Underground Railroad Game
Closed 1h 15m
Underground Railroad Game

Underground Railroad Game NYC Reviews and Tickets

(122 Reviews)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Edgy, Ambitious, Relevant, Intense

About the Show

Ars Nova presents a return engagement of this taboo-smashing comedy that ravages American tropes about race, sex, and power politics. Winner of the 2017 Obie for Best New American Play.

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Member Reviews (122)

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926 Reviews | 932 Followers
Shocking, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Funny, Surprising

See it if Definitely not what I expected. Very fresh and surprising. Creative, thought-provoking and funny.

Don't see it if Exaggerated scenes, nudity or racial issues bother you.

888 Reviews | 1017 Followers
Edgy, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if Very unexpected (in a good way) with great performances .

Don't see it if You are uncomfortable with nudity or sexual situations.

548 Reviews | 1881 Followers
Original, Great acting, Riveting

See it if Odd. Fascinating. Original. Challenging. Dark and funny. An interesting watch for sure.

Don't see it if You have a closed mind. Race bluntness and nudity bother you.

720 Reviews | 220 Followers
Edgy, Intense, Profound, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to be wowed by an utterly original play with insights into racism, sexuality and human nature.

Don't see it if You are unprepared for stunning sex infused scenes that build to a climax in more ways than one.

729 Reviews | 158 Followers
Ambitious, Clever, Hilarious, Intelligent, Edgy

See it if you'd like an intense, funny, stinging look at race relations, civil war legacies, & male/female relations in a brilliant, audacious setting

Don't see it if you don't like nudity, strong language, situations taking racial issues to an extreme, male/female violence & minimal audience participation

754 Reviews | 124 Followers
Funny, Excruciating, Relevant, Banal, Dated

See it if you feel you need to be reminded that racism in this country is related to slavery. The actors do a great job with creepy material.

Don't see it if gratuitous nudity offends you. While it is called a game, no individual audience members are called on to participate.

658 Reviews | 290 Followers
Combo of satire, comedic romance & kinky sex makes for an absurdist tour de force about slavery; may be too strong stuff for some

See it if audacious & hilarious, changing focus on a dime; fine perfs by duo; jarring/makes u think anew about slavery

Don't see it if broad & in your face; purposely shocking, sadomasochistic shtick gets your attention but may be off-putting to some Read more

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Stunning, radical & provocative-just a few adjectives to summons 'Railroad' A school educational game moves into uncharted racial territory

Don't see it if Not for the squeamish or sexually threatened Starts out concerning slavery but slowly moves into how its aftermath poisons sexual relations

Critic Reviews (24)

New York Stage Review
June 2nd, 2019

"Kidwell, who is black, and Sheppard, who’s white, have exactly the opposite intent. Both are smart, vibrant performers who, abetted by director Taibi Magar and a talented design team, evoke slavery’s poisonous and enduring legacy with daring, intuitive theatricality...The audience members around me alternately laughed, sucked in their breath and sat in stunned silence...This accomplished, compelling play, suggests that the arc of justice has not yet been permanently derailed."
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New York Stage Review
June 1st, 2019

“An unusually entertaining piece...Hilarious and provocative and original...This unconventional and decidedly unsettling work presents a bold, thought-provoking consideration of racial and sexual assumptions that does not provide any answers but certainly will spark conversation...The play is fearlessly performed...Smart writing and sharp interplay are enhanced by the fluency of Magar’s subtle staging that seamlessly shifts events between real and surreal...Delightfully adventurous show.”
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New York Theater
June 1st, 2019

"Sheppard and Jennifer Kidwell have fashioned a captivating work of theater that is bravely acted, inventively designed, and relentlessly surprising — dizzying in its anarchic turns from playful to hateful, satiric to sadistic...Since the surprises are much of what made the show feel so theatrically explosive to me, I am reluctant to disclose many details...Now, it’s hard to miss the pointed commentary beneath both the humor and the ferocity in the show."
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Gotham Playgoer
June 1st, 2019

"This hilariously discomfiting examination of race, sex, and power...The audience is occasionally induced to be the student body at an assembly...The play, which jumps rapidly from the lesson plan to fantasies and surreal episodes, is so crammed with material that it is hard to believe that it is only 75 minutes long...I was alternately amused, annoyed, shocked and baffled. I don’t know whether you will love it or hate it, but I can guarantee that you won’t be bored."
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The New York Times
September 26th, 2016
For a previous production

"In-all-ways sensational...This production lures you into its seemingly sunny classroom with the snarky cheer of a hip comedy sketch. But as its title promises, this play winds up taking you into subterranean territory...The play conjures searing theatrical visuals to match its wayward words, the sort of images that used to send people to Freudian analysts when they cropped up in nightmares...Manages to be...shocking in ways that 'Dutchman' must have been 50-some years ago."
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Time Out New York
September 26th, 2016
For a previous production

"There's a hint of race war in the color war–style kids’ game for which Jennifer Kidwell and Scott Sheppard’s outrageously funny and discomfiting show is named...The taboo-flouting script is matched by bold, smart performances from both actors...At the performance I attended, the laughter and shock of the almost exclusively white audience had a tinge of self-flagellation, which felt gratifying—if not, as the play makes clear, necessarily liberating."
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The Washington Post
October 7th, 2016
For a previous production

"This riveting, whip-smart performance piece is as daringly unexpurgated as anything you’ll encounter onstage today. It’s an effort to reset the table for the complicated conversation about race that America eternally attempts to start, and always ends up recoiling from in guilt and insecurity and anger…Kidwell and Sheppard are equally magnetic here and yes, truly brave. Along with their savvy director and designers, they play enthrallingly with dynamite."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 5th, 2016
For a previous production

"Kidwell and Sheppard have devised an effective vehicle for their talents, one that confidently rides the audience's nerves for 90 minutes, daring us not to be offended and forcing us to think hard about what we're feeling...They play together with unusual finesse, even as they follow the play's argument down some distinctly dark corridors. Taibi Magar's direction keeps us on pins and needles, ricocheting from easy laughter to high tension and back again."
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