New York | 2h 15m | Already closed


From 14 critic and 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)

The New York Times

"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." Full Review


"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." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production “The piece, which feels long and unwieldy, still struggles with the inherent lack of surprise…There is some visual poetry in the theater, but a political piece like this also needs more verbal poetry — more shaping of the disparate amounts of factual material that has been discovered. It all feels at the moment like the metaphoric key has yet to be found. There are some fine performers on the stage…But not everybody has the text down , lending the sense that the show still is in development." Full Review

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.

Cast & Creatives (17)