See it if You want to see a well written/acted story that is unfortunately as relevant today as the time in which it is set.
Don't see it if You expect to leave with any sense of having learned anything or gained any new found hope or insight or perspective. Read more
See it if Black 1960's community must make dangerous choices. Well developed nuanced characters, who learn from each other. Tense insightful drama.
Don't see it if You aren't interested in characters weighing their options in an environment of fear. You want a lighter subject.
See it if Drama about civil rights, strong cast.
Don't see it if Talking, this is not a musical and comedy. Read more
See it if to witness a taut, gripping story of black residents in '60s TX under siege by a white community that wants to displace them for "progress".
Don't see it if you wish to bury your head in the sand and deny our grim racist past & the difficult transition immediately following the Civil Rights Act.
See it if you are interested in race relations then and now, appreciate great acting & writing, terrific playwriting debut.
Don't see it if you are too uncomfortable watching discrimination at play dating back to the 60's/acknowledging how far we still have to go. Weak ending. Read more
See it if you enjoy historical plays that are still highly relevant today. Also, if you like thought-provoking dramas.
Don't see it if you do not like talky, intelligent plays. Also, if your taste runs to musicals and light comedies. Read more
See it if You like plays about race, class and the situations encountered when they are discussed. You like plays within a historical context.
Don't see it if You are looking for light entertainment. You can’t deal with dialogue often shouted and overlapping. You aren’t interested in issues of race
See it if Author Harper, a great actor, has written a searing drama for actors and assembled a wonderful cast. Coats is excellent as the aged minister
Don't see it if Very tense at times especially when the wonderful Sheldon Best as the young activist confronts the older residents and preachers.
“The cast is compelling and the show well directed...It is all very neat. Too neat, perhaps: The story feels overly polished in a way that will be familiar to observers of well-crafted contemporary American theater. Harper has serious writing chops, but if the story of activism has taught us something, it’s that a little mess can be liberating.”
“Harper’s terrific drama...It’s no surprise that a fine actor would write fine dialogue, or that he has a precise touch for characterization. What’s most exciting is how well he orchestrates the pressures of event and argument: His whole created world breathes...Harper writes scenes to slightly overlap, and...Broadnax III handles this with clarity and force; he uses the tiny stage at Ensemble Studio Theatre to good effect, and his cast is tremendous.”
"Relatively hands-off direction puts much of the onus on the dialogue and actors to carry the day. Thankfully, Harper shows a knack for colorful dialogue throughout: funny at unexpected moments, eloquent during serious ones. And the cast bring a dynamism to their roles that feels positively electric..Perhaps most impressive about 'Travisville' is Harper's clearheaded willingness to embrace the agonizing complexities of his subject."
“Harper skillfully tracks several plot threads...These storylines collide, creating dialogue that crackles with drama...Under the direction of Broadnax III, a large cast does full justice to the harsh truths embedded in Harper's rangy tale...Harper emerges as a fully developed playwright...There are no easy answers in ‘Travisville’, but you're likely to find yourself dwelling on the characters and their dilemmas long after the show is over. This is an impressive debut.”
"The clash between mature pragmatism versus youthful idealism in relation to the civil rights movement is bracingly dramatized in a series of finely written short scenes. Harper’s taut construction, solid plotting and detailed characters all yield to a suspenseful, emotionally shattering and entertaining experience...Director Steve H. Broadnax III’s smooth staging realizes the play’s seriousness, tenderness, and humor."
"Infused in glorious ways with first-time playwright Harper’s actor sensibilities. His carefully-etched characters...confront sit-ins, generational shifts in power, and community change. Meaty individual monologues shine...It is the arc of the local political compromises that provide the dramatic sparks in this story...Elegant direction by Broadnax masks the fact that the many scenes make pieces out of the story...The play that hones those stories into one resonant whole is not yet here."
“Harper has written a fierce piece of theater with dialogue that pops and sparks with humor and intensity...No one is a villain, twisting their bar handled mustache and laughing. These are complicated human beings. These are remarkable people...And the cast? Took my breath away...I do wish we had seen more of the women...Broadnax III’s direction is spot on. Scenes flow from one to the other seamlessly. There is no excess just constant motion to an end that will, if nothing, bring hope.”
“Such a good, tight play...Barring a strange deflation of storytelling towards the end (it feels like the play doesn't know when or how to end right), it is a polished jewel of writing and acting, and carried by some sharp and distinctive performances from its cast of nine...Stylistically, scenes run into one another; the words of one character blanketed by the next. It's an effective technique sometimes, and a little irritating at others.”