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Outside Paducah: The Wars at Home

Members say: Absorbing, Relevant, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking
82
Critics
71
6 reviews
Members
87
26 reviews
 

Poetic Theater Productions and the Wild Project present J. A. Moad II's solo play in which the toll of war reverberates across three generations of Americans.

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A seven-year-old boy struggles to make sense of the screaming in the night after his father returns from Afghanistan. A 50-year-old man works to rebuild his life as he wrestles with the memory of an idealistic son—a teenager turned Marine who came back from Iraq wounded, disillusioned, and broken. And at a bar in the rust-belt remnants of his hometown, a former soldier’s midnight encounter brings the past and the present into an explosive, searing reality.

 


Cast & Creatives (10)


Reviews (32)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
71
Avg Score

65
Theatermania

"Such schmaltz is liable to give you a toothache with its saccharine overload. Moad is really at his best when his language is saltier. That's why the third act, 'Quittin' Meth,' is the strongest of the three...Director Leah Cooper works to illuminate Moad's language in her bare-bones staging...Whatever the faults in Moad's performance, one has to admire his drive to bring a vitally important subject to the stage, one that is frustratingly underrepresented in our theater." Full Review

67
TheaterScene.net

"Sober, somber and overall compelling...In terms of the atmospherically detailed writing and Moad’s enjoyably intense performance, 'Quittin’ Meth' is the most powerful of the program...Moad II is a former U.S. Air Force pilot and has a distinguished career as an academic and is not an experienced theater practitioner. 'Outside Paducah' is a passionate and fitfully engrossing work that reflects his noble intentions of celebrating those who fought in these controversial and traumatic battles." Full Review

65
Theatre is Easy

"Moad is a stronger writer than performer. Each act succinctly gets its story across without too many expository details and conveys the emotions of the characters without being over the top, but there isn't much more that Moad adds that you can't get from the page. His delivery is fairly similar in all three...Though Moad is not the most compelling performer, the production elements help mask this." Full Review

80
Off Off Online

"The strength of Moad’s writing lies in the messy emotions that shift to the fore: uncertainty, desperation, sorrow, resentment and pain. There is an impressionistic, almost stream-of-conscious quality about them that, helped by Leah Cooper’s tight direction...As an actor, Moad vividly embodies the characters...The final portrait of a veteran who has become a barfly plumbs the depths of confusion and misery that the long wars have wrought on those who have served in the military." Full Review

85
Reviews Off Broadway

“‘Outside Paducah’ explores the effects of America's recent wars on the men at home. It is searing and thoughtful without being political or toxic. Writer / performer J. A. Moad II creates 3 excellent stories told in first person: by a young son, a father and a veteran. Although superficially unrelated, they illustrate the complexity of veteran's experiences and their reentry into life at home. The show is bolstered by effective projections and music.” Full Review

90
Talkin' Broadway

for a previous production “Gripping…Moad’s writing is deeply humane, creating characters that ring true and whose emotions seep into our consciousness…'Outside Paducah' marks playwright Moad's first time out as an actor. He made a spectacular debut, giving each of the characters a whole life and specific point of view…Credit goes also to Leah Cooper whose direction provided smooth pacing, with time to absorb the weight of what was being shared, without losing momentum." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

74
Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Indulgent, Entertaining

See it if You like one-person shows with deep personal messages

Don't see it if You’re looking for a feel-good fluff piece

89
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You can handle tough topics about masculinity, war, and the ways war can affect generations in families.

Don't see it if You don't like crying, or aren't into media that makes you feel and think. Ha!

90
Poignant, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Profound

See it if You want stark, honest and intense view into the lives of those we ask to risk their lives for us, and the toll it takes on them.

Don't see it if You're in the mood for something light and frivolous and/or lavishly produced.

95
Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You care about unsung heroes and rare narratives.

Don't see it if If you can’t handle feeling something poignant.

85
Absorbing, Edgy, Intelligent, Profound, Great writing

See it if You enjoy theater for the stories a well written play can tell, for an exploration of character and issues, for solid acting.

Don't see it if You want to see something frivolous and cheap carb in content.

90
Intense, Profound, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You want real insight, beyond cliches, into the lives of combat veterans and their families.

Don't see it if You're looking for something light and humorous. It has a few subtly comic moments, but this is a heavy play.

Also Relevant for any time (including now) when politicians speak cavalierl... Read more Read less

100
Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Humane

See it if your favorite part of history is Story. In this story three distinct generations of Americans emerge full blown from one artist's psyche.

Don't see it if you're looking for escapist entertainment.

Also This play is an exhilarating experience because it's like watching a r... Read more Read less

100
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Must see, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you want to explore how our military-industrialized, racialized society especially affects veterans and their families through generations.

Don't see it if you don't want to be moved to think about how our country treats veterans as disposable components. Or if you just want a comedy show.

Also A complex subject, yes. But one which calls our attention to the every... Read more Read less

94
Important, timely, relevant, intense

See it if you want to be sensitized to the reality of how war affects veterans and family members.

Don't see it if you are triggered by hearing about the affects of war.

Also The play needs to be seen by a wide audience...for the health of our c... Read more Read less

95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to take time out of your life to reflect on the impact of war on those dealing with it on the frontlines.

Don't see it if You arent ready to confront the deep pain and problematic reality of how America’s military industry can be traced to the lives of children.

98
Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Riveting

See it if you want to see a powerful message and an important one. It gave me insight into veterans I worked with. Great acting. Well done!

Don't see it if You do not care about the people who served your country.

100
Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You are a concerned and compassionate citizen of the world...

Don't see it if I feel everyone SHOULD see it!

Also J.A. Moad's play and James Stanton's prologue were incredibly powerful... Read more Read less

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Profound, Relevant

See it if You care about understanding veterans and the effects of war on them and their families

Don't see it if You do not want to trigger ptsd from a war experience.

95
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if are interested a thought provoking look at the effects of war on family and veterans. Mr Moad has scripted a detailed experience.

Don't see it if you don't care about veterans and their families.

100
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant

See it if you have been desensitized by endless media statistics about wars that no one seems to want but everyone keeps voting to continue.

Don't see it if you are only looking for theatrical fluff and a feel-good escape that will leave you unchanged.

Also This amazing production blew me away. I have always felt comfortably d... Read more Read less

93
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Must see, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you aren't afraid to be fully embraced by this piece and its characters. Our vets sacrifice for us, do more than wave flags, listen to them!

Don't see it if you don't have the emotional capacity to engage in the trauma that ripples through the lives of those touched by war. But it is healing!

Also Moad's word will pierce right through you, whether you've been touched... Read more Read less

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense

See it if You want a serious evening of theater highlighted by excellent acting. I see a lot of theater and this one man show was quite good.

Don't see it if You want to relax w/lite fare.

100
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing

See it if you are interested in contemporary issues of war and culture, and how the current unending wars impact those at the war and home fronts.

Don't see it if you know you will be triggered by war experiences.

100
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant

See it if you're a civilian who wants to learn and connect, you're a loved one of a vet, or you're a vet yourself.

Don't see it if you're afraid it might trigger PTSD, but know that the heart of the piece is about healing and the audience found supportive connection.

75
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Timely, Important

See it if You are interested in seeing a play where one actor plays multiple roles. The theme is war in each act and it is deep and tragic.

Don't see it if You prefer a lighter play or are not interested in seeing a play dealing with this subject. You want a feel good play.

92
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Edgy, Must see, Riveting

See it if If you liked Cry Havoc you will find this just as thought provoking and insightful. Scary good acting edgy writing

Don't see it if If you want light entertainment, big time venues, large casts and a feel good experience this is not the show for you

66
During previews
Great acting, Intense

See it if YOu haven't heard enough anti-war stories. You like one-man shows.

Don't see it if YOu don't like one'man shows.

93
During previews
Great acting, Profound, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You want a beautifully written piece with great acting and a profound message that will get you thinking.

Don't see it if You want a fast-paced, action packed, or light hearted show.

Also The setup works really well. The use of projections and audio really i... Read more Read less

100
During previews
Absorbing, Necessary, Emotionally charged

See it if You want to better understand what veterans go through. The play depicts 3 Acts in which PTSD is central to all scene/characters.

Don't see it if You don't want to have to imagine what it's like to be a combat veteran returning home

Also This play raises questions about the divide that exists between vetera... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if ...you want to see how a great actor can make you feel deeply about characters aged 8, 28, and 48.

Don't see it if ...you don't want to be made to think deeply about American men's love/hate relationship with war and the military.