Already closed | East Village

You Never Touched the Dirt

From 10 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Quirky

About the show

Clubbed Thumb offers this world premiere play about economic transformation, the dreams it enables, and those it crushes. More…

The Li family would be enjoying their new lake-view luxury villa outside of the city, were they not surrounded by the gardeners, maids, and security guards who had once owned the land…not to mention the Gods, ghosts, and unnamed spirits there for thousands of years before them.


Member Reviews (10)

MEMBERS SAY:

Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Delightful, Quirky
84
Avg Score

85
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Disquieting, Quirky, Funny

See it if Dislocated city & country dwellers experience culture clash & loss of meaning in their lives. Great staging w hilarious animal scenes.

Don't see it if You are not interested in Chinese issues, parents feeling separated from their children, & class differences making people feel inadequate.

88
Beautifully played, Diffuse, Trenchant, Innovative, Smart

See it if you have any interest at all in new ways of constructing drama.

Don't see it if you are looking for the old-fashioned virtues of the well-made play.

Also Smart, innovative, engaging plays like “YOU NEVER TOUCHED THE DIRT” ha... Read more Read less

75
Socio-political, Inconsistent, Banal, Disappointing, Funny

See it if Chinese socio-political observation interests you. Characters from different classes interact in a newly developed Shanghai suburb.

Don't see it if consistency matters to you. The performance is a mix of naturalistic acting, didactic commentary, ritual & some styles that don't have names

85
Delightful contemporary fantasy of gentrification in china

See it if Modern Chinese issues very cleverly staged by Clubbed Thumb. Charming set used by talented cast with the excellent Daniel K. Isaac.

Don't see it if Appropriated land, class and inequality. Hilarious use of dolls as animals, including a fight between a dog and a goose. Meaningful and fun

Also Wait till you see how they cut down a tree on stage!

76
Needs a trim, Quirky, Capitalism & the land, Entertaining, Relevant

See it if You appreciate fresh and interesting story-telling. You are interested in modern Chinese history, politics, and economics.

Don't see it if You require naturalistic and sophisticated settings and production values.

Also Good performances and sound design. Runs 85-90 minutes and could benef... Read more Read less

83
Great staging, Delightful, Clever

See it if Visually stunning, presents a host of class warfare, local earth gods, and the lingering ghosts of the land in a now-capitalist China.

Don't see it if For all of the fantastic choices throughout, much of the play's speech (often allegorical) has a dulling effect on the action and atmosphere

90
Smart, original, fantastic acting, funny, delightful

See it if You want to see something truly original and want to see Daniel K Isaacs in a small play.

Don't see it if You don't like quirky vignettes within a one-act narrative.

Also I had a blast at this show. I went in not knowing much beyond the basi... Read more Read less

79
Another show with another sheep in it, Long, Entertaining

See it if you want to support Asian voice and actors - this play brought history and present together in an interesting staging

Don't see it if you want your shows to be cut to right size already - it was interesting and well staged, just a bit too long in some parts

90
Funny, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if like expansive funny/tragic stories told in theatrical ways. The play is about land repossession in China, but it's a transformative journey

Don't see it if want a classical narrative or traditional storytelling.

95
Exquisite, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to have an enjoyable time and feel the complexity of human interactions

Don't see it if You are looking for an answer to social problems


June 10th, 2019
"The ninety-minute piece...resembles a children's theatre production, with set designer Andrew Moerdyk focusing on bright, primary colors, a doll house sized villa set upstage and, as scripted, on-stage actors voicing the barks and baaaas for prop animals...The small issues that arise among the d...
read more
June 7th, 2019
“The strikingly clever production, excellently directed by Ken Russ Schmoll, finds a perfect visual idiom to capture the play’s complicated tone, using manipulations of scale to create both deadpan humor and a weird poignancy...There’s a lot going on for a 90-minute play–perhaps too much at times...
read more

Related content


Cast & Creatives (3)