New York | 1h 15m | Already closed

Blood at the Root

From 5 critic and 34 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing

About the show

National Black Theatre presents Dominique Morisseau's drama inspired by the Jena Six. More…

Based on a real-life incident, this play examines prejudice in the justice system, racial double standards, the crisis in relations between men and women of all classes, and, as a result, the shattered state of black family life.

1h 15m | Already closed | National Black Theatre (Harlem)

Edinburgh Spotlight

for a previous production "Every actor is given a moment to shine and they do...A powerful collaborative piece. Director Broadnax makes impressive use of the set to change pace, scene and mood...Playwright Morisseau has written an exquisite play which addresses prejudice...It is not however a piece that preaches at the audience....It shows how we can all have prejudices of different kinds even when we acknowledge this should not exist: it makes you want to be better." Full Review

Broadway Baby

for a previous production "An ensemble piece in every sense of the word...A moving and enlightening experience…Perhaps the most impressive thing about the show is the subtlety with which it explores the themes. Each character brings a different nuance to the discussion...The cast is extremely strong...The play illustrates the issues it raises, but steers clear of directly offering a solution. Instead, it allows the solution to emerge naturally in the audience's minds as the only possible answer." Full Review


for a previous production "'Blood at the Root' is the powerful and moving interpretation of those events, a work that prompts discussion…The individual performances from these young actors are all strongly committed and convincing...When the climax arrives it is thus all the more effective as we have connected with the characters. The group dynamics are equally captivating as friendships and loyalties are challenged, strengthen, or collapse." Full Review

Fest (UK)

for a previous production "Led by powerful, mature performances from a six-strong ensemble, the show highlights the need for engagement in politics at grassroots level...This central theme could be explored even further. Instead, the actors rely a little too much on the tropes of student musical theatre...Misplaced decisions aside, this is authentic, comprehensive and provocative theatre that plays host to a vital, meditative conversation." Full Review

The Reviews Hub

for a previous production "Dominique Morisseau sets out to teach us about the discrimination that is still consistent in American culture...All six cast members are essential in bringing a further dimension into the crisis of identity. They are powerful and persuasive in their roles where their own views force us to evaluate our own. By fusing a dramatic play with modern physical elements, 'Blood at the Root' is a powerful performance that encourages us to stand up and chant for change." Full Review

Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Intense, Edgy

See it if Absolutely relevant about the issue that we are having today. Gender identity, racism, freedom of speech..

Don't see it if Don't like the use of the "N" word, the idea of mixed marriages.

Thought-provoking, Profound, Intense, Masterful, Edgy

See it if It was a heartfelt show.

Don't see it if I think everyone should see, it's a learning curve.

Best show all year

See it if You like to hear an intelligent presentation of racial issues that is very nuanced and balanced.

Don't see it if You believe that we have solved our racial issues in this country.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Relevant

See it if you appreciate powerful, relevant art that will have a real impact on our country.

Don't see it if you are a bit fragile when it comes to talking about race and race relations. This show isn't for the light of heart.

Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Original

See it if want to experience a powerful, well acted drama about the complex state of race relations and human relationships in America.

Don't see it if You don't want to have to listen carefully or if you need an intermission.

Thought-provoking, Profound, Revelatory, Eye opening

See it if you appreciate solid, intense, intelligent, challenging, theater. Deserves all the high marks it received. The talk back was a brilliant.

Don't see it if You want something entertaining, & just want to laugh. This show is a challenge to all preconceptions about US history and race relations.

Important, Profound, Must see, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if You like relevant and relatable theater with smart directing choices that question modern issues

Don't see it if You are a conservative who believes that racism is over or are racist/homophobic in any way

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intense, Relevant

See it if You want to experience a well acted and written show in close confines about an all too relevant issue

Don't see it if Difficult race issues make you uncomfortable

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you like good acting and a well written (unfortunately) topical story that may make you feel uncomfortable

Don't see it if you're not able to deal with such a topical and uncomfortable topic in relatively close quarters

Absorbing, Funny, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you like funny, thoughtful shows with some singing and dancing through.

Don't see it if you're in the mood for something light and fluffy

Original, Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You want to be entertained in a thought provoking manner, pushing the race debate

Don't see it if If you cannot deal with real life happenings

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intense, Absorbing

See it if you like stories that touch on hot topics in American culture or if you enjoy black theatre.

Don't see it if hip hop theatre is not your style.

Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you're into social change, like a little hip-hop, are tolerant.

Don't see it if you're stuck in the past where inequality is acceptable.

Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Relevant

See it if You are ready for an ethical quandary thorugh a series of knotty relationships - raising questions of right, wrong and redemption

Don't see it if You enjoy more clearly defined plots of good & bad If you want a documentary approach as this takes liberties

Also The play takes apart the events the occurred in Jena – complicating ma... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if the systemic racism that still permeates this country disturbs you greatly.

Don't see it if you don't want to look at important issues from all sides.

Ambitious, Great writing, Original, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You want to see a play about race relations based loosely on an event occurring in La. The after-show discussion was an empassioned success.

Don't see it if "The discomfort in which lives the conversations we must have" (said the moderator), leaves u cold. Some problems, but worth trip to Harlem.

Profound, Absorbing, Original, Provoking

See it if you enjoy a clear theme expressed from different perspectives in different voices.

Don't see it if you do not like to deal with racist issues in direct and provoking ways.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You like topical issues and engaging performances.

Don't see it if You expect fluffy topics and sets.

Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Intelligent, Unexpected

See it if You are interested in an honest and truly unbiased discussion of racism or are interested in transitional dance infused theate

Don't see it if You are not willing to be engaged in open minded discussion of real life human rights issues.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Relevant

See it if you enjoy entertainment with a social conscience but not necessarily something that hits you over the head, lectures or bores you to tears

Don't see it if You're likely to nitpick where the fictionalized version diverges from the news story. This dramatization really brings the story to life

Ambitious, Intelligent, Original, Thought-provoking

See it if You are interested in a conversation about the complexities of race in contemporary across from a fresh young playwright

Don't see it if You are looking for simple answers

Absorbing, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Refreshing

See it if you enjoy watching excellent youth produced/acted theater, and are interested in the youth point-of-view on issues of race and gender.

Don't see it if you are not interested in shows with a political focus.

Absorbing, Relevant, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if You like to see plays that reflect our times are in hopes of change.

Don't see it if You're ignoring what those times are.

Absorbing, Great acting, Original, Profound, Relevant

See it if You acknowledge that racism & homophobia does exist, if you are open to learning, if you know change can still happen. Great cast & acting.

Don't see it if You have your head in the sand, you don't know who Travon Martin & others are, you are in denial about current events. U r voting for the D

Ambitious, Indulgent, Profound, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy new theater with a message. You want to experience theater at a new venue.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy participating in "talk back" situations post show.

Cast & Creatives (9)