New York | 2h 15m | Already closed

The Ruins of Civilization

From 14 critic and 57 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Slow, Great acting, Intelligent

About the show

Manhattan Theatre Club presents the world premiere of Penelope Skinner's exploration of our need for free will and connection, even in a world on the brink of extinction. More…

Sometime in the future, spouses Dolores and Silver (TV star Tim Daly) are living their lives within the constraints of a new world order. In an act of what seems like generosity, Dolores secretly opens their home to a stranger in need, but will she come to regret it? Can her actions have an impact or is it just too late?

Original, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you like future related shows, almost a 1984 quality to it, big brother watching you.

Don't see it if Takes place in future revolving around a couple who don't want children in order to maintain their govt subsidy.

Cliched, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a Black Mirror-esque tense dystopian drama dealing with themes of climate change and immigration with echoes of A Doll's House.

Don't see it if You want that drama to have fleshed-out, three dimensional characters or the sense of a lived-in, fully realized world.

Banal, Slow, Relevant, Schematic

See it if You like plays about a dystopian future, even though ideas are limited and without foundation.

Don't see it if You like to see a fully realized future where you can understand how we got from now to there. And some of the action is predictable.

Disappointing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Slow

See it if You like twists in story lines

Don't see it if You don't like dominating controlling husbands...

Insipid, Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You like the idea of a near-future dystopia that discourages having children. Fans of Divergent or The Hunger Games may enjoy it.

Don't see it if You expect clear exposition of the play's circumstances. Avoid if you prefer happier stories or if you dislike a lack of resolution.

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Insipid

See it if It was very confusing. There was no back story as to WHY!! Tim Daly was great. He played it very understated and showed his humanity.

Don't see it if Especially when his wife killed herself and the baby.

During previews
Riveting, Profound, Original, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if You enjoy good sturdy plot lines that keep you guessing throughout. You enjoy being the first to see new plays. You like futuristic drama.

Don't see it if This is not a play with much humor and/or chances to laugh. Unlikeable characters + emotional abuse are not things you want to see in a play

During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Original

See it if You like thinking about "near-future" scenarios in which human nature must change to adapt to the ravages of climate change.

Don't see it if You want something fast-paced or frivolous, or you want to come out of a show giddy with joy.

During previews
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Intriguing

See it if The writer does an amazing job at creating a futuristic world that's unsettling, intriguing & mysterious. I was hooked from the start.

Don't see it if You don't like shows that take place in a fictional futuristic setting. It's a bit creepy & strange (in a good way).

During previews
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great acting, Slow

See it if The show has been changed a lot in previews. What I saw was very enjoyable and captivating. Well written/acted. Fluid. A nice thriller.

Don't see it if you don't care for semi-dark futuristic settings. Even if used only lightly and referentially as a metaphor.

During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a different play with an interesting topic.

Don't see it if You want something riveting. It's a bit slow but very intriguing.

During previews
Clever, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Original, Stark

See it if you can figure out a new set of norms and quickly immerse yourself in the story

Don't see it if you don't like a plot that manipulates your emotions

During previews
Slow, Thought-provoking, Intense, Quirky, Dizzying

See it if You care to see what can happen if politics go on as they are. Actually liked it more than I expected. A subtle warning about the future.

Don't see it if Any of the above bothers you.

During previews
Original, Quirky, Intense, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you're into dystopic fare ... it's an unsettling but poignant journey!

Don't see it if you prefer—to quote a line from the play—to keep your head in the sand

During previews
Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if You like dystopian-lite, global warming freaks you out and you're itching to feel righteous anger, you're looking to feel empty inside.

Don't see it if you require subtlety.

During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Slow, Thought-provoking, Banal

See it if You'd like a story about a futuristic dysfunctional English couple dealing with the consequences of their decisions.

Don't see it if You expect a large-scale production, or if you want a fun show without a morality lesson.

During previews
Great writing, Great acting, Confusing

See it if Solid characterization and pleasant staging. Political theme meets mans need for control.

Don't see it if You don't like non politically correct male character.

During previews
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like thought-provoking plays and dystopian speculations or if you are a Tim Daly fan.

Don't see it if you like to have everything spelled out for you and need to be emotionally involved with the characters.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Slow, Original

See it if See Tim Daly in the theatre instead of TV.Like dysfunctional families even if they are set in the future.Sadly a case of what could be.

Don't see it if want a fast moving play, expecting a REALLY sci-fi play or get really angry at what the world may be like in the future if we don't fix now.

During previews
Challenging, Slow, Original

See it if This play does have something to say about our present deficit of empathy through its dystopian future vision of environmental catastrophe

Don't see it if The show takes well over two hours to make its point, and tells the story through sad characters who I struggled to root for.

During previews
Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Cliched

See it if you have an interest in post-environmental disasters, governmental control and national sterilization.

Don't see it if you prefer straight-forward clear exposition or are sensitive to discussion of animal or child violence.

During previews
Safe, Committed actors, Melodramatic, Clean design

See it if you're addicted to the trend of dystopian plots with plenty of drama, but are not expecting to see an articulate point of view.

Don't see it if you're craving something adventurous or if you're looking for a drama to leave you hanging onto the edge of your seat. This is not that play

During previews
Confusing, Great acting, Slow

See it if There's a good play in there somewhere (with massive cuts needed) and the actors are terrific...

Don't see it if ...but the show is extremely slow-paced (2 hours 20 min) and I didn't totally understand the sci-fi plot.

During previews
Dark, Long

See it if you want a less intense Children of Men.

Don't see it if I don't know, it's hard to tell because it was only the second preview but there's some strange dramaturgical stuff I wasn't into.

During previews
Slow, Good acting, Dystopian, Overly long

See it if You've ever watched Black Mirror and thought "this is too intelligent and well written." Or if you want to see a well-aged Tim Daly.

Don't see it if Plays with a bleak, inevitable views of the future aren't for you. Or if violence toward children and animals make you uncomfortable.

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Cast & Creatives (11)