Already closed | 2h 15m | Midtown W


From 12 member  reviews
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. More…

On April 20, 2010, the massive Deepwater Horizon oil rig, leased by BP and owned and operated by Transocean, exploded and burned off the coast of Louisiana, killing 11 workers and triggering the largest oil spill in history. For 87 days, millions of gallons of environmentally damaging oil flowed into the Gulf of Mexico. This theatrical event goes beyond the headlines to tell vivid personal stories from all sides of the country’s greatest environmental disaster. Written and directed by Leigh Fondakowski, the head writer for 'The Laramie Project.'

2h 15m | Already closed | Ensemble Studio Theatre (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (12)


Great acting, Relevant, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Ambitious
Avg Score

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.

Also The play is long—2.5 hours—but worth it. You may be overwhelmed by all... Read more Read less

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 !

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.

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

Also The same lack of safety precaution and environmental protection still ... Read more Read less

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.

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.

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.

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.

Also The acting and the direction were definitely stronger than the script.... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever, Profound

See it if You enjoyed The Laramie Project. Same type of format but about the BP Oil Spill. Very relevant documentary theatre.

Don't see it if Are expecting a fluffy musical.

Also The play is comprised of interviews of people affected by this explosi... Read more Read less

Riveting, Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if Examination of Deepwater Horizon oil spill through excellent writing, acting, direction. A MUST SEE!

Don't see it if You do not want to encounter the aftermath of an environmental disaster

Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great writing

See it if you like immersive documentary theater where the characters are based on interviews with people who experienced the subject depicted

Don't see it if you have an aversion to documentary theater or don't like a show in which actors play multiple roles

Also The playwright and director Leigh Fondakowski was the head writer on t... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to understand how good people can be hoodwinked into voting against their own self-interests. Very timely!

Don't see it if you don't care how evil big oil is and how they ruin our planet. Very scary!

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...
read more
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 pr...
read more
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 ex...
read more
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...
read more

Related content