Why? NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(23 Reviews)
Positive
83%
Mixed
17%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow, Quirky, Ambitious

About the Show

Why theatre? What is it for? What is it about? Why? This new work from Peter Brook and Marie-Hélène Estienne takes these questions, and many others, on a journey that is both dramatic and joyful.

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Member Reviews (23)

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86
Brilliantly played, Affecting, Spare, Captivating

See it if you are interested in modernist theater, theater mechanics, the history of 20th century tyranny or demonstrations of great acting.

Don't see it if you are looking for a full play: This is an enacted lecture-demonstration. Read more

76
Find out what celebrated director peter brooks has to say about the role of theater: it's both playful and unfortunately tangential

See it if delightful: 1st half by 3 skilled actors playfully show what lies behind the actor's craft

Don't see it if off-point: 2nd half tale of leading lights in Comm Russia theater snuffed out by Stalin; does not directly address central ? why theater Read more

79
Slow, Great acting, Delightful, Ambitious

See it if you are a fan of Peter Brook or the actors involved in this production. There are two plays going on, and this tends to be confusing.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy talky theatre or plays that do not have sets or costumes. You need to pay attention to the language.

80
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great writing, Great acting

See it if enjoy three great actors talking about acting and the development of Russian acting teachers. A great performance piece

Don't see it if a true play, start middle and end is what you most enjoy

59
Quirky, Disappointing, Intelligent, Confusing

See it if want some fun acting lessons (first part), have recently taken a course in early 20th cent. Russian Literature, don't mind being confused

Don't see it if you don't like pretentious theater, want all three actors to project (2 of the 3 were great) Read more

73
Slow, Quirky, Great acting, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if you can be content with splendid actors doing what they do even if it is unclear what that is. Not sure what or "why" this is theater

Don't see it if you are looking for a coherent story line or a message that is clearly presented. But any chance to see these actors is worthwhile

70
Edgy, Slow, Quirky, Disappointing

See it if You like cerebral theatre.

Don't see it if You like a plot Also the acoustics are poor. It was difficult to hear and understand Hayley Carmichael. Listening device added echoes.

75
Informative, Ambitious, Uneven, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you're under the spell of Peter Brook and Kathryn Hunter... I sure am. The first third of this production will reward you for coming.

Don't see it if you're indifferent re: Russian theater history as a big chunk of the show is devoted to the life/work of Stanislavksky disciple Meyerhold. Read more

Critic Reviews (4)

The New York Times
September 26th, 2019

"Peter Brook Asks the Ultimate Question in ‘Why?’: A new work from one of the indisputably great directors is partly a tribute to theater and partly a warning about theatricality."
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New York Stage Review
September 26th, 2019

3/5 Stars "'That Big Question, On Stage and Off': Peter Brook and collaborator Marie-Hélène Estienne reflect on theater, generally and in another troubled time"
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TheaterScene.net
October 1st, 2019

"The performance takes place on a nearly empty stage and uses only three actors to tell its story. While the evening is mesmerizing, the play seems unfocused, beginning with the question why do we do theater and ending with the political dangers to theater artists who create experimental theater."
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New York Theater
September 28th, 2019

"Those for whom theater is their religion are more likely to appreciate 'Why?'….less a play than a kind of elliptical lecture-demonstration of, and paean to, the beauty and danger of the theatrical arts….nuggets of theatrical wisdom you might hear in an acting class."
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