Already closed | 3h 15m | East Village

White Noise

From 171 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant

About the show

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks ("Topdog/Underdog," "In The Blood") returns to The Public with a world premiere play about race, friendship, and our rapidly unraveling social contract. More…

Long-time friends and lovers Leo, Misha, Ralph, and Dawn are educated, progressive, cosmopolitan, and woke. But when a racially motivated incident with the cops leaves Leo shaken, he decides extreme measures must be taken for self-preservation.

Member Reviews (171)


Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant
Avg Score

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Great acting

See it if you Iike plays about race/politics/society and having your per conceived notions challenged

Don't see it if Topical political plays

Surprising, Edgy, Ambitious, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Intense and intellectual, a play of the moment about race in america.

Don't see it if If you dont like controversial subject matter.

Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great acting, Masterful

See it if You appreciate good acting. Thomas Sadoski and Daveed Diggs were extraordinary. You are willing to look at racial issues.

Don't see it if You don't have the patience for a long show.


See it if The acting was good.

Don't see it if The story was tired.

During previews
Masterful, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Profound

See it if Brilliantly, insightful and profound writing, given life with matching stellar performances. Profound, moving, poignant.

Don't see it if You can't sit on a chair for 3:15 hrs, no matter how riveting the text and acting.

Also The "twist" as it comes at the end of act 1 did seem contrived at firs... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if EXCEPTIONAL writing & acting from entire cast. Great Multi-dimensional characters. Concept makes you think & story commands your attention.

Don't see it if Don't let the 3+ hour runtime scare you - the performances and writing are so good that the show moves at a great pace.

During previews
Ultimately hopeful, Uneven, Beautifully played, Wise, Humane

See it if you'd like to see the latest great play from America's great playwright.

Don't see it if uncomfortable truths about a decent human being's darkest capacities might make you too uncomfortable.

Also Suzan-Lori Parks is America’s great playwright; her latest play, “WHIT... Read more Read less

During previews
Ferguson, trayvon martin, charlottesville; suzan-lori parks tries to explain it all; ny times thinks she succeeds brilliantly; no argument she's an extraordinary playwright, but don't think she wholly succeeds

See it if shakes u up; 4 strong actors ambitiously cover spectrum of racial perspectives from black fear/anger 2 white sense of loss of power

Don't see it if tries to do 2 much at 3 hrs inc 4 soliloquies; characters artificial constructs, some stories off topic; so A 4 ideas, B- 4 execution

Also SPOILER ALERT. Animating plot twist: black man voluntarily agrees to s... Read more Read less

During previews
Too long, staging bad in a variety of ways, Relevant, Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if To see these actors and a play by SLParks.Interesting to see what she is doing. V. intense. Acting was good. But some parts not fleshed out.

Don't see it if You don’t want to think about difficult subjects. Staging was so stark play included many monologues/preaching. I prefer the story to tell

Also Just too long. Could have used some more characters. Very insular. The... Read more Read less

During previews
Intense, Edgy, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if story is focused on the dissection of the legacy/burden of slavery in contemporary society; there are times of levity but topic is profound

Don't see it if you don't want to deal with racial profiling/prejudice; not up for an uneasy pit in your stomach kind of evening; want a big cast/fancy sets

Also I cannot get this thought provoking play out of my head. The acting an... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Edgy, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of Suzan-Lori Parks, Daveed Diggs and/or Thomas Sadoski and want to see a unique take on interracial relations.

Don't see it if you cannot concentrate for 3+hours or if you cannot get past an implausible premise to follow its repercussions.

Also The acting is uniformly strong. The set has a big surprise. The play c... Read more Read less

During previews
Should be seen, Needs editing, Well developed, Brilliant unexpected concept

See it if Daveed Diggs, Thomas Sadoski are great. The women add little. It's obvious why SLP won Pulitzer, but while not TD/UD, this should be seen.

Don't see it if You are not interested in racism. Slavery. You aren't up for 3 hours.

Also I am not going to say anything about the story because I think it is b... Read more Read less

During previews
Strange, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if You enjoy Public Theater productions. A new take on the Black experience.

Don't see it if You want a well written tight play. This loses its way and meanders. Four main characters 2 Black 2 White mix and match trade couples. Silly

Also A new take on slavery. Slavery in the 21st century. A bit disturbing b... Read more Read less

During previews
Intense, Fantastical, Edgy

See it if you enjoy Parks's works. Racial issues, black lives matter, white privilege. 3hr run time. Ready for a fantastical twist.

Don't see it if you want a believable premise. The show's twist is pretty out there - I didn't buy-in to the characters' journeys.

Also [first preview] Even though the show is 3+hrs, it did move well and di... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You want to think about race issues and white privilege in a deep and probing way.

Don't see it if You don’t want to be profoundly affected by Parks writing although some editing is needed as the play is very long.

During previews
Great acting, Ultimately not that satisfying for me, Many novel ideas, Absorbing

See it if You're open to novel storytelling and characters who are little more than symbols. You like bowling.

Don't see it if If you're looking for something lighthearted.

Also I liked this play, and the three-plus hours of running time didn't dra... Read more Read less

During previews
Good acting, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you want AMERICAN SON + REASONS TO BE PRETTY + (in)famous Stanford Prison Experiment (sucked into extreme scenario). Good acting; long play.

Don't see it if you want tightly-written play. This is OVERLY LONG and very wordy. It's a 90-minute play wrapped in 3-hour shell. Provocative & intense.

Also Also similar to GOD OF CARNAGE in way it brings out "uncivilized" beha... Read more Read less

During previews
Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You are a Parks fan -- or Diggs -- or both (as I am). Sprawling, deep, current, provacative, enthralling.

Don't see it if You are disturbed by sexuality. You are unwilling to engage with race, gender, and class issues.

Also Loved it. Classic S-L Parks.

During previews
Riveting, Resonant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Uncomfortable Parks exploration of race, identity,power in relationships and what it means to be free; outstanding ensemble

Don't see it if You don’t want to be made to feel uncomfortable in experience that stays with you and makes you think about your biases long after play ends

During previews
Bad staging, Great acting, Overly long, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see a play that tackles race in a new way and provokes a reaction on either side of issue.

Don't see it if You're looking for some lighter fare or don't mind character turns that feel a little cartoony.

Also There is a great play in this overstuffed first preview. It would grea... Read more Read less

During previews
Gruesome, Long, Astonishing, Provocative

See it if you enjoy theater as an intellectual exercise.

Don't see it if 3+ hours and serious mental cardio is not for you.

Also the cast is mostly strong throughout. ... Read more Read less

During previews
Overlong, Intense, Edgy, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if a lengthy examination of race and privilege. Parks is always an interesting thinker, grappling with big issues. The actors work very hard.

Don't see it if the play beats the audience over the head with somewhat obvious observations. It needs serious editing. Even though the plot is deliberately

Also absurd, absurdity should have more rational limitations. Instead of en... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great writing, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if You want to catch one of our best playwrights grappling with major themes and questions of race, legacy, privilege, and guilt.

Don't see it if You aren’t in for three hours of uncomfortable discourse that provokes and challenges across racial, class, and gender divides.

Also There was, for me, one actor of the four who wasn’t as strong as the o... Read more Read less

During previews

See it if You are a fan of the playwright or actors involved. You like your plays to be issues not necessarily plot.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a tight play.

Also There’s definitely a good play here, but it’s currently bogged down. I... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Masterful, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if If you are a fan of good writing and acting and Parks work. It is a dense and disturbing play about race and social contracts. Hard at times

Don't see it if Three hours of discovery about race and social constructs. If you are tired of plays that are unsettling about race and gender do not see it

March 20th, 2019
“Parks’s enthrallingly thought-packed new play...Directed with a radiant clarity...Superb four-member cast...Any annoyance I felt with Parks’s plot contrivances was erased by the thrill of the play’s uncompromising revelations of character...Four ravishing monologues, give this production its pul...
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March 20th, 2019
“The brilliance of Suzan-Lori Parks’s eviscerating new play ‘White Noise’ is that underneath the finely crafted, often sharply funny apparent realism of its surface, its roots stretch deep away into archetype. Each one of its quartet of characters is at once an individual, nuanced and developed.....
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March 20th, 2019
“Parks' new play deals with many important issues...It sacrifices credibility, coherence and a compelling narrative in favor of didacticism. Parks doesn't quite seem to know what to do with her provocative premise once it's been established...The play feels bloated...with unnecessary subplots...T...
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March 21st, 2019
"Opens with a burst of brainy energy that lasts through the first act. But it takes a nosedive in the sloppy second half, confounding the assured direction of Oskar Eustis and the best efforts of a small, ace cast headed by the magnetic Diggs...Director Eustis has created a warm environment that ...
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