Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Against the Hillside

From 6 member  reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Intense, Confusing, Ambitious, Messy

About the show

Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Radio Drama Network presents Sylvia Khoury's new work, where she imagines and examines what may be the hidden human costs of drone warfare. More…

What happens to a drone pilot who is spending full days watching a young Pakistani woman and her family? What happens to the woman when she knows she is being watched? 

1h 30m | Already closed | Ensemble Studio Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (6)


Disappointing, Intense, Confusing, Ambitious, Messy
Avg Score

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy plays that are trying to make an interesting point but ultimately fail. Good staging by Carden does not help this inferior script.

Don't see it if you are looking for a cohesive drama.

Also Interesting topic, but ultimately fails. Has too many characters, some... Read more Read less

Timely subject, fine acting, tepid writing

See it if you’d like a play that reiterates the fact that there are no winners in our never-ending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Don't see it if you don't tolerate plays that substitute exposition for drama.

Also Against the Hillside starts promisingly with a scene of a Pakistani co... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Confusing, Disappointing, Intense, Slow

See it if You want to see a young writer and talented actors at work and you don't mind poor staging, frustrating design, and a truly jumbled story.

Don't see it if You need a coherent emotional arc, or well-drawn characters. It's upsetting to see a show with such high stakes handled so clumsily.

Cliched, Disappointing

See it if You're looking for a docudrama about the perilous consequences of drone warfare.

Don't see it if You're looking for an evening of compelling drama.

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

See it if you are interested in how the military spies on terrorist suspects (real or imagined) and how this surveillance effects both sides.

Don't see it if you are not interested in how military actions effect both the military men and the people on whom they direct their surveillance.

Also The ideas in this play were very interesting and edifying. We rarely c... Read more Read less

During previews
Scattered, Thoughtful, Kind, Messy, Rushed

See it if there are some smart, thoughtful ideas here, and engaging characters, though the play probably tries to bite off more than it can chew.

Don't see it if you need a fully realized world, or need to see the final word on a play: I feel like this script may be revised and tightened some day.

Also The script is probably a little too ambitious: nine actors (nine chara... Read more Read less

February 8th, 2018
"We should be grateful a young playwright has at least chosen to engage with it. But 'Against the Hillside' does not live up to its potential. It is somehow too descriptive and too elusive, at once over-explaining and vague...Major characters drop out of the story, never to come back; uninteresti...
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February 8th, 2018
"'Against the Hillside' would seem to arrive at Ensemble Studio Theatre at just the right time...Unfortunately, Khoury's insights on this matter are about as deep as Pakistan's Hanna Lake...Her efforts to illuminate the lives of her subjects mostly leave us in the dark...Rather than an incisive l...
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February 9th, 2018
"Khoury's play is so strangely structured that it undermines its own best intentions. Its argument is so lacking in nuance that it communicates but a single point...Key characters drop out and the play wanders in several directions...With characters who amount to figures on a game board, and a to...
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February 9th, 2018
"A frustrating series of choppy scenes dramatizing two shakily conjoined plot threads comprise Khoury's drama...Weak conclusion to an already unsatisfying play...Khoury's dialogue is straightforward and adequate...The production is not helped by Carden's heavy-handed direction...Carden's physical...
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