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The Thing With Feathers

From 14 critic and 136 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense

About the show

The Barrow Group's world premiere drama tells the tale of an underage teenager who is seduced by an older man on the internet. Things however, may not be as straightforward as they seem. More…

'The Thing With Feathers' feels almost like a thriller as it unfolds what is ultimately a story of forgiveness. Featuring a cast of four, the new work promises to keep audiences on their toes until its surprising end.

Lighting & Sound America

"Organ ensnares his characters in a ticking-bomb situation that will leave you in a constant state of tense expectation...Under Barrish's tautly controlled direction, this is a crackerjack psychological thriller, a series of muffled shocks hidden under the surface of everyday life, with each character taking a turn as the aggressor...Organ clearly knows how to sneak up on an audience, trapping us as easily as he entangles his characters in crimes past and present." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Organ sets up situations provoking expectations of dire/violent outcome. Tension ebbs and flows never quite dissipating...A play about expectation, power, responsibility, and consequences. Writing is completely credible until the very end...The piece offers a helluva ride. It's topical, skillfully crafted, and well produced...Barrish creates a natural atmosphere with attitude as realistic as stage business. Actors are given space to listen and react. No one overdoes it. Timing enhances." Full Review

Theater Life

"'The Thing With Feathers' unfolds as something of a mystery...The drama illustrates how the past has a way of coming back to haunt us...Tightly directed by Seth Barrish...These actors' ensemble work makes the drama riveting...If 'The Thing With Feathers' is mostly an ensemble piece, it also gives Booth the chance to show his versatility, keeping the audience perpetually wondering what he will do next and why he will do it." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“A riveting psychological melodrama, acted with total authenticity…directed with just the right tone of unsettling credibility…you'll find it in Act One…Act Two, which contains a surprising plot twist, is a little shakier…Organ is very careful to justify the twists in his plotting, even if, as usual in such plays, we need to suspend our disbelief a bit...TBG has assembled a knockout cast that has us holding our breath as every second breathes with tension.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"One of the more interesting plays to hit this season and it is sure to stir emotions...Barrish's direction seems a little slow. At times it is hard to believe this story due to the casting and other facts that turn out to be true...Will draw you in and will make you think. The turn of events will keep you guessing as to what is really is going on, keeping your interest. Though I would like to hear more on the why's, I recommend this as a show to see." Full Review

Front Row Center

“A creepy pleasure…There is something a bit Hitchcock in this work. One fact slides into another until there is a very slow motion pileup on the freeway to happiness…This is one of the many delicious qualities of the writing – days later a person will still be mulling over the events to see how one led into the other…The second act does not fare as well as the first…The plot becomes predictable. Organ does, however, come close to saving it all with a bit of fancy footwork.” Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"The playwright Scott Organ very skillfully and incrementally introduces piece by piece of the plot and turns each bit of information on its ear as he adds the next piece. The actors are perfectly cast...The relationships created...are beautifully portrayed and so fully realized that the surprises flow inevitably...This is a very enjoyable evening dealing with unsettling issues. It demands a juicy conversation on the way home." Full Review


"''The Thing with Feathers' is pretty riveting...Organ's work is largely neat and logical, and he gives each actor a chance to shine...Barrish directs the quartet smartly, allowing them to underplay their big moments, and telling us where to focus each minute...Where Organ stumbles, I think, is in the ending...Most of 'The Thing with Feathers' is persuasive and well-written, but this isn't the right curtain for it. Maybe he needs to work on 'The Thing with Feathers, Part 2.'" Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"A fantastic cast navigates the script's convoluted relationships...The cast is able to pivot quickly into mixing scary with funny to keep the audience shocked with unexpected twists and turns...The bar is set high in the first act; unfortunately, once the play's secrets are revealed in the second, the surprise and delight diminishes...Despite some disappointing elements, 'Feathers' is the kind of show that can help propel the conversations we need to be having." Full Review

Off Off Online

"Even if at moments some twists are hard to swallow, director Barrish paces the piece well, with familial kitchen scenes that induce calm, and scenes of danger and outright threats that are unsettling. Still, Organ's characters are occasionally irritating...Any play that has the audience eager to express opinions about what they're seeing is well worth the watching. 'The Thing With Feathers' is such a one." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"As social commentary and cultural exposé, 'The Thing with Feathers' is timely and important...It succeeds as an old-style stage thriller and psychological melodrama that incorporates twenty-first century anxieties...In general director Barrish successfully balances the play's contemporary realism and melodramatic flourishes. The play takes some time, unfortunately, to come to a boil...The ending is disappointing. The message seems tacked on and not organic to the play." Full Review


"Onstage Lifetime movie...While the production by director Seth Barrish unfolds with the kind of gasp-inducing, popcorn-shoveling relish that we usually associate with televised guilty pleasures, this play still has some timely things to add to this strange moment in our sexual culture...The play develops at an exceedingly slow boil in the first half as we watch these bland people interact...Whatever the flaws of the production, the subject matter of the play is too interesting to resist." Full Review

The New York Times

"Niziak, who plays Anna, is also 16, and her command of the role is extraordinary—because she is so young, yes, but mainly because she is so entirely at home in her character’s skin...The play fatally falls apart at the end, but Organ keeps us entertained for a good long while before that...The later sections of the play feel contrived in a way that nothing that comes before does; he is determined to let a concept rule the action. The characters, sprung to life, have long since taken over." Full Review


“Though there's a major surprise lurking at the top of the second act, and though it's about how sins of the past can impinge on the present, Scott Organ's ‘The Thing with Feathers’ is ultimately a play without many virtues. Early references to Emily Dickinson and poetry--the title comes from a bastardization of a Dickinson poem--fail to lift the work out of the made-for-TV movie-of-the-week sensibility that keeps bringing it down.” Full Review

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Must see

See it if If you are super into drama that truly captures the essence of reality situations in its truest form. A true must-see.

Don't see it if You know you are the type that would get more enjoyment out of a musical.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Relevant

See it if You love contemporary drama with a terrific and timely story. The way in which technology has impacted us is of great interest to you See it

Don't see it if You are in the mood for a slapdash inane comedy about the relationships of parents and kids. This is NOT in any way shape or form a comedy !

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You like clever plotting and mild suspense.

Don't see it if You don't like slightly sinister suspense.

Edgy, Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Intense

See it if You want to be absorbed in a problem of modern, intelligent, basically good people

Don't see it if You can’t follow complicated plots.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you are intrigued by family dramas. I found the story believable and extremely well acted.

Don't see it if you are put off by family conflicts and teenage angst.

Also It helped that I found each of the four characters to be sympathetic. ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Must see, Riveting

See it if You want be kept on the edge of your seat as this masterful tale of revenge unfolds The audience literally gasps at one point!.

Don't see it if Can't think of any reason not to see this show--it's good enough to be on Broadway in my opinion.

Riveting, Fun, Exciting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if Within the issue of underage sexual connections, ​this is treated in an intelligent and very surprising way. Great plot twists.

Don't see it if You are sensitive to issues of underage sexual connections.

Also This was very surprising. Uncomfortable and riveting, especially the f... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Resonant, Relevant, Surprising

See it if you enjoy a great, unpredictable, and ultimately human story brought to life by a talented cast.

Don't see it if you missed out - hopefully this show will receive future productions.

Timely, Riveting, Intelligent, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if you've been yearning for a good mysterious story on stage. This was captivating from beginning to end--what a rare treat!

Don't see it if you've had enough of mother/daughter drama or are simply not interested in a mystery that is timely and relevant.

Absorbing, Riveting, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy uncomfortable and suspenseful plays. Script is well crafted & timely w/ great plot twists. Riveting start to finish.

Don't see it if You dislike intense or unsettling shows. The story is uncomfortable but shines a light on a real life issues that are relevant today.

Also The show leaves you with lots to think about and talk about. Both at i... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you want to see something that will stay with you and make you think. Character decisions are tough to wrap your head around, in a good way

Don't see it if you don't value good acting & good storytelling. you lack empathy. You need an ending that really nails it.

Also I see a lot of people complaining about hair fussing, which i personal... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy shows that are relevant to modern life.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with sexual predation.

Also An interesting exploration of internet stalking. Startling surprises a... Read more Read less

Complex, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a family dramas and issues surrounding underage sexuality, internet perils and predatory relationships.

Don't see it if You want something light, or are triggered by stories of underage sexual relationships. It's not easy, but worth the journey.

Clever, Cliched, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant

See it if something relatable and creepy

Don't see it if you're looking for something realistic

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Surprising

See it if you enjoy shows with complicated relationships, or those that embrace the problems for human interaction created by technology.

Don't see it if you are intolerant of atypical dating relationships or have super-conservative values.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Intense

See it if you love suspense and not knowing what is going to happen next. Relatable on so many levels. Great acting

Don't see it if like non linear plays or are looking for fantasy.

Twisty, tense, satisfying thriller

See it if teenage girl meets older man on the internet. You know it will go wrong, but how is a series of deft twists and turns. Zachary Booth excels

Don't see it if not a light entertainment, but a modern thriller with building tension. Well staged on a small set with a fine cast

Absorbing, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if You want to see a well directed and acted original play dealing with sex in the internet age - plot twists and turns surprising, riveting.

Don't see it if You find mother/daughter relationships overdone, and this one somewhat inappropriate-the teen girl is her mother's pal and in ways wiser.

Also Overall, I enjoyed this production. The first act is somewhat slow, bu... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if If you want to see a gripping story, that has many twists and turns. Strong acting, but, everyone matched the youngest actor's volume.

Don't see it if you don’t like stories about pedophiles. It was a disturbing script. It did lead to some good discussion afterward. ACTORS NEEDED TO PROJECT

Also 1st) If you go, sit close. I was in the first row, and could hear fine... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You appreciate realistic, relevant scenarios that make you think.

Don't see it if You are opposed to possibly taboo topic matter.

Great writing, Great acting, High production value, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you like well-written and well-acted play tackling a sensitive issue. Worth the effort. Production value is high.

Don't see it if you need to story to be 100% believable.

Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see very well developed characters who portray many aspects of their personalities

Don't see it if You want a light play

Absorbing, Clever, Relevant, Very clever twists

See it if You're ok with a little creepy Surprising outcome

Don't see it if You're too creeped out by an internet predator

Edgy, Creepy, Scary, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Thrilling, creepy first act with compelling characters and scary buildup. I was excited at intermission about what was to come.

Don't see it if The second act was just ok. The edgy suspense turned into sentimentality at the end. Captivating despite flaws.

Absorbing, Intense, Great staging, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if for a psychological drama with some suspense and twists along the way

Don't see it if certain sexual themes make you uncomfortable.

Cast & Creatives (10)