Exception to the Rule
Closed 1h 25m
Exception to the Rule
84

Exception to the Rule NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(48 Ratings)
Positive
98%
Mixed
2%
Negative
0%
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (48)

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536 Reviews | 279 Followers
95
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!

749 Reviews | 421 Followers
94
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.

269 Reviews | 81 Followers
92
Great acting, Absorbing, Enchanting, Relevant, Masterful

See it if You want to see the weight of life in the USA on our youth and be asked the question of how to change for the better. Weighted Laughter

Don't see it if If you don’t want to spend 90 min with HS students in detention touching painful parts of their lives.

169 Reviews | 9 Followers
91
Thought-provoking, Must see, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you appreciate top notch acting/writing/directing, you like a well rounded show that will tap into multiple emotions, you like smart shows

Don't see it if you don't like shows about high schoolers, commentary to shows that deal with racial inequality,you want an easy happy show with no thinking

SW
180 Reviews | 26 Followers
91
Funny, Intelligent, Refreshing, Riveting, Must see

See it if you're interested in a fast-paced, smart, sharp comedy that engagingly grapples w/ the lives of teenagers & the social forces acting on them

Don't see it if you're seeking a theatrical escape from reality where you don't have to think about racism or other societal inequities for an hour or two

137 Reviews | 23 Followers
90
Great acting, Ambitious, Great writing, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if You love new works, off-broadway shows, plays, modern works, comments on social/class structure and situations.

Don't see it if You don't like shows written in modern language/colloquialisms, don't like plays, off-broadway shows, modern works. Read more

318 Reviews | 61 Followers
90
Edgy, Relevant, Profound, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if It’s like “The Breakfast Club” meets “Waiting for Godot”, but, black. 6 talented young POC actors, stuck in detention with relatable topics.

Don't see it if There is some humor, with raw emotions, as well. There is some music, smoking 🚬, and lots of N-word usage, which actually comes up. I am Read more

133 Reviews | 10 Followers
89
Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intense, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You’re an educator. Interested in the anguish of high school students. See the conditioning impact on the marginalized population.

Don't see it if It’s painful to see how some children and high schoolers suffer. How society has not address the pain of our children. How violence spreads.

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 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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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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Theatermania
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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