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Brooklyn | Already closed

The Things That Were There

From 2 critic and 9 member reviews
Members say: Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Indulgent, Confusing

About the show

The Bushwick Starr and Abingdon Theatre Company presents this memory play and a meditation on loss from David Greenspan. More…

Set on the occasion of a celebratory dinner the play dramatizes the events and relationships of a family over many years - as past incidents are recalled and at times re-lived. Certain scenes begin again with slight or significant variation as a means of investigating family relationships through a continually shifting lens and exploring the tragic and comic potential of each event. 



75
The New York Times

"A vaporous piece that is as much a remembrance of plays past as it is a portrait of time recaptured....Identities blur and time bends, as characters become themselves at different ages, coasting onto lonely tangents...Evans wisely keeps the performances from her five cast members at a meditative simmer that never boils over into declamation and melodrama." Full Review

60
Theatermania

"The play begins with five actors gathered in a semicircle around a polished wooden dining room table...It feels like a no-nonsense way to lay out the exposition. But then it goes on and on and on like that, with each character narrating his or her story, not necessarily in chronological order and with no regard for emotional build...At its best, 'The Things That Were There' conveys the strange logic that governs memory...Unfortunately, this play suffers from an oversaturation of significance." Full Review


94
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You want a fascinating, moving, poetic exploration of aging, memory, and the way the people we love slip away. Exquisitely directed. 45 min.

Don't see it if You hate non-narrative non-linear drama and feel cheated if you don't spend at least an hour in your seat.

82
Absorbing, Intelligent, Intense, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if Questions about how realities and perceptions change over time, and how very complex ideas can be presented on stage intrigue you

Don't see it if You need a linear plot line or a lot of story, moments of confusion make you uncomfortable

80
Great acting, Worth seeing, Moving, intelligent, eloquent

See it if u like stream of consciousness poetry telling 2 families' stories touching on theater, food, deaths & life profoundly in 45minutes/genius

Don't see it if u don't appreciate david greenspan, a story that does not follow a linear path or experimental theater

Also Despite the reasons not to see... still very worth while seeing

80
Uneven, Touching, Short, Lapidary, Well played

See it if you are a fan of David Greenspan's work & want to see it all, or you don't know his work & would like to see a short, simple specimen of it.

Don't see it if you are expecting a traditional play, or are unwilling to concentrate: the audience has to sift its way through multiple plot possibilities.

Also I’m a great admirer of David Greenspan's work. I like his latest play,... Read more Read less

78
Intelligent, Entertaining

See it if You are happy with a circular, repeating style, leaping forward and back in time, probing into family details, letting things seep in.

Don't see it if You need a logical plot, momentum, a sense of where you are and where things are going. Relax, no pressure, let it wash over you.

75
Absorbing, Intense, Moving, Meditative

See it if A modern memory piece of overlapping losses, told from 5 characters points of view. Overtones of Our Town.

Don't see it if Confusing time lines. You have to stay focused, but with capable staging & actors, you will.

55
Absorbing, Intelligent, Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You're a big fan of David Greenspan or you like the more experimental pieces the Starr usually programs.

Don't see it if You live far from Bushwick. Show length isn't everything, but this is only 45 minutes long and nothing happens. Subway ride there was longer

Also Classic David Greenspan. If you like him you'll like it, if you don't ... Read more Read less

38
Indulgent, Banal, Excruciating, Irritating

See it if you enjoy anything that feels "lofty"

Don't see it if you want a piece with something to engage with.

Also White people really just be doing anything and calling it "art."

68
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if If you want to explore themes of aging, Life and death in a non-linear way that is pretty confusing, but thought provoking.

Don't see it if A lot of the themes and plot weren’t connected together, so don’t see it it you need everything to make sense and tie together nicely.


Cast & Creatives (10)