Already closed | 1h 50m | Midtown W

Whorl Inside a Loop

From 44 member  reviews
Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Relevant

About the show

In this Second Stage production, a well-regarded actress teaches six inmates how to tell their stories at a men’s maximum security prison. More…

Sharing intimate and sometimes hilarious details of their former lives, this unlikely group forms a bond - even as the actress’ life outside spins out of control. And when what happens in prison doesn't stay there, no one is sure who to trust. Six men play two dozen characters in a constant shifting of scenes, ages, genders and races.

Member Reviews (44)


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

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you care about the prison system. This tries to tackle (very imperfectly) an important subject.

Don't see it if you want an original, sophisticated work. Self-aggrandizing project needs work, altho the premise (to tell prisoners' stories) is worthy.

Also I'm catching up on reviews of shows I've seen. WIAL had potential and ... Read more Read less

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

See it if Intense superbly written and acted. Riveting story.

Don't see it if you don't like minimalist sets.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Funny

See it if You love great performances and like the show Orange is the new Black

Don't see it if You don't like stories about Prison

Disappointing, Ambitious, Great acting, Superficial, Fine

See it if you won't be frustrated by a very surface-y exploration of a white woman coming in and stealing black people's stories.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of Sherie Rene Scott (this is not her best work).

Great acting, Profound, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you're into "urban" stories.

Don't see it if you don't like straight plays or are in the mood for something very light.

Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if You're interested in the lives of prisoners. Terrific performances.

Don't see it if You prefer a more traditional sort of theatre.

Original, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you are interested in the justice system in the US.

Don't see it if you want something light.

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you like real life drama & stories with a twist

Don't see it if you are expecting a happy go lucky type story with a happy go lucky ending.

Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Original

See it if you want a play exploring not only the prison system in America, but the audience's own culpability in commoditizing the prisoners' stories.

Don't see it if you dont' want to look at the way rich NYC audiences use portrayals of struggling people to make themselves feel empathetic and enlightened.

Absorbing, Intense, Must see, Relevant, Strong performances

See it if You are up for exploring crime, punishment and redemption Race & privilege in the US Criminal Justice system

Don't see it if You are a lock them up and throw away the key kind of person

Also Excellent ensemble cast... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Profound

See it if you are interested in the stories and humanity of prisoners

Don't see it if you are looking for a lighthearted comedy. There are some comedic moments in this, but I wouldn't describe it as light.

Great acting, Clever, Absorbing, Unremarkable, Superficial

See it if versatile performances, fluid staging, provocative ideas, and final plot twists make you loopy with satisfaction.

Don't see it if you find it a stretch that all convicted murderers in a writing group are talented and trustworthy. A twist explains it but still...

Great writing, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you want to see a play that explores artistic inspiration and exploitation between different classes of society. Fantastic final scene!

Don't see it if you have difficulty following actors portraying multiple roles within a piece.

Resonant, Riveting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if you want to see great acting on an intense subject. It is excellent.

Don't see it if you are suspicious that every inmate is poetic. But remember, it is theatre and it's the "best of".

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Original

See it if You want to be moved. This play was an incredible piece of thought-provoking theatre that tackled a topic that is not easy.

Don't see it if N/a

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Hilarious

See it if you enjoy a little meta with your comedy

Don't see it if you can't enjoy a good funny show

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Moving

See it if you're into theatre that plays with form and storytelling. This is a fantastic piece with a unique perspective. I was incredibly moved.

Don't see it if you NEED a Sherie Rene Scott show to be a musical. This is definitely not Everyday Rapture.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Funny, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if ready to see 6 actors play over 20 roles

Don't see it if cynical

Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if want to know about prison life.

Don't see it if you don't like 'urban' plays.

Shrill, Cliched, Overrated, Relevant, Repetitive

See it if you like male driven dramas, with a weak female lead. You're interested in the prison system, and how black men are portrayed in prison.

Don't see it if you want something upbeat. This tried way too hard to be funny which often made me cringe. Don't bring your kids. Not a must see at all.

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

See it if If you want a genius play with incredible performances.

Don't see it if If you don't like plays.

Original, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you love heart-wrenching stories and ambitious, diverse and original productions.

Don't see it if you prefer more elaborate stories, styles, and productions.

Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if You like stories that give you a glance into another life-style. Interesting staging. Some wonderful acting.

Don't see it if You're looking for happy.

Ambitious, Resonant, Intense, Entertaining, Relevant

See it if you like stories of hope.

Don't see it if you like nice tidy endings.

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Compelling

See it if Great performances from the entire cast. While not fully developed, all the characters feel like real people. Eloquent vignettes.

Don't see it if SRC's character might be annoying for some though she's necessary. For some people this play won't go far enough & may be frustrating.

August 27th, 2015
"A funny and moving new play...Their hard upbringings, the unhappy circumstances that led them into crime, the sometimes scandalously long sentences they received: These histories make for riveting, disturbing theater, and as recounted by the superb cast, they open windows into the lives of men w...
read more
August 27th, 2015
"Sherie Rene Scott and collaborator Dick Scanlan use their experiences volunteering at an upstate prison for the penetrating 'Whorl Inside a Loop,' about a white actor helping six incarcerated black men tell their stories...It’s the inmates’ stories that have the most resonance...As race and law ...
read more
August 27th, 2015
"'Whorl Inside a Loop' has a searching, puzzling quality that is very rare in contemporary plays, whose themes are typically sharpened to fine pencil-points. This one spreads out as it goes, asking larger and larger questions...'Whorl Inside a Loop' convincingly demonstrates that theater can itse...
read more
August 27th, 2015
"The real-life prisoners involved deserve better treatment than this self-indulgent, self-consciously artificial exercise...Unfortunately, and more than a little ironically, the prisoners get short shrift in this piece, which muddles its serious themes in self-conscious, artificial theatricality....
read more

Related content