The Refuge Plays
Closed 3h 15m
The Refuge Plays
82

The Refuge Plays NYC Reviews and Tickets

82%
(350 Ratings)
Positive
89%
Mixed
7%
Negative
4%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious, Slow, Entertaining

About the Show

A prophetic encounter in the Illinois woods leads to an intergenerational family saga.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (142)

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52 Reviews | 12 Followers
93
Exquisite, Great acting, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You want to enter a wondrous world of three interlocking worlds that Answer a question of the type we ask ourselves: where do I come from?

Don't see it if You caNt understand southern dialect

483 Reviews | 194 Followers
92
Immersive, Thoughtful, Intelligent writing, Well-acted and -staged, Entrancing and pathos-driven

See it if you are invested in multi-generational stories about families, including ones that include a few ghosts; like compelling, emotional acting.

Don't see it if 3.5 hours (with two intermissions) deter you from seeing even excellent theatre; need a musical or something super-edgy that will shock. Read more

161 Reviews | 168 Followers
88
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you want a play with great story telling that keeps your interest. Cast giving wonderful performances creating characters to care about.

Don't see it if you really can not invest 3 & half hours into a play. I originally was not looking forward to attending such a long play, but time flew by. Read more

532 Reviews | 137 Followers
87
Great writing, Thoughtful, Poetic

See it if you'd like to take a masterful theatrical journey that involves multiple lost souls seeking refuge, sprinkled with touches of providence.

Don't see it if you're looking for a fast-paced evening of theater, don't like long plays, epic sagas or need to have every plot element fully explained.

170 Reviews | 10 Followers
86
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Funny, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if Wonderful acting. You enjoy a family saga.

Don't see it if You can’t sit for over three hours. You are not open to the magical/spiritual.

207 Reviews | 13 Followers
85
Intriguing plot development, Excellent cast, Ambitious, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You can overcome idea of 3 1/2 hr play and enjoy lively family story regressing through generations. Simple story, engrossing characters

Don't see it if You are seeking 90 min of elaborate production and gripping plot

63 Reviews | 8 Followers
85
Delightful, Clever, Entertaining, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy stories about family life and what affected how a family interact with each other

Don't see it if You have no interest in the generational effects of how a family deals with each other

174 Reviews | 24 Followers
84
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a generational family drama, told in reverse chronology, that keeps you routing for the characters, throughout their issues.

Don't see it if YOu can't sit for over 3 hours with only conversational dialogue.

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
October 11th, 2023

“In an attempt to imagine alternative ways of being, the playwright has smashed existing artistic forms and created new ones along the way. The result is provocative but messy...But cumbersome as it is, ‘The Refuge Plays’ suggests the potential for stories to exceed the world’s limitations. Ellison would have to agree.”
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New York Theatre Guide
October 11th, 2023

“At 3.5 hours long, ‘The Refuge Plays’ is a bear of a production, but it earns its stage time...The audience members on board for all three parts were fully on board, whooping with laughter. And in the final moments, when Crazy Eddie’s truck on stage revs into gear after breaking down, the audience energetically cheers. ‘The Refuge Plays’ is a joy ride worth taking.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 11th, 2023

“In ‘The Refuge Plays’, Nathan Alan Davis has put together a three-part drama full of engaging small gestures that fail to add up.”
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Theatermania
October 11th, 2023

“This top-flight cast is strong enough to occasionally distract you from the cumulative impression of witnessing an epic that is a mile wide but only an inch deep.”
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Lighting & Sound America
October 11th, 2023

"The Refuge Plays, is a trilogy performed across a single evening, a multigenerational, magic-realist Black family saga that moves in reverse…It is an overcrowded, aria-packed piece so awkwardly constructed that it almost seems designed to thwart drama altogether. Thanks to some lush passages of writing and at least two first-rate performances, it's not dull, but neither does it ignite…And even as the action heads back to the original sin that launches one family's long-running conflict between isolation and wanderlust, it never gains in momentum or urgency. It's a long trip with little payoff."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 11th, 2023

“This off-the-grid shack becomes a source of refuge for everyone who visits it. And Davis's warm, affectionate evening is something of a refuge from the clank and clatter and confusion of a lot of contemporary playwrighting.”
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TheaterScene.net
October 21st, 2023

Nathan Alan Davis’ "The Refuge Plays," if one pays attention, is exactly about refuge: growing up with it (because someone else has lovingly created it for you), seeking it (if you feel you must create your own), and coming back to the refuge you have always known (once you come to terms with the realization you’ve had no success trying to create it somewhere else). Davis, for the most part, has given us characters that we can easily fall in love with, each with their own path to refuge.
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Theater Pizzazz
October 11th, 2023

“I would have enjoyed it just as much had the story been told chronologically. That’s because Davis’s greatest accomplishment in ‘The Refuge Plays’ lies in the creation of engaging, warm-blooded, intensely human characters for whom we come to care deeply.”
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