunately, the climactic moment feels forced and the flow is interrupted.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Disappointing, Incomplete, Relevant

See it if you want to see a play that, with some extra drafts, will turn into a first-rate drama. Consider this production a work-in-progress.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy works-in-progress. Also, if you don't like plays that are ultimately unsatisfying since there is so much potential here.

Clever, Exquisite, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You want to see a great play that takes place today. Very well written and great acting.

Don't see it if You are looking for something with big fireworks. This really challenges you especially if you don't know their culture.

Also I liked everything about this play. I wish I everyone could see this a... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Relevant, Absorbing, Surprising, Great acting

See it if You like plays about family values, and couples from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. Characters are well-developed.

Don't see it if You do not like a lot of conversation. You expect a lot of action.

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Uneven

See it if you like shows about family relationships, what makes it work, what secrets are necessary, and what can be tolerated.GREAT sets and lighting

Don't see it if you want a consistently interesting show. 1st act is excellent. 2nd act is weaker, and the ending just sort of peters out.Still,worth seeing

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Profound

See it if A difficult and relevant topic handled sensitively and beautifully performed by a talented cast.

Don't see it if One of the actors (I won't say who) was kind of a weak link. But only compared to the other pitch-perfect performances.

Also I loved this play. Two immigrant families from an unnamed Middle Easte... Read more Read less

Relevant, Great acting, Slow

See it if you enjoy stories about the immigrant perspective and the examination and rejection of religious and cultural believes.

Don't see it if you do not care for the immigrant stories, specifically middle-eatern, or are uncomfortable with different and unusual cultural believes.

Promising, Intense, Funny

See it if you're interested in seeing a play that deals with clashing views and explores traditional/modern family values.

Don't see it if you don't like plays that leave questions unanswered or that create suspenseful plot twists.

Banal, Cliched, Contrived

See it if You are interested in modern vs traditional Muslim family dynamic. Some interesting ideas. Great sets in both acts.

Don't see it if You want insight and depth to generational differences, religious beliefs. A simple almost tv-like story. Takes too long to reveal secret.

Also The big reveal causes reactions the are immature and ridiculous.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a well written, a well acted play about family relationships,values and prejudices. A thoughtful presentation.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in cultural differences and their influence on individuals. A rather deep and complex play.

Ambitious, Great staging, Relevant

See it if you enjoy plays about family conflict and differing views on religion, culture.

Don't see it if you are looking for a cogent point of view.

Also There is some interesting dialogue, but ultimately there is no payoff.... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a new spin on an age old family saga...done by a strong cast

Don't see it if You don't like family drama or anything Muslim

Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy thought provoking shows and are open to stories about characters with differing religious views

Don't see it if You are looking for something light and not interested in a story of families trying to bridge religious differences.

Great acting, Relevant, Overrated, Absorbing, Wanted more

See it if You like well-written, well-acted, thoughtful family dramadies.

Don't see it if You're offput by skimming the surface of big issues.

Also Given how well written and thoughtful the play is, I wish the playwrig... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if You would like a drama involving perspectives of two Muslim families, one secular, one fundamentalist

Don't see it if You don't like plays involving family dynamics; you want to leave the theater feeling happy

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you ant to see a family drama that offers a new take by featuring an underrepresented culture

Don't see it if plays that deal with faith and tradition don't interest you or you need them to haveh a strong narrative arc and conclusive ending

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great dialogue, Unfinished

See it if you enjoy seeing a wonderful work in progress, with excellent dialogue, acting, and staging

Don't see it if you have no interest in works-in-progress. An ending that could have been explosive just fizzles

Also This play is frustrating in the way that only potentially great works ... Read more Read less

Funny, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you love smart, relevant drama.

Don't see it if you prefer light entertainment.

Great staging, Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if u care more for production values than a dramatically satisfying & cogent play. Playwrights Horizons production values are great as usual.

Don't see it if Sadly this is not a well written play. The ideas (conflicting family views on Islam) potentially fascinating, the execution is feeble.

Ambitious, Thought provoking, Relevant

See it if you want some food for thought about religion & its extremes--and perception about traditions vs modernism.

Don't see it if you expect a well-made play. Or HAMILTON.

April 10th, 2017
"Directed with restraint by Fagan and imbued with uncommon humanity by an impressive cast, 'The Profane' is by turns warm and wary, combative and conciliatory...Dohrn is examining the cultural unease between the secular and the fundamentalist...An emotionally charged secret...becomes the play’s b...
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April 10th, 2017
"The play itself is unengaging, it suffers from lurches of illogic and a haphazard approach to character...'The Profane' doesn't work...Arguments spring up that could have easily been avoided by prior conversations, the hallmark of a play that doesn't believe in its own offstage life...The talent...
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April 9th, 2017
"Imagine 'Meet the Parents' but with two Muslim immigrant families and you’ll get something a bead on author Zayd Dohrn’s timely and topical but frustratingly incomplete and unevenly acted play...Things turn ugly — and contrived. And unresolved, which isn’t inherently a weakness, but the drama fe...
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April 9th, 2017
"All of Dohrn's characters are drawn with intricate complexity: a web of contradicting ideals, impulses, and behavior — they feel like real people...While Dohrn has convincingly written individuals, he heartbreakingly dramatizes the tragedy of them not listening to one another...Dohrn tantalizes ...
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