Ensemble Studio Theatre & The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation present the word premiere play that dramatizes Stanley Milgram’s infamous social psychology experiments from the 1960s, capturing the personal side of human research. More…
At Yale in the early 1960s, Professor Stanley Milgram's "obedience experiments" test how cruel people can be when they are just following orders. Milgram gets the data he needs, but the lab assistant who conducted the experiment is left to grapple with his own responsibility. Weaving in an historically separate incident, playwright Frank Basloe dramatizes a campus scandal in order to burrow deeper into the ways conformity can push us to act against our conscience.
“'Please Continue,' Frank Basloe’s relentlessly thought-provoking fictionalized study of the people involved with the experiments, is on the stage of the Ensemble Studio Theater. And it’s absolutely gripping...This rock-solid production takes us back decisively with political dialogue and pop music, but most of all with eight rich, lived-in performances and William Carden’s quietly commanding direction." Full Review
"These dual storylines tackle the various aspects of cruelty in conformity with considerable intelligence...Subtle humor is carefully allocated while acutely written dialogue and a smart ensemble cast play with the topics of doubt and discovery with powerful sensitivity. Director Carden gracefully draws humanity from self-analysis and poignancy from complexity. An ambitious undertaking....Its thought-provoking results deserve further investigation. A must see." Full Review
"If there's a small gap in the script, it's the one-dimensional - okay, two-dimensional - depiction of Milgram...Though Basloe includes a few dry moments during his two acts, he's written a play that not only starts intermission debates but will also keep them going long after the last fade-out. And while his finale is brief and low-key, it's strong…Under Carden's direction, 'Please Continue' is possibly receiving its sleekest EST production yet. The ensemble acting is first-rate." Full Review
"The relationship between the two plots is largely conceptual, but the very different issues and stakes in the two stories weaken this connection. The ethics of scientific experimentation are a meaty conundrum that the play ponders deeply and thoughtfully...One thing that does unite the two stories is the strength of the ensemble's acting...The play can be a bit slow or repetitive at times, but Carden's considerate direction yields enough emotional charge to keep you invested throughout." Full Review
"Frank Basloe’s earnest but plodding 'Please Continue' saddles a sketchy critique of Milgram’s methods with an unsubtle B plot about conformity...This is still culturally potent stuff: the dark side of Mad Men and harbinger of our desensitized digital times. Unfortunately, Basloe’s account is slow-moving, flat-footed and telegraphs its themes a mile away. You might welcome a jolt or two to stay engaged." Full Review
"A science-minded drama hampered by an awkward construction concept...Two complicated stories are pruned of their most provocative and troubling details in order to make them fit the playwright's prearranged pattern, an approach that sells everybody short…A lot of disturbing ideas are raised in 'Please Continue,' only to get buried under a lot of talk. The result is something like a dull graduate seminar. This is a play that should wound; instead, it feels like homework." Full Review
for a previous production "Rather than focusing on this experimental result explicitly, 'Please Continue' takes the audience into the minds of the teacher, learner, and experimenter, revealing the turmoil within each. While Basloe’s script deviates from actual events, it does so in service of a greater purpose—to humanize the emotions of all three participants." Full Review
See it if you intelligent theatre that is well-acted and directed. This is the type of play that you can discuss for hours afterwards. Kudos to EST!
Don't see it if you are not interested in intelligent, thought-provoking plays.
See it if You enjoy well-acted dramatizations of actual events that delve deeply into the messed up psychology of the human race.
Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for psychology or religious angst.
See it if you're interested in psychology, and in a controversial human experiment. You appreciate stellar acting, and pieces set in 1960s America.
Don't see it if You don't like dialogue heavy plays with little music and action.
See it if you enjoy challenging theater, history of psychology, Yale history, human behavior, historic scandals, clever playwrighting
Don't see it if repulsed by fraternity sexual misbehavior, flawed main characters takinge advantage of others, object to human psychology experiments
See it if you are interested in events that show a very dark side of humanity. Very few people know about these experiments and they're terrifying.
Don't see it if you are looking for subtle, nuanced writing. The play covers the material in a very "then this happened" manner. I missed the horror of it.
See it if question of following orders has long been one which perplexes society. This examines it a personal/group view, with uncomfortable results
Don't see it if you don't want to think about that question of 'what would you do'?'
See it if Like psych/neuroscience and history, appreciate the inherently theatrical setup of the Milgram, to support art in science/science in art
Don't see it if Looking for a polished, complete product, or for consistently professional talent, don't sit in the side seats; the radiator is thunderous
See it if It was informative, provocative, and very well done. The acting company, the direction, and the set was excellent.
Don't see it if if you don;t like thought provoking issue driven plays.
See it if you like thought-provoking theatre; are interested in the examination of human nature, psychology and historical events; great directing
Don't see it if big musicals with alot of action and set changes
See it if you like thought provoking drama. Intertwining of events that speak to our obedience to authority and mob mentality; stays with you.
Don't see it if Don't want to be introspective or to expend the energy to get to an out of the way theater even though the play is worth the effort
See it if Big surprise; well acted; excellent story & held my attention for entire show. Show deserves a better space to create an even bigger impact
Don't see it if You don't like a lousy theatre space with a clanging heater and a lot of dialogue with little action and no humor
See it if enjoy dramatic plays based on real events. Great acting in an intimate space. Enjoy psychology & pondering issues related to human behavior
Don't see it if you don't like facts rearranged to be fictitious. being up close to the actors. Don't enjoy plays questioning human motivations.
See it if you want a play addressing weighty matters of human nature, morality, guilt, and conformity. Nice marriage of (social) science and religion.
Don't see it if you desire diversity. It's set in the social vacuum of Yale in the early 60's: young, white, privileged, male.
See it if you like well-written plays that make you think about your own values and sense of morality.
Don't see it if you're just looking for something lighter to escape into.
See it if you like exploring the human psyche; you don't mind a slightly slower-paced show; you don't mind "period" patois and speech patterns.
Don't see it if you have a low attention span and need everything delivered quickly; you have no patience for endings that don't wrap everything up tidily.
See it if Good performances by an engaging cast. Compelling subject manner told in a riveting manner.
Don't see it if A somewhat less compelling B-plot that parallels the A-plot is unnecessarily intrusive. The theatre is kind of a hike from the subway.
See it if plays as well-reasoned and crisply presented as an entertaining social science lecture satisfy you.
Don't see it if you find a play without theatricality and innovation akin to torture. Please Continue lacks the buzz of electric stimulation.
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