On the Exhale
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On the Exhale

On the Exhale NYC Reviews and Tickets

(66 Reviews)
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

About the Show

Roundabout Theatre Company presents the world premiere of a provocative one-woman drama exploring one of our country’s most divisive—and urgent—issues: gun violence. Starring Tony nominee Marin Ireland.

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Member Reviews (66)

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Great acting, Absorbing, Disappointing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if The incomparable Marin Ireland keeps us riveted to Zimmerman's gun violence tale even as the tale itself grows taller & taller

Don't see it if Zimmerman loses audience by asking us to believe in a gimmicky plot devise. Silverman ably directs but again Marin has us at the first word

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Intelligent

See it if you like one woman shows and Marin Ireland especially, you are interested in explorations of gun tragedies and community reactions

Don't see it if you don't want to be reminded of gun massacres or can't stand one person plays

Let's face it: marin ireland is queen of off-broadway

See it if 4 brilliant shape-shifting solo performance by Ireland, moving from conversational pose 2 red-hot avenging angel vs assault weapons

Don't see it if well-crafted but not altogether convincing script; this is NOT the play that is going to change people's minds about gun control

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if Well acted drama...

Don't see it if ...but confusing as it keeps going back and forth between dream & reality and confusing poetic language.

Intense, Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting

See it if you enjoy intense dramas. You want to see a superb performance by Marin Ireland.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy intense dramas. Or if you don't like short plays—this one lasts about one hour.

Absorbing, intelligent, thought-provoking, Very relevant and surprising., Marin ireland is very fine.

See it if Like compact solo shows that keep you riveted about our relationship to guns/violence. The story builds well. Marin is skillful and great.

Don't see it if The subject makes you uncomfortable, don't like solo shows with spare set and NO props. It's sad, but not graphic. Emotional and powerful.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if if you want to see one of our finest actresses in a wrenching solo performance in a piece about our complex relationship to gun violence.

Don't see it if you don't like one person shows, if you are looking for a carefree evening or if you think a 60-minute piece is not worth going out for.

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Profound, Relevant

See it if you can enjoy a one woman monologue about the effects of gun violence in her life. This is a passionate and disturbing piece of theater.

Don't see it if you totally dislike one-actor shows; you strongly believe that all gun ownership is a Constitutional right, no matter what the consequences

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
February 19th, 2017

"As directed with characteristic sensitivity by the ever-busy Leigh Silverman, ‘On the Exhale’ provides a welcome opportunity to see an artist of Ms. Ireland’s caliber take a character through the stages of grief…It’s a brave and bold premise for a play. And if ‘On the Exhale’ never quite fulfills its potential to unsettle, it’s because Mr. Zimmerman’s authorial hand is too much in evidence — meticulously setting up the back story and balancing patterns of imagery."
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Time Out New York
February 21st, 2017

"As a moral construct, 'On the Exhale' has weight, but as a play, it falters. Zimmerman is skilled: he shows a cinematic attention to detail and has a clever way of using storytelling techniques to shift focus and keep us disoriented. But ultimately, the characterization rings false...Ireland's thrumming voice makes the short-story-cum-soliloquy slip through our defenses despite its unlikelihoods...It might not be till later that you realize how the text was so wide of its mark."
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The Hollywood Reporter
February 19th, 2017

"Dealing with the issue of gun violence in America in compelling fashion, ‘On the Exhale’ never feels like it’s preaching to the choir...Maintaining a relentless tension without lapsing into histrionics or melodrama, ‘On the Exhale’ makes its points succinctly and intelligently. Ireland, one of New York theater's most invaluable performers, delivers superb work that is all the more affecting for its carefully calibrated restraint. Silverman’s direction of the piece is similarly understated.”
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Entertainment Weekly
February 21st, 2017

"Composed in a lucid style by Martín Zimmerman and unobtrusively directed by Leigh Silverman, the material is sometimes too lumbering in convincing us of the professor’s 180-turn towards gun nuttery...But New York stage veteran Ireland gives a characteristically live-wire, throttling performance...There are a few moments during the final stretch of 'On the Exhale' where she turns so unnerving and unpredictable that we don’t know what to expect."
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The Observer
February 23rd, 2017

"A remarkable one-hour, one-woman monologue by the enchanting actress Marin Ireland inspired by the heinous school shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. The subject has been explored before, but never with this much emotional power. It’s a one-hour session in electroshock therapy without leaving your seat...'On the Exhale' is a shattering experience in the presence of a cogent, captivating actress who deserves a bigger audience."
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February 21st, 2017

"Zimmerman's decision to indulge in formal gimmickry keeps the play from ever hitting the bull's-eye...We don't get the sense that the stakes are life-or-death...We are always acutely aware that she is reciting poetry. This problem is compounded by Leigh Silverman's stripped-down production...There are moments of simmering intensity…Sadly, ‘On the Exhale’ always takes a breath and backs off the ledge. The result is a drama that feels safe and unmemorable."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 6th, 2017

"Marin Ireland is armed only with Martín Zimmerman's text and her own formidable talent, but it's enough to leave us thoroughly shaken...I won't swear that, without an actress as fiercely committed as Ireland, 'On the Exhale' might not seem rather melodramatic, but Zimmerman has a poet's touch...The director, Leigh Silverman, keeps a firm hand on the proceedings, never letting the experience become exploitative...It is the most harrowing sixty minutes in New York at the moment."
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Talkin' Broadway
February 19th, 2017

"Ireland is superb; she's a fastidiously intelligent actress, and that intelligence, so right for this professor, stands in captivating contrast to the visceral warmth that emerges when she takes life and death quite literally into her own hands...This fusion of acting, direction, and writing is 'On the Exhale' at its best, because it levels out a piece that is otherwise rocky...Well-meaning but well-worn pabulum."
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Front Row Center
February 23rd, 2017

“For the first few minutes of this extraordinary play, Marin Ireland rushes through the text and uses some old saws of expression that feel like leftovers from other productions. Luckily this does not last long, and soon Ms. Ireland is not only in full control, she has chosen a direction to take and is unhesitant about leading us to her destination...Where writer Martín Zimmerman and director by Leigh Silverman guide the story has a depth and stunning resonance.”
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Stage Buddy
February 21st, 2017

"This uncomfortable but important topic is made palatable by a wonderful team comprised of actor Marin Ireland, playwright Martín Zimmerman, and director Leigh Silverman, who brilliantly present the nuances of a woman going through something unimaginable...Directed with a light touch by Silverman, 'On The Exhale' has an intimacy that feels more like a therapy session than a play. The drama is there but Ireland doesn’t play it up."
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February 21st, 2017

"Marin Ireland, one of our most talented stage actors, seems incapable of giving a less than compelling performance...While the acting is impeccable, the material seemed a bit formulaic. During the last 15 minutes, the play took what I felt was a wrong turn that undermined some of its force...Leigh Silverman’s unfussy direction is assured. It’s only an hour long, but it’s a very intense hour."
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Broadway & Me
March 29th, 2017

“The mother in ‘On the Exhale’ is played by the brilliant Marin Ireland, who, under Leigh Silverman's delicate direction, has never been better…Ireland so persuasively conveys the mother's grief that there were moments when I literally shook with the sorrow and the rage that having a beloved so savagely ripped away would arouse. It's not that I didn't know intellectually what the horror of such an experience might be but ‘On the Exhale’ made me feel it.”
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Daily Beast
February 26th, 2017

"Zimmerman’s powerful show about a woman devastated by the most tragic gun violence hits every emotion of fear, tragedy, loss, and revenge. But it never becomes predictable and offers enough twists to keep you constantly riveted...Though the language tries to be detached, Ireland is deeply engaged in every word, motion, and emotion. Ireland is emerging as one of our great character actresses...Ireland is captivating and has all the power she needs—with or without a gun."
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