See it if Volunteer develops a deep friendship with a lifelong prisoner. Effective depiction of prison life & social injustices. Poetic writing.
Don't see it if You are uninterested in a relationship story in a prison setting. There was an enlightening "community discussion" afterwards.
See it if shows arbitrariness/dehumanization of prison; remarkable performances by Keith Smith as prisoner & Zenzi Williams as volunteer joined at hip
Don't see it if stereotypical "Lifetime channel" melodrama/prisoner & volunteer find humanity in each other; but fine performances bring this alive
See it if you'd like to see a thoughtful & deeply affecting consideration of the human cost of long-term incarceration.
Don't see it if you are looking for something light. Read more
See it if Potent, dramatic indictment of American penal system esp parole process Well acted & simply staged; packs a punch despite some mawkishness
Don't see it if Thomas' juxaposing of political & personal story lines don't make for smooth transitions but as a cri de coeur for social justice it excels
See it if You like prison related stories
Don't see it if You want a good drama that sheds light on a controversial subject.
See it if Masterful & Powerful!
Don't see it if Prison life
See it if you want to see the story of a prisoner who is been incarcerated for 46 years and is trying to get out on parole
Don't see it if You have a problem with a very minimal set and most of the action just being dialogue Read more
See it if You want to see a really excellent small production. Great actors that are fully engaged and convincing. An experience you shouldn’t miss.
Don't see it if You looking for a lightweight evening .
"Keith Randolph Smith plays Wise with great warmth and subtlety...'Lockdown' is capaciously compassionate, with excellent performances by Eric Berryman and Curt Morlaye. What’s sometimes awkward is Ernie’s part of the story, which can feel superfluous and forced...If 'Lockdown' prompts you, as it means, into thinking about this nation’s prisons...stick around for the post-performance 'community conversation'...A rare night at the theater, and a valuable one."
"It’s a good premise, but not a very good play...The problem is that it’s all been done on cable television shows, and on stage a lot of talky repartee cannot duplicate the power of what the eye can see...By restricting Wise’s heinous acts to verbal descriptions, we only fleetingly feel the impact of his crimes, and a call for compassion seems manipulative...The other two actors...They have no impact at all. The perfunctory direction is by Kent Gash."
"As long as 'Lockdown' focuses on Wise and his struggle...the play poses troubling, not-easily-answered questions about the conflicting roles of individual responsibility and a disturbed social order in the making of a criminal...Thomas loses focus from time to time...Even so, 'Lockdown' is filled with moments that vividly render the cruelty of our justice system and, under Gash's acute, well-paced direction, all four members of the cast make a solid impression."
“Thomas’ moving prison drama...The 100 minutes are a bit slack but ultimately the play’s searing sincerity transcends dramaturgical flaws...Thomas has created very appealing characters...She’s crafted a simple and compelling narrative that poignantly plays out with its wistful dialogue...Gash’s adept staging realizes the play’s sensitivity through expert placement of the cast during the numerous scenes that swiftly flow from one to the next.”
"'Lockdown' is essentially preaching to the choir about what they already know from countless films…The chief problem presented is how difficult it is to for someone…to earn parole. No answers are provided, though…Making the play as much about the writer's personal issues as those of the prisoners is problematic and tends to split the play's focus. Thomas also relies too heavily on monologues spoken directly to the audience…Zenzi Williams demonstrates a potent stage presence."
"Thomas plays with a theatrical convention where the facts and the wished outcome don’t necessarily correlate; delivering a denouement that’s as unsatisfying as it is honest...'Lockdown' effectively uses this personal narrative to delve into the sprawling issue of prison reform and to show that the mechanisms we use to keep poor men of color in line are just as damaged as the unjust society that puts them there in the first place."