New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires

From 3 critic and 19 member reviews
Members say: Great staging, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Intense

About the show

Ricochet Collective's world-premiere work explores the true story of Terry Lynn Barton, a former US Forest Service employee who started the largest wildfire in Colorado’s history by burning a letter from her husband. More…

Under the obsessive scrutiny of investigator Kim Jones, Terry's actions are called into question in a desperate attempt to uncover the motive behind her crime. As we watch Terry's relationship with her husband deteriorate over time, the clues begin to fall into place. Was the fire really an accident, or was it caused by a woman trying desperately to break free?

1h 30m | Already closed | Teatro Circulo (East Village)


"'Wildfires,' from its plot to its direction, is nothing short of brilliant...One of the best Off-Off Broadway shows I have seen to date, as there is so much that is just all too real happening that cannot make audiences simply sit passively...The actors are phenomenal...Everything from the music, to the changes in light makes you feel like you're interrupting this microcosm of existence, only to remind yourself that the show compels you to be as much a part of it as anyone on that stage." Full Review

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"The play contains a great deal of talk, but Sherri Eden Barber, who directs and is also credited with conceiving the story, never lets the pace slacken...The performances are excellent...Ultimately, Rivers’ play doesn’t solve the 'why' of what Terry Barton did, but that’s irrelevant. It is a compelling story; a fascinating showcase for several enormously talented actors; and a credit to the Ricochet Collective." Full Review


"Rivers offers a dull marital drama that’s been realized by tremendous stagecraft to no great purpose...Rivers’ treatment is uninvolving but the technical aspects are arresting, though these do not salvage the material from tedium...Barber has creatively melded all of the superior technical features into a striking if at times a sensory overloaded production...'Only You Can Prevent Wildfires' could have used less flashiness and more straightforwardness." Full Review

Must see, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You have an interest in this historic fire, want a different semi-immersive evening at the theater with good acting and a great setting.

Don't see it if If you don't lile being close to actors. No interations but you are right there inside the play.

Relevant, Slow, Thought-provoking, Intense, Great staging

See it if you like good staging and an interesting story.

Don't see it if you don't like true stories or are looking for something fast paced.

Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if Fantastic acting, great staging, wonderfully mysterious script of compelling characters affected by a huge wildfire in Colorado. A gem!

Don't see it if You prefer traditional theaters or might be uncomfortable sitting on a bench for 80 minutes. Even so, maybe bring a pillow - worth seeing!

Semi-immersive, Poignant, Fine acting/staging, Layered, Absorbing

See it if Want to see a complex weaving of storylines inspired by a real event. This is haunting, lyrical, touching, intriguing. I loved this.

Don't see it if Want story 2 wrap up tidily. A few people were confused, due to some magical realism, but it gets you thinking, no answers at end.

Also This show is so interesting and unique. All the actors are good, the p... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like shows about interesting, complex female characters. Good acting.

Don't see it if You don't like small theaters. There are only 2 bathrooms and they are down a set of stairs to get to.

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

See it if you're in for a serious play about the fates and consequences of emotionally driven people and actions. Acting is superb; story absorbin

Don't see it if you're looking for something light-hearted. Or a evolving narrative. You're in for a serious character and relationship study

Argumentative, Tragic, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if Troubled relationships and lack of support in rural Colorado. Human breakdown leads to disaster.

Don't see it if You are looking to be uplifted. This is a cautionary tale based on real events. The menace of the fire is well done.

Slow, Ambitious, Intense, Great staging

See it if you like to see plays based on true stories (although the script is ambiguous); the staging is clever and the acting is good.

Don't see it if you are looking for something light and uplifting; or if you can't sit on a hard bench with no back support for 80 minutes.

Also The staging was clever and the acting was good - but the script was mo... Read more Read less

Intense, Great staging, Great acting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if it comes back! All 5 actors were ON & committed: No BS. Very intense at times, but real. Unconventional theater & staging worked perfectly.

Don't see it if "theater-in-the-round" bugs you. You're facing others, one-level/one-row seating, w/actors at your same level, like "Untold Yippie Project".

Also Exciting yet bittersweet to see closing night.... Read more Read less

Great acting but thin characters, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if you like plays on the inertia of unsatisfying relationships; you’d see an immersive set that creates holodeck-like environs from a black box

Don't see it if you're looking forward to a tightly woven mystery, new psychological insights, or a polished script

Also Nifty set—never sat in anything quite like it and it contributes a lot... Read more Read less

Great staging, Clever, Ambitious, Quirky, Refreshing

See it if you’re interested in how design & staging can support a play-script, enrich good performances, and engage an audience in a deep way.

Don't see it if You are annoyed by Theatre that is untraditional in its presentation or overly concerned about open flame onstage.

During previews
Must see, Immersive, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want an interesting journey into how one small action can affect something irrevocably. Excellent acting and very creative staging.

Don't see it if you don't like intimate settings. Seating is in a "camping area" right in front of the characters.

Also Note: Seating is on a wooden bench. ... Read more Read less

During previews
Intelligent, Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging

See it if You want to see a high quality, creatively staged and wonderfully acted piece. The actor who played Kim was stellar. Amazing projection use.

Don't see it if You don’t like intimate plays. You prefer musicals.

During previews
Clever, Ambitious, Great acting, Edgy, Great staging

See it if you enjoy innovative character driven drama. The auditorium feels like a forest. Almost dance-like interactions express character's emotions

Don't see it if you dislike dramas.

During previews
Intense, Refreshing, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Interesting script and extremely well-executed production (design, direction, and performance).

Don't see it if The script ultimately left me unsatisfied. Why did this story need to be told?

During previews
Steady burn

See it if Very good acting from the quartet playing humans. All fit enough for very athletic roles. Great use of projections. Superb set overall.

Don't see it if The masked bear role is a pretentious conceit, undercutting the play's realism. The long hardwood benches are a very tough sit.

Also 95% of audience in their twenties, so think noisy bar. Surprising layo... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Intense, Confusing

See it if You enjoy challenging, non-linear and parallel plot lines to resolve mystery of real historical event and troubled relationships, clever set

Don't see it if Rapid layered dialog, flash backs and forwards, unresolved mystery, real fire, cigarettes, lesbians, 90 min. w/o interval, hard seat disturb

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great acting, Confusing, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You like well acted theater in an interesting space with an interesting theme. This story gently rolls down the stream, slow and steady

Don't see it if You need a ton of action to get you through a play. Also sometimes the timeline of scenes is confusing as it jumps back and forth.

During previews
Refreshing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if well acted true story; intimate well designed space

Don't see it if timeline jumped around a bit; end came too suddenly so not the best resolution

Cast & Creatives (15)