Exception to the Rule
Closed 1h 25m
Exception to the Rule

Exception to the Rule NYC Reviews and Tickets

(46 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

A whip-smart comedy about six Black students stuck in a room at the worst high school in their city.

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Member Reviews (46)

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466 Reviews | 237 Followers
Profound, Great staging, Great writing, Riveting, Absorbing

See it if African-Americans high school students confronting violence, poverty or lack of educational funding. Excellent cast with brutal honesty.

Don't see it if If we want a musical or light topic, then skip this one.

520 Reviews | 107 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Masterful, Relevant, Must see

See it if Want to see a realistic look into what it would be like to look inside an after school detention made up of all black students

Don't see it if You are looking for a politically correct, safe play Read more

479 Reviews | 262 Followers
Relevant, Intelligent, Great staging, Great ensemble acting, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a play that is part Breakfast Club, part Waiting for Godot, and part No Exit set in an underserved high school.

Don't see it if you are not interested in the work of new and upcoming writers. Dave Harris is someone to keep your eye on!

414 Reviews | 74 Followers
Intelligent, Intense, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Absorbing

See it if you like existentialist plays - Waiting for Godot or No Exit - set in a modern high school detention hall with a touch a surrealism thrown*

Don't see it if don't like emotional stories, a lot of loud yelling and desk slamming, want easy answers Read more

381 Reviews | 72 Followers
Thought-provoking, Accessible

See it if no reason not to.

Don't see it if no reason not to. Read more

350 Reviews | 42 Followers
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Resonant, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if Existentialism in the inner city detention hall. Strong cast.

Don't see it if Nearly sidesteps clichés and stereotypes

278 Reviews | 75 Followers
Great acting, Disappointing

See it if into the detention of 6 students of color that is (of course?) a metaphor for something bigger

Don't see it if well - this was mixed Read more

311 Reviews | 59 Followers
Overrated, Ambitious, Slow

See it if you want good acting in a show that's a cross between WAITING FOR GODOT & THE BREAKFAST CLUB.

Don't see it if you don't want to see once more that All white people should be shamed. Or see a Black person be called for not being "Black enough".

Critic Reviews (9)

The New York Times
May 18th, 2022

"What happens once we can see people for who they are and then dig deeper into their contradictions? Understanding how lives are shaped by their limitations, as Harris details here with an ultimately pat sort of logic, is foundational to social justice. But in order to see that there’s more to people than what keeps them in margins, first we may have to set them free."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
May 18th, 2022

"The play lasts around 90 minutes, but it still only feels like the beginning of something — it ends on an interrogative uplift, which leaves vague what could be sharp. ... We never feel the full force of Harris’s analysis coming to bear because he asks them only once."
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The Wall Street Journal
May 19th, 2022

"High-school detention has no business being as entertaining as it is in 'Exception to the Rule,' a terrifically funny and subtly potent new play by Dave Harris."
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New York Theatre Guide
May 18th, 2022

"With 'Exception to the Rule,' provocative playwright Dave Harris takes audiences into the broken carceral system that exists within predominantly Black high schools across the nation. The only problem with this Roundabout Theatre Company production is that it gilds the lily by presenting the action as if it were a thriller, when the play is actually documentary theatre."
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May 18th, 2022

"'Exception to the Rule' aims to provoke thought and reflection in more indirect ways. Whether you find Harris's social allegory in this work intriguingly thorny and complex or merely heavy-handed will depend on your personal experiences. My own reaction rarely rose beyond a certain sociological and aesthetic detachment, but I found the broader societal implications fascinating to contemplate in retrospect."
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New York Stage Review
May 18th, 2022

"I found the last fifteen or twenty minutes of 'Exception to the Rule' as disheartening as they are sobering. Certainly, Erika and the other characters in this play face obstacles that many of us could never dream of, and Harris has written a thoughtful—and entertaining—testament to them. Still, I would have preferred to leave the theater with a little more fodder for hope."
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Front Row Center
June 3rd, 2022

"Set in its own dreamscape à la Twilight Zone, the play is pure humor and heartfelt. These engaging young people exude charm, aspirations and dreams but seem trapped as detentionees with few prospects."
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New York Theater
June 2nd, 2022

Dave Harris’ play won me over right away, because of its hilariously spot-on depiction of adolescent bravado, restlessness, insularity and resentment… Even as we understand that the play is meant as a race-conscious metaphor, each character is distinctively and believably etched, helped immeasurably by the first-rate cast,
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