New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

How to Live on Earth

From 7 critic and 5 member reviews
Members say: Great staging, Great writing, Great acting, Resonant, Too long

About the show

Colt Coeur and HERE Arts Center present the world premiere of a play about our unrelenting obsession with the next frontier and the desire to give our lives for something greater than ourselves. More…

Four individuals will be chosen for the mission of a lifetime. The only catch: they can’t come back. As applicants compete, they wrestle with what this means for their families, partners, and finally, themselves. What does it mean to leave Earth forever and what happens if you don't get to go after you've already said goodbye? 'How to Live on Earth' is inspired in part by the Mars One project to colonize Mars by 2025. This piece is a portrait of the fears and hopes that drive us towards exploration and expansion.

The Huffington Post

"Not only has Kaufman come on something you might say has a strong affinity with Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey,' but he has a work being played extremely well by the company, under Campbell-Holt's meticulously clean direction...Kaufman's recognizing profound existential sadness and the effect it has on those around them is deeply perceptive and utterly compelling." Full Review

New York Post

"Staged by artistic director Adrienne Campbell-Holt with her usual sensitive, finely tuned touch, the play asks, 'What makes us happy...?' Campbell-Holt keeps things moving at a breezy pace, and the cast handles its touchingly funny characters with love and care." Full Review

New Yorker

"MJ Kaufman’s darkly funny play, directed by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, illuminates the absurd lengths humans will go to to avoid their daily lives, but also captures well the profound despondency of dreamers who are forever looking up." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"'How to Live on Earth; is a wonderful concept on paper. The thesis that MJ Kaufman offers is enough to draw you in. But there were some bold choices that were mystifying, altering the big picture of the show. The relationships are present. It’s the storytelling that could be adjusted." Full Review

The New York Times

"The structure of the script is compelling, too. It doesn’t stop once the astronauts are chosen, but continues on past the shuttle launch. But the scenes and characters themselves don’t fascinate as they might...The characters are types rather than people and their experiences seem calculated rather than contingent...And yet, there’s poignancy to the situation, no matter how schematic the characters." Full Review

American Theater Web

"Kaufman’s conceit, which ultimately provides a gentle lesson in being present in one’s world and not dreaming of one somewhere else, refreshes. Unfortunately, the playwright’s meandering plot-lines and one-dimensional characters make portions of 'Earth' slow going. Directed with economy by Adrienne Campbell-Holt, the show does, however, spark thanks to a trio of beautifully conceived performances." Full Review


"The play has an undeniably compelling premise (the settlement of Mars), but its execution leaves much to be desired...It should feel deeply personal and resonant, but instead it just feels small...Unfortunately, it's not enough to pull us into an otherwise soporific script." Full Review

Lovely, Great writing, Great acting, Personal, Resonant

See it if you like intimate plays that are extremely thoughtful and lovely.

Don't see it if you prefer plays that are more showy/ostentatious.

Enchanting, Resonant, Repetitive, Nicely acted, Undeveloped

See it if you like new plays, laced with cosmic poetry & wit, based on out of-this-world true events with resonant themes that apply to the here&now.

Don't see it if you want a play that foregrounds theme to develop that theme. The initial liftoff comes back to earth after sticking to the same low orbit.

Great staging, Quirky, Relevant, Too long, Profound-ish

See it if you like multiple parallel storylines, a modern premise, some comedy, an intimate venue, cool use of lighting, tech and set design.

Don't see it if you don't want the same story told from different perspectives. Actors play multiple roles so if that confuses you don't go. No intermission

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if Open minded people who appreciate subtle humor

Don't see it if You don't enjoy theoretical drama

Disappointing, Exquisite, Funny, Edgy, Banal

See it if Not so sure

Don't see it if Not so sure

Cast & Creatives (14)