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Scraps

From 19 critic and 18 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Great writing, Intense

About the show

This world premiere drama from The Flea explores the immediate anger, residual grief and inherited trauma of four black teenagers whose friend is shot by a white police officer.  More…

What we always hear: “Black Male Shot by White Police Officer.” What we never see – how loved ones struggle to cope amidst their anger and grief.



90
The Reviews Hub

"A brilliant and earth-shattering portrayal of the effects of police shootings in the black community...'Scraps' is disturbing, relentless and beautiful. Transitioning from kitchen-sink realism to abstract expressionist game-show style, Inoa’s lyrical freight train of a dialogue-driven script is a triumph...A stunning play, and this production is a testament to a collaborative team with a shared vision...It is not to be missed." Full Review

90
Melinda's Malarky

"An astonishingly well-written and well-constructed play that hits home with hard truths of black males being shot by white officers...Iona's dialogue is crude and lyrical, formidable and credible...A potent, relevant and stirring play...Inoa took the play into a final nightmarish parody...This was a bold artistic direction, one I wouldn't have ventured but this gifted playwright is a name to remember." Full Review

85
Times Square Chronicles

"An intermissionless vibrant and searing play about the longing for equality and the rage when it is denied...The audience files out with that question ringing in their ears and an enormous amount of information to contemplate. The ensemble cast is extremely talented...Well directed by Niegel Smith...this graphic, powerful, and evocative drama, would have been far better served without the constant use of the 'N' word." Full Review

85
Yes Broadway

“This new play is super intense, gets a little weird in the final 20 minutes, and hits quite close to home for some of us...but, overall: it's superbly written, directed, and performed. Trifecta alert!...Features members of The Bats, their resident acting company that is chock full of future megastars. All five cast members shine under Smith's brave direction...Inoa puts this issue front and center, forcing audiences to reckon with this devastating epidemic...Powerful work that really matters." Full Review

80
New York Theater

"In 'Scraps,' Geraldine Inoa, making a memorable professional playwriting debut, imagines the deep and lasting after-effects on the people left behind when police kill somebody...Smith has gotten impressively convincing performances out of the cast of young actors...This is not an easy play. It confronts the audience with uncomfortable language, disorients with its shifts of tone, and demands that we enter into an unrelievedly racist world and a starkly Manichean worldview." Full Review

80
The New York Times

“Inoa’s bracing and intense new play is about lives cut short by police violence, and the cataclysmic harm those killings do to the people left behind...If you can feel the influences here, Ms. Inoa nonetheless uses them in service of her own sharp vision. Act 1 isn’t entirely successful...Inoa creates a microcosm of a black neighborhood, so self-contained that it feels like an invasion the moment a white police officer enters...What unfolds from there is gut-punch sickening.” Full Review

80
Broadway & Me

"The second half of this 90-minute drama skips ahead a few years and becomes surrealistic as Inoa plunges into the nightmares of Forest’s now eight-year-old son who is trying to understand the cause of his father's death and who is terrified that the same thing will happen to him...The boy is played by the adult actress Bryn Carter, who, under the finely-edged direction of Nigel Smith, gives a devastating performance as does the entire cast...I want to see all of them again." Full Review

80
Talkin' Broadway

“The characters in Inoa's Brooklyn aren't there to educate or enlighten white people, they're not there to be mere morality tales, they're there to exist, to be given opportunities they might not be given in real life. They are there to be listened, not argued or conversed with...Which is why when the play transforms from a naturalistic slice of life, into a surreal gameshow from hell in its second half, we are asked to sit and take in the fears...And we feel blessed to be allowed to witness ... Full Review

80
ZEALnyc

"Emotions storm and collide, the characters rage and ridicule, and some of them speak so quickly that I wanted to jump up and yell, 'Wait, slow down.' This is a ninety-minute play, but I’m betting the script has all the pages of a three-hour drama...The second half of the play, the action and tone take a dramatic shift...It’s a daring leap in style and subject, but it works, thanks to the smart script by Inoa and tight direction by Smith, as well as the chilling performances from one and all." Full Review

80
Off Off Online

“Though it begins with a nod to Greek plays, ‘Scraps’ soon turns to straight theatrical realism. Trying to mirror reality, the play examines a complex range of burdens borne by many African Americans in the U.S...Bowers and Tanyamaria...give notably complex, thoughtful performances...’Scraps’ transitions sharply into a different second half...An entirely new genre and style...which the ensemble handles with grace and dedication.” Full Review

80
StageBiz.com

"What follows is unexpected and uncomfortable – partly from what happens and some unclear writing. That’s not a knock on Geraldine Inoa. This first play indicates she’s already a good writer who is only going to get better...Niegel Smith keeps the deep realities and fantasies immediate for cast and audience alike. The Bats are always reliable, but the six actors here are exceptional." Full Review

80
Infinite Body

“Inoa carefully grounds her audience in the familiar before hauling us into bizarre territory...’Scraps’ goes full-out surreal nightmare with a menacing Greek tragedy-style chorus...This quartet of skilled actors has energy to burn, particularly Bowers and Tanyamaria who leave us in the dust, hyperventilating, unable to catch up...Inoa gives the women the best language. But all actors turn on extraordinary ferocity in the final, disturbing developments of the story." Full Review

76
Front Mezz Junkies

"A sharply drawn piece of writing that engages quite purely and authentically with the issues of our times...It resonates, powerfully...The problem of the piece is the shift in tone...Although it’s done with a clear and purposeful perfection...The performances of all the players are excitingly precise and strongly orchestrated within an authentic and abstract flair but as written, the overarching theme feels distant and not as connecting as the real life struggles presented in the first half." Full Review

75
TheaterScene.net

“Raw, edgy, and searing drama...Smith’s staging of that outrage is hypnotic as freezes, slow motion, blaring music, and pulsing lighting are employed to stunning effect...However, Smith’s sustained stage wizardry only goes so far as the play’s opening is overdone and its conclusion unsatisfyingly departs from realism. In between there are moments of greatness...’Scraps’ succeeds when its passionate eloquence is simply expressed and it falters during its avant-garde detours.” Full Review

75
Diandra Reviews it All

"'Scraps' is not an easy watch, especially in these politicized times...It is fascinating to see how they themselves 'guilt' Forest for being 'there' at the wrong time, wrong place, and with the wrongly interpreted actions...There is humor spread throughout the darkness of this play. Jean-Baptise feels like 'the sage' of Scraps. The one-man, Greek Chorus that adds insightful and irreverent commentary to the character’s lives." Full Review

75
New Yorker

“This ambitious, vibrant new play...has two distinct, contrasting acts. The first is set on a trash-strewn stoop in Bed-Stuy, four months after the shooting of a black teen-ager from the neighborhood by a white cop...The second act imagines the grim future of souls forged in this atmosphere, turning suddenly surreal and impressionistic, like a hellish game show. It’s interesting theatre, but not as affecting as the first act, in which the characters feel like real people." Full Review

70
Theatre Review NYC

"Each actor delivers the goods as individuals and as an ensemble as well. 'Scraps' is a powerhouse production and The Bats ensemble lands every potent jolt right to the gut. Playwright Geraldine Inoa has a strong voice...Director Niegel Smith also has a firm grasp on the reins...The troubled final third of Scraps sadly devolves into a surreal stew of mixed messages and distorted metaphors...The play would have been better served with the same voice throughout." Full Review

65
Lighting & Sound America

“Because 'Scraps' keeps turning into a different play every few minutes, it's easy to become distracted from the ugly, disturbing truths on offer. Dismayingly, the playwright comes close to achieving self-sabotage...Her instincts may be good, but 'Scraps' is all over the place; every time it starts to become compelling -- which is often -- the playwright upends her gameboard and issues a new set of rules. This has a dampening effect on what could have been a white-hot drama." Full Review

60
Theater Pizzazz

"Every sentence seems to contain the 'n-word'…The Flea's resident company struggles to make this material more than skin-deep or, in a couple of cases, to consistently speak the machine gun-paced dialogue so that every word registers…As the nightmare funeral morphs into a bizarre gameshow...the ensemble-coming together with superb vocal and physical cohesion-behaves in surrealistically rhythmic fits and starts…Carter delivers a riveting performance as the anguished child." Full Review


95
Absorbing, Ambitious, Dizzying, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You are interested in new work, you seek out theatre that wrestles with challenging problems in society

Don't see it if You are easily offended by language or made uneasy by graphic content

90
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you are prepared to face current American social & racial history, head-on; and want to be inspired by athleticism in acting & writing.

Don't see it if you’re ill-prepared to navigate the complexities of real Black lives and their stories.

90
Great acting, Intense, Great writing

See it if you want to understand what police brutality can do to those who experience it.

Don't see it if If you lack empathy. This play asks you to step inside of others' shoes.

Also Smart, well written, and important! The acting is better than most, an... Read more Read less

80
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you want a thoughtful, nuanced look into the aftermath of police violence on a community.

Don't see it if you want clear resolution and happy endings.

Also First act is more traditional while the tone of the second act is more... Read more Read less

71
Edgy, Cliched, Overrated

See it if A black lives matter type of play . See it if you want a show about blacks being killed by white law enforcement.

Don't see it if If you dont want a graphic, profanity laced show.

70
Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if Well acted inner city drama in the first half that becomes surreal in the second half. The prologue didn't add anything.

Don't see it if Don't like violence - skip it. It also does tell a story that has been told before.

66
Edgy, Great acting, Confusing, Cliched

See it if you like a relevant story told in a different but somewhat confusing way

Don't see it if you like a polished story

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Relevant

See it if you want to hear a bold artistic voice unpack Black trauma

Don't see it if you are triggered by self-harm, unrelenting sadness and grief, loud noises and it would do more harm than good. Power through if you can.

Also Realized I never reviewed this play (new to show score). It was incomp... Read more Read less

85
Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you have never before connected to the full weight of what the Black Lives Matter movement is and how it affects communities.

Don't see it if You dislike abstract theater, possibly triggering for those who have experienced PTSD associated with Black Lives Matter.

Also Alana Bowers dominates in her role as Aisha, embodying resilience and ... Read more Read less

95
Edgy, Great acting, Intense, Must see, Great writing

See it if You are aware of police shooting People of Color at disproportionately high rates, and care about the loved ones dealing with the aftermath.

Don't see it if You are easily offended by language and difficult or potentially uncomfortable conversations.

93
During previews
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want deeply absorbing stories of black lives encountering joy and inheriting trauma, told with the full expression of the theater.

Don't see it if You're not open to facing the truths of black and brown people in America.

90
During previews
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if you are prepared to face the truths of the aftermath that African-Americans face when one of their own is murdered by police.

Don't see it if you are triggered by suicide. It is quite graphic.

Also This is one of the most riveting and deeply intuitive scripts I have h... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Great acting, Relevant, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you are interested in the aftermath of a police involved shooting. Great acting writing and staging.

Don't see it if you want a light comedy. This is very heavy stuff -- though peppered with humor.

85
During previews
Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you are open to an in-your-face view of the African-American experience. The first hour is riveting, with powerful writing and performances

Don't see it if you are racist and not empathetic to Black Lives Matter.

Also The last 30 minutes was more allegorical and avant garde theater and w... Read more Read less

84
During previews
Sharp, Ambitious, Inventive, Incomplete, Well played

See it if you are interested in plays that engage the issues that have animated the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

Don't see it if you want a conventional play, or a safe one.

Also Though performed without interruption, “Scraps” is in 2 parts. Part 1 ... Read more Read less

100
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Resonant, Great writing

See it if Exceptional staging and performances. I was struck by the pacing--it patiently builds its world, then brilliantly explodes its structure.

Don't see it if You are triggered by depictions of police brutality--it's a smart, sensitive treatment of the subject, but still.

94
During previews
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Intense, Relevant

See it if you'd like to see truly talented actors in thoughtful performances tackling difficult but timely subject matter.

Don't see it if you're not open to the realistic, potential effects of these recent shootings on those left behind.

Also I was moved to wince, to cry, to laugh, to feel, to think and to give ... Read more Read less

90
During previews
Ambitious, Intelligent, Resonant

See it if you like plays that move you to laughter and tears, you enjoy theater that resonates with current events.

Don't see it if This show is potentially triggering to people who have experienced suicidal thoughts or are struggling with mental illness.


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Cast & Creatives (3)