Members say: Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intense, Riveting

About the show

Negro Ensemble Company remounts their production of  Charles Fuller's 1981 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama set at a segregated Louisiana Army base during World War II.

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A black Captain is sent to investigate the murder of a black Sergeant. At first it seems he was killed by the local KKK. But when the true murderers are discovered, surprising and unsettling divisions among the black troops are revealed. Evocative of Herman Melville's "Billy Budd," the play uses a murder mystery to expose African-American anger and resentment that curiously mimic white racist attitudes. 


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

85
Theater Pizzazz

"The noble revival that resonates powerfully on several levels...A gripping mystery story...Weldon has assembled a dedicated cast of twelve...they shine as an ensemble...Fuller writes about racism and man's capacity for cruelty and hatred...Fuller is asking us to look at ourselves long and hard in our own culture, and to question from whence this terrible capacity comes...Meanwhile, 'A Soldier's Play' will remain in repertoire...until we find the answers." Full Review

85
TheaterScene.com

"An involving murder mystery, but it was, and is, much more...As blazingly relevant today...About race and, at the same time, more than race...The audience can enjoy guessing who the culprit, or culprits, might be...Directed with much care...The only disappointing performances were those of the white officers...Fuller's writing is so strong that it can well withstand less than brilliant performances...Touches our most intimate hopes and terrors, make the play a classic in the true sense." Full Review

70
Front Row Center

for a previous production "An uneven revival...The mood of this production is more melancholy and ghostly than urgent and vigorous…Tucker turns in a fine performance as the troubled Waters…Reuben has a handful of nice, subtle moments as Davenport, but saddled with the job of endless questioning and busy with way too much scribbling in his notebook, we rarely feel for him…Director Weldon finds the right theatricality...The barely there set is evidence of a nonprofit theater company in need of donations.” Full Review

95
TheaterScene.net

for a previous production "Gripping, and powerfully performed, this is a superb revival...Mr. Fuller weaves a highly suspenseful and racially charged murder mystery that justifiably was showered with theatrical accolades...Tucker’s towering performance as Waters is the muscle of this successful production...Weldon’s physical staging inventively, precisely, and aesthetically utilizes the large stage to faithfully realize the material...'A Soldier's Play' is a modern classic that has been flawlessly mounted." Full Review

80
New York Theatre Wire

for a previous production “The heavy lifting here is done by an excellent cast, with actors doing double duty as both members of the ensemble and featured characters…At a time when the President of the United States can defend the white nationalists protesting the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee by saying they included ‘some very fine people,’ we need ‘A Soldier’s Play’ more than ever.” Full Review

75
Village Voice

for a previous production “The sketchy scenery and wardrobe for director Charles Weldon’s rough-around-the-edges production makes plain the NEC’s shoestring budget. Fortunately, Fuller’s sharply written text, which is partly a detective story and partly a study in racism of different varieties, remains so compelling that these sparse visuals and some not-altogether-proficient acting by a twelve-member company scarcely diminish its power to engage an audience.” Full Review

90
Times Square Chronicles

for a previous production "The production is done well, and the story is evocative with complex themes and characters...The actors are incredible. Their articulated 'Army' movement of the characters is theatrically compelling...Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this play is its relevance to our current sociopolitical climate...This masterful and stimulating play is a must-see." Full Review

80
Theatre Chit-Chat

for a previous production “The whole cast does an outstanding job. Jimmy Gary Jr. touches your heart strings in one scene when he is put in prison. Chaz Reuben shines in his role especially as the narrator. Gil Tucker is so convincing in the role you want to smack him in the face for being so nasty and righteous. The play is worth seeing. It still has something to say. Go see it to find out. I felt the second act had more impact and fire on the audience.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

94
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Relevant

See it if want to see great acting in a truly absorbing story. A mystery, but filled with racial tensions & an insight on what racial military

Don't see it if no reason NOT to see it.Everyone should see this & look deep inside themselves as this is as relevant today as it was the day it was written

85
Clever, Edgy, Intelligent, Intense, Dramatic

See it if Military murder whodunnit imbued with racial conflict. Characters we meet in act 1 turn deeper and darker in act 2. Excellent performances.

Don't see it if You don't like this genre. You don't want a lot of intensity/conflict/mystery. You want a fancier production.

100
Thought-provoking, Must see, Riveting, Great creatives & cast!, Powerful theater!

See it if U appreciate 1st rate drama from Pulitzer winning playwright, seasoned Direction, passionate cast & talented support team in an A+ revival.

Don't see it if U prefer fluffy shows. U can't deal with racial & segregation facts in American history. U dislike period plays. This one is worth seeing!

Also This is a must see acclaimed theatrical gen in a great revival done wi... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if I saw this production tonight along with my wife.Both of us thought that this play was awesome.The characterization of the play was on point

Don't see it if If you need a lavish set or that you don't want to enjoy a play dealing with the Blacks being in command.This production has a no big names.

Also The Sergeant was simply a character you loved to hate.The captain also... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Intense, Relevant, Riveting, Great staging

See it if you're looking for a classic drama that still resonates today. You want a great performance from an ensemble cast.

Don't see it if the issues of racism and segregation greatly disturb you.

85
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You like layered writing that reveals the outcome little by little and in the process involves you in a complex way that characters respond

Don't see it if You want a laugh a minute show

Also The play is a classic and excellent. The acting was a little uneven in... Read more Read less

45
Disappointing, Overrated, Wordy

See it if if you enjoy a play that relies on straight blah-blah-blah narration

Don't see it if if you think a drama should SHOW not tell

82
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Riveting, Entertaining

See it if good story-telling and/or historical significance are what you must love about theatre.

Don't see it if you find flashbacks distracting, although in this case they prove essential.

Also I'm surprised this fine play, which became a popular movie in 1984, ha... Read more Read less

89
Edgy, Great acting, Indulgent, Insipid, Great singing

See it if History

Don't see it if You don't like crying

92
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Great writing

See it if You enjoy a well acted play with a lot of mystery surrounding the plot. A true classic that deserves revisiting.

Don't see it if If you expect to see a typical mystery.


Cast & Creatives (19)