Part of FringeNYC: A young Pakistani-American activist has been recruited to infiltrate a militant group in the Middle East. When she disappears, her recruiter has to determine whether she has changed sides or been betrayed. He finds out the truth is more complicated. More…
Categories: Drama, Local. From White Rabbit & Ego Actus. Written by Maximillian Singh Gill. Directed by Joan Kane.
"The core idea is exciting…Gill writes in a mostly taut style that results in clipped, spare back-and-forth while sometimes launching into more poetic expansiveness…The casually realistic style of performance and direction makes the more florid passages feel discordant and writer-ly…Make no mistake, the stakes are high in the lives of these people, but too often, small events are played with as much significance as enormous ones." Full Review
"In the last few years several new plays have treated prevailing concerns of espionage or terrorism in a compelling way. Unfortunately, in its current manifestation, this play isn't one of them...Despite the intricate set up of the plot and the cast's very competent acting, interest flags as the belabored and over-written play dissipates its potential energy. Quicker, crisper scenes would cover the same territory while retaining audience attention." Full Review
"Under the laissez-faire direction of Joan Kane, the scenes often feel like a half-hearted production of Mamet's 'Oleanna' rather than a spy thriller...Despite Gill's contrived plot and implausible dialogue, 'Debriefing' occasionally hits the mark in examining how the expectation of loyalty can cross the line into exploitation and how people come to be seen as expendable in pursuit of a grand crusade. These are huge issues that deserve a regular hearing onstage, just not one this forced." Full Review
See it if you want to see something that involves the war on terror with a sympathetic Muslim character.
Don't see it if you will be disappointed with the lack of focus, rushed development, and characters' unbelievable tone shifts. I give it a C+ grade.
See it if you are interested in Homeland, homeland security, international relations, Syria or Pakistan
Don't see it if if you are sick of stories about spies or Homeland security.
See it if You enjoy poetic language, current affairs and seeing intelligent issues presented in a well-thought out way on stage.
Don't see it if You're not a fan of political, thought-provoking plays, or if you like your plays to end with easy resolutions.
See it if You want a deeper understanding of the cultural cross-currents that affect young Muslim-Americans.
Don't see it if You don't want to be challenged to re-think attitudes about allies and enemies, and human compassion.