Spill NYC Reviews and Tickets

(12 Ratings)
Members say
Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious

About the Show

Ensemble Studio Theatre presents a theatrical exploration of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, based on more than 200 hours of interviews collected in its aftermath.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (12)

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187 Reviews | 30 Followers
Ambitious, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Riveting

See it if You want to see an amazing staging of a complex subject. The second act is riveting. Be sure to read the information in the program.

Don't see it if You're expecting a traditional play with a linear plot.

442 Reviews | 127 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if you are interested in how Big Oil's greed ruined lives and the fishing industry on the Gulf; the personal side of a major oil spill.

Don't see it if you want a light, happy drama; you have no interest in the environmental and personal impact of corporate greed and major disasters.

535 Reviews | 155 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy plays based on true events. You enjoy documentary style shows. You remember the Deep Horizon Oil Spill and the cover-up scandal !

Don't see it if You need a comfy classy theatre to enjoy a show. This theatre venue is neither. You are sick of hearing the words greed, cover-up + blame !

557 Reviews | 286 Followers
Ambitious, Absorbing, Great staging, Great acting, Relevant

See it if you are interested in documentary-type dramas. Over 200 hours of interviews went into the making of a play.

Don't see it if you can't use your imagination. Actors switch roles on a dime. Read more

444 Reviews | 79 Followers
Relevant, Profound, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You'd enjoy a docu-drama about the BP oil spill and the greed, power play, corruption, and its terrible human and environmental impact.

Don't see it if You don't like "Laramie Project" style ensemble work with rapid character switches and location jumps Read more

212 Reviews | 39 Followers
Riveting, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want to be reminded how much human and environmental damage the big oil corporations can do. It is devastating

Don't see it if you are looking for something more conventional and funny. For sure this is not the " feel good " play of the year.

79 Reviews | 10 Followers
Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You are interested in seeing dramatizations of recent events with good acting and interesting staging.

Don't see it if you feel that theater should be an escape from reality. Read more

118 Reviews | 23 Followers
Cliched, Disappointing, Ambitious, Dated, Slow

See it if You're interested in the BP oil spill, you like documentaries and you like staging that shows you exactly what the words say.

Don't see it if You like theater with nuance and character depth.

Critic Reviews (14)

The New York Times
March 21st, 2017

"An impassioned and overloaded documentary drama...Zealously researched and intellectually rangy, it reckons with tragedies both human and environmental...At times 'Spill' is vital theater...But the subject of 'Spill' often seems too big for the stage...Its onslaught of detail and evidence swamps narrative control...Provocative ideas surface and dissolve...This factual assault can make you crave some other medium, like an article or a podcast, which could be absorbed at a less hectic pace."
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Time Out New York
March 16th, 2017

"A timely piece of documentary theater...Considering how much information it must deliver, 'Spill' moves at a compelling pace, buoyed by versatile actors....Anecdotes, paired with macro-level musings on the romance of the oil industry and the ecological toll the spill took, combine to create a prismatic view of an all-too-real, man-made horror story. 'Spill' does what art does best in these politically fraught times: putting a human face on a complex issue, making it impossible to look away."
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March 16th, 2017

"While the effort to include a variety of perspectives is admirable, the result is a bit too much information...Although the descriptions are intermittently devastating and the explosion's reenactment is powerful, the overgenerous documentation weighs down the drama...Exacerbating the script's excess is the shortage of actors relative to the number of roles...Despite such shortcomings, 'Spill' still gets across a sense of the human lives upended by the Deepwater disaster."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 17th, 2017

“Too often, the script bogs down in details as characters step forward to deliver big dollops of data…‘Spill’ has its moments of power, but watching it, I couldn't help feeling that this terrible and important story would be better served as a documentary film, book, or long-form magazine article. There is much here that appalls, which should never be forgotten, but the artists involved haven't managed the alchemical trick of turning it into compelling theatre.”
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Front Row Center
March 23rd, 2017

"The first act is spent telling us about the 11 who died that day...This goes on and on and on. There is no tension, no pressure on stage as the talk continues about the pressure and tension on the rig...It is the second part of the evening, the aftermath of the explosion, where secrets are told and stories unfold that are new and touching...The ensemble is, simply put, wonderful. They cruise from character to character, moment to moment with clockwork precision."
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Stage Buddy
March 27th, 2017

"'Spill’s' outstanding cast, ill-boding sound and inventive staging upon a simple, scenic design succeed in cracking the artifice of theater by cramming the audience into the Deepwater Horizon...This documentary, verbatim-style play gets to the human core of a tragedy and the everyday struggles of people who have little option but to rely on the work opportunities that their habitat provides."
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Front Mezz Junkies
April 2nd, 2017

"It’s a deeply powerful ensemble piece, written and directed by Leigh Fondakowski with an exacting attention to scientific detail without losing one bit of humanity along the way...Fondakowski has a way of keeping us fully engaged emotionally at every moment of this well-tuned play as she dissects what happened that fateful day...I would be hard-pressed to single out anyone from this stellar cast as all give us fully formed, emotionally rich characters."
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Times Square Chronicles
March 20th, 2017

"A riveting, devastatingly real drama...Under Ms. Fondakowski’s brilliant direction...they all give layered heartfelt and moving performances. This is a true ensemble production...'Spill' is a must-see in this political climate. It speaks to what can happen again if we do not pay attention to Mother Earth...In leaving 'Spill' I was left bereft with a renewed sense that we need to revisit history before there is nothing left."
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