Already closed | 1h 20m | East Village

Breaking the Shakespeare Code

From 23 member  reviews
Members say: Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing

About the show

"Breaking the Shakespeare Code" follows a man and a woman, who begin as teacher and student, as their lives converge personally and professionally over sixteen years. More…

Eighteen-year-old Anna approaches Curt, a callous young acting instructor at the women’s college she attends, to ask him to coach her for an upcoming audition. Though initially dismissive, he agrees to work with her only when she survives his challenges to her work on Julius Caesar’s Portia. 

Member Reviews (23)


Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Clever, Absorbing
Avg Score

Pretentious, Soap opera, Artificial script, Unconvincing, Repetitive

See it if you like stories abt theater (actor/director). Some refs to Shksp; it helps to know the plays/chars, but isn't necessary. Barebones prodn.

Don't see it if you want a well-paced, insightful script w/people interacting as IRL. Or want strg staging (constant movemt annoys) or modulated acting.

Also I went with high hopes based on S-S reviews, but there was too little ... Read more Read less

Resonant, Intricate, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Delightful

See it if Acting teacher withholds approval & pushes student to improve. Is their chemistry just fodder for their work, or is it something more?

Don't see it if You won't like trying to follow a feedback loop between the rehearsal room & the real world. Dialog muddled by poor acoustics.

Also Reminded me of a platonic girlfriend who I see once every 5 years for ... Read more Read less

Great writing, Intense, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever

See it if you are familiar with Shakespeare's female characters and words and their role in this tense director-actor relationship over 16 years.

Don't see it if you aren't familiar with Bard's female characters and want a full grasp of the dialogue, also difficult due to acoustics, lights in eyes.

Intelligent, Busy, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you are interested in the way actors approach roles. Less about Shakespeare more about actors choices based on life experiences.

Don't see it if you have hearing issues. The actors are in constant motion to accommodate 360 degree seating so often speak with their backs to some seats

Intelligently written, Two great characters, Staged in the round, Must see

See it if Acting coach challenges girl to perform Shakespeare. She embodies the roles impacting him. After 16 years can they break roles and be real?

Don't see it if You don’t have to know Shakespeare’s characters, but it helps. Play is set in a rehearsal space and performed in one.

Also Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s youngest and most innocent leading ladi... Read more Read less

Satisfying, Great writing, Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if Actors parse Shakespeare in rehearsal. What’s not to like? Illuminating bits on what makes a script work as performance vs. literature.

Don't see it if Characters not as sadistic & exploitive as I assumed they’d be from the description. That could be seen as a shortcoming even though...

Also ...I personally enjoyed the show more for it. This is fun! And a littl... Read more Read less

Great acting, Complex, Literate

See it if interested in theater, acting, student/teacher ever changing dynamics, clever dialogue & have some knowledge of Shakespeare's​ characters.

Don't see it if do not like black box theater in the round. Sometimes a strain to understand dialogue due to poor acoustics in theater( not fault of actors)

Thought-provoking, Must see, Great writing, Great acting, Exquisite

See it if you want to see a brilliantly written piece with extraordinary acting.

Don't see it if you're triggered by mentee/mentor relationships

Also Miranda Jonte's Anna wonderfully switches from emotional devoid actres... Read more Read less

Quirky, Original, Intelligent, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare; you like conversations in which people quote literary works; you want to see some good acting.

Don't see it if you dislike minimalist sets; dislike Shakespeare; dislike "talky" shows.

Refreshing, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if You're looking for a two hander that will keep you guessing about the characters' motivations; you're a Shakespeare buff; you like surprises

Don't see it if You aren't willing to do the work to find the layers of meaning; you don't want a Shakespeare lesson through a contemporary lens

Also Every time I thought I had this piece pegged, it surprised me. Every t... Read more Read less

Great staging and direction, Sharp, clever, inventive script, Great writing, Strong, electric performances, Great acting

See it if You're up for a play about, and the experience of, theatrical scene work, two terrific actors acing this subtle, deeply layered script.

Don't see it if You've no interest in Shakespeare, actors or the miracle that live theatre is when it works, magically transforming mere words to substance.

Unconvincing, Pretentious

See it if Well, I seem to be in the minority but I found all of this sturm und drang really boring and relentless.

Don't see it if Characters did not seem real to me at all and I couldn't buy the teacher's attraction to student. Show offy talky play w/no let up .

Also Am I the only one who is going to mention the elephant in the room - t... Read more Read less

Distracting sounds from other rooms, Great acting, Clever

See it if Strong performances, interesting use of Shakespeare to delineate their relationship.

Don't see it if Noise outside black box is distracting. Deeper knowledge of Shakespeare would help. Had to imagine the ages of the characters without change

Excruciating, Great acting, Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if A teacher vs. student years long battle with sublimated sexual attraction beneath all the shouting and arguing--if this sounds good--OK.

Don't see it if Like me, you find both of these characters (very well acted by the way) so irritating and annoying that you can't wait for it to be over.

Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting, Clever, Ambitious

See it if If you are interested in power struggles between the genders, if you know and love Shakespeare

Don't see it if you are easily confused, you want light entertainment,

Also This is crackling good entertainment and thought-provoking. But it is ... Read more Read less

Intense, Riveting, Intelligent, Great writing, Great acting

See it if you enjoy exploration of human emotions where a student-teacher relationship is explored through scene work involving Shakespeare characters

Don't see it if uncomfortable with Shakespearian language, not interested in power and gender issues , don't like talky "meta" theater or minimal production

Also This was one of the best acted, most interesting and complex plays I h... Read more Read less

Deserves more than 8 viewers, Masterful, Great acting, Clever

See it if Want to get an idea about the rehearsing routine;what teacher can do to make student actor to express herself on stage in Shakespeare's play

Don't see it if Not the best room with average acoustic and regular chairs. Reciting of several pieces of Shakespeare play makes you uncomfortable

Also Cast is amazing, good chemistry. Need more viewers!!! The play itself ... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great acting, Edgy, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if A smart deconstruction work of Shakespeare’s words; great chemistry between the duo; affective minimal staging; sincere/insightful talkback

Don't see it if Shakespeare’s words are too foreign; you mind all-around studio space with 1 row of chairs each side (super intimate with the actors);

Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like a well written play with great dialogue, well performed. An intense play about acting and the relationship of students and teachers

Don't see it if if you don't like plays about acting or two person black box plays about long relationships that change in dynamics over time.

Also I thought this was a fantastic play, the dialogue was sharp and intere... Read more Read less

Acting royale!, An intimate triumph of a show!, A lesson in acting.

See it if A small wonder of a show. A thrill of verbal of theatrical interplay. Go if you like edgy works.

Don't see it if Intimate settings might bother you.

Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Good acting, Absorbing

See it if you like good drama well performed.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to serious plays.

Two-person play, playing on shakespeare

See it if You will enjoy a play that plays with Shakespeare's lines as it traces the entwining of a student and her theater coach over the decades.

Don't see it if You will not enjoy a two-person performance in a black-box theater and have no interest in seeing an engaging play that engages Shakespeare.

Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You enjoy whip-smart writing, and intense performances.

Don't see it if You've never seen a Shakespeare play.

August 20th, 2014
for a previous production “Brotebeck has directed a brilliantly acted production of Minigan's intelligent play...Jonte and Weinert electrify the stage like a modern Beatrice and Benedick with their exquisitely nuanced performances and onstage chemistry...The play is a love letter to the power of Shakespeare's words as wel...
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August 14th, 2014
for a previous production “Minigan’s brilliant and demanding new play...’Breaking the Shakespeare Code’ is bold, brutal, brave, beguiling and brilliant. The structure is sturdy, the dramatic arc intriguing and it is a remarkable escape into reality. Brotebeck’s direction is fluid, sometimes frantic, and never frivolous: i...
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August 18th, 2014
for a previous production “A play for theater people that is at the same time all about chemistry...‘Breaking the Shakespeare Code’ is an exciting, polished performance, one that takes the setting of a bare acting classroom and transforms it into a vibrant world of attraction and deception. It is a play that you need to h...
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