Already closed | East Village

When It Happens to You

From 71 member  reviews
Members say: Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intense, Great writing

About the show

Tawni O’Dell’s theatrical memoir is about a mother’s struggle to help restore a sense of safety and wholeness to her family after her daughter was the victim of a brutal attack. More…

From the show:

It’s a journey that continues to this day, nearly five years since she received that middle of the night phone call every parent dreads.

“The first time I held my daughter after she was born I made a silent promise to her I would always protect her,” says Tawni O’Dell. “Then came a night in our future when that promise was shattered. I couldn’t protect her from the man who stalked her through the streets of her beloved New York City, broke into her home, and assaulted her,” says Tawni O’Dell. “During the next few years, her life fell apart and so did my own as I tried to help her deal with the fallout from this awful crime. As a way to help make sense of what we were going through, I did what writers do: I wrote about it. I didn’t know if I would ever share our story with the world, but I’m proud to say my daughter has decided that we should in the hopes that we might be able to help other victims and their families. Rape touches just about every one of us. More women are sexually assaulted in this country than are affected by heart disease and breast cancer combined. To say it is an epidemic, is not hyperbole.”

Member Reviews (71)


Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intense, Great writing
Avg Score

Quirky, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Relevant, Intense

See it if you would enjoy the pain and comfort of a true story in which a family deals with the rape of one member. Intelligent language, some humor.

Don't see it if having the story teller break the fourth wall and not completely act, but often narrate would bother you. Lighting that blinds few few rows.

Relevant, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you want to hear a very disturbing true tale of rape told by the real mother with other actors.

Don't see it if you don't like the subject of rape.

Resonant, Relevant, Great staging, Self-indulgent

See it if you want a realistic portrayal of a family, through the mother, dealing (poorly) with the aftermath of rape.

Don't see it if a work that always feels like a solo with 4 actors will never work for you.

Also Tawni O'Dell's story here never really engages the audience as she ask... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Must see, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you want to experience, almost as vividly as first-hand, emotional and psychological consequences to modern rape victims and their families.

Don't see it if you prefer shorter or multi-act drama, comedy, or musicals, more action and less exposition, or are very upset by detailed rape descriptions

Also Some detail regarding off stage characters and relationships could be ... Read more Read less

Masterful, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if If you want to see a family struggle after violence. The sense of shame is effectively displayed by mom and daughter in different ways

Don't see it if You are too triggered by assault

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

See it if You want to hear a true-to-life account of a horrific incident. 90-minutes long. 4 “actors” on stage, even though the writer/mother is not

Don't see it if An actress. Great acting on the other 3’s part. It’s a dramatic memory piece, with light humor and slight cussing 🤬. It’s therapeutic.

Profound, Great staging, Absorbing

See it if Part lecture...part dramatization pertaining to a mother and daughter journey after the daughter is raped.

Don't see it if rape or sexual abuse is a trigger.

Thought-provoking, Intense, Excruciating, Edgy, Confusing

See it if You want to see a play based on a true story of a rape of a young woman in NY, traumatic experience vividly displayed

Don't see it if You do not like plays wt no interval, very disturbing subject is played by a young woman, unnecessarily long play

Also The play could have still delivered the message if it was an hour

Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You want to think more about awful things that are happening to people and how they are handling it.

Don't see it if You like musicals and comedies

Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

See it if A true story of a young girls rape and how it affects her and her family members for years to come. The playwright also portrayed the mother

Don't see it if You prefer a lighter or more uplifting subject matter. The play was 90 minutes without an intermission.

Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if you'd like to see a very personal, moving story about Tawni O’Dell’s daughter's rape and its consequences on her family.

Don't see it if you have problems with the subject of violent attacks, rape, and their consequences on the victims and their families.

Also Must-see for people with kids or grandkids who might have to deal with... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a show that is reality based even though the topic is not one easily discussed. The author has told a well thought out play.

Don't see it if you do not want to face reality or prefer musicals.

Must see, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if If you like a gritty in your face play about sexual assault and its' victims.The young woman who played the part of the young lady who was

Don't see it if If you don't want to see or know about sexual situations pertaining to women in the workplace and beyond.

Also assaulted showed all of the signs that women go through when they have... Read more Read less

Intense, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if You like family dramas and tragedies

Don't see it if You prefer something more entertaining.

Disappointing, Ambitious, Clever, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You want to hear a narrative about the effects of rape.

Don't see it if You expect a true play.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Must see, Great writing, Great acting

See it if I think everyone should make time to see this play: male, female, young, old, etc. A must see for everyone.

Don't see it if You want something light. If you you can’t handle sensitive topics like rape you might want to skip this one.

Slow, Disappointing, Resonant, Relevant, Profound

See it if you'd like to gain awareness about how a family copes in the aftermath of a young woman's rape.

Don't see it if you expect a well polished entertaining play. It's an important story to hear, but not so exciting or even entertaining to watch.

Also I had high expectations for this play because it is so important for t... Read more Read less

Raw, Emotional, Resonant, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you want to experience the raw, unfathomable reality of living in the wake of a horrifying event.

Don't see it if you're uncomfortable hearing frank discussions of rape and its aftermath. It's not graphic in terms of detail, but it's painful to hear.

Also This is not a polished show, but that makes it all the better. The aut... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Excruciating, Slow, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if how a daughter's rape affecting her relationships w/family interests you - painful & informative. Good writing & good acting except for mom.

Don't see it if you want a fully realized play w/ professional actors (the playwright plays the mother & is stiff).

Cliched, Profound, Great staging

See it if you don't care about being narrated a story, yet relevant, instead of being fully acted.

Don't see it if you expect a play that enacts the facts instead of telling them. The title is relevant since we always think that this happens to others.

Also I might be reading a little too much into it, but it didn't go unnotic... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Slow, Intelligent

See it if You like an intelligent script that focuses on a very heavy topic

Don't see it if You want a lighthearted quick moving show. Although it was only 90 minutes, it was a long 90 minutes for me.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You enjoy a personal story that reveals the many layers of how tragedy effects us.

Don't see it if You need lots of action or more plot than a quiet hard and depressing story enfold for you

Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Profound

See it if You like small intimate plays about true-life events.

Don't see it if Plays about sexual assault distress you. You prefer musicals. You want a show with big production values.

Also This play was a true story of a young woman’s rape and the aftermath o... Read more Read less

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

See it if you're interested in plays about the reality of how rape not only affects the victim, but also those who love them. An eye opener.

Don't see it if stories about rape victims upset or offend you or you like big productions with fancy sets.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if a meaning journey of repercussions of rape of a relationship between the young women and her mom and brother

Don't see it if not into subject of that can be uncomfortable.

October 21st, 2019
"It's all very mysterious, since the more obvious route for O'Dell would have been to publish a prose piece, something at which clearly she has excelled, as opposed to exploring such sensitive and highly personal material in a format for which she shows little aptitude."
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October 15th, 2019
"This a work grounded in sober reality, a work that rejects the prevalent idea that 'closure' is something that will surely erase all scars and 'make whole' once more those who've lived through such traumatic incidents."
read more

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