Closed 1h 10m
In the Penal Colony
East Village
71

In the Penal Colony NYC Reviews and Tickets

71%
(42 Reviews)
Positive
67%
Mixed
28%
Negative
5%
Members say
Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy

About the Show

In this new adaptation of Franz Kafka's short story, three black men convene in an unnamed penal colony, asking what it means for them to exist in the media, when observed, when consumed, when punished. 

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Member Reviews (42)

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61
Indulgent, Fluffy, Edgy, Banal, Ambitious

See it if If you want a modern work from a classic writer. Some good choreography. One hour long.

Don't see it if If you don't like the absurd to a classic writer. Deals with black prisoners and what is expected of black society.

30
Insipid, Excellent singing, Quality choreography

See it if you love performance art with very good choreography and limited but high quality singing

Don't see it if you want anything that resembles a play or deals with the issues that Kafka and Hugo, before him, brilliantly explored Read more

Critic Reviews (4)

July 18th, 2019

"Black Lives Trapped in a Reimagined ‘Penal Colony.’ Miranda Haymon’s play relocates Kafka’s horrific tale of punishment to a contemporary world where African-American men are expendable entertainment."
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July 25th, 2019

"Franz Kafka's 'In the Penal Colony' is the ambitious inspiration for New York Theatre Workshop's latest release."
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July 19th, 2019

"The questions Haymon raises are vitally important ones, but this may not be the right format for them…Kafka imagined a machine in which written laws tear into a person's flesh. Her version of 'In the Penal Colony' doesn't offer anything nearly as terrifying as that."
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July 20th, 2019

"It's debatable whether Haymon really even needed the frame of Kafka's story on which to hang her ideas. It's a somewhat uneasy matchup. Kafka's work, like Haymon's, certainly deals with power and punishment and a failure of the justice system. However, the story has a very European sensibility."
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