What You Are Now
What You Are Now
81

What You Are Now NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(9 Reviews)
Positive
89%
Mixed
11%
Negative
0%
Members say
Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Absorbing

A world premiere that challenges the notion of the past and present, and how we experience them. 

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Member Reviews (9)

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703 Reviews | 213 Followers
82
Relevant, Resonant, Intelligent, Authentic, Powerful

See it if Cambodian-American family copes w mother's unresolved trauma from the genocide. I got drawn in & learned a lot. Seems based on real people.

Don't see it if You prefer to avoid the topic. The play is not just about the mother but also the grown children. It focuses more on characters than plot.

411 Reviews | 61 Followers
80
Thought-provoking

See it if Memory play with flashes of the science of changing memories. Daughter struggles to understand Cambodian refugee mom and herself.

Don't see it if References of Khmer Rouge/genocide, emotionally distant characters appear "boring," PTSD/intergenerational trauma, deportation trigger. Read more

371 Reviews | 52 Followers
68
Just "misses", Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy plays about the suffering of US immigrants presented in a valid and realistic manner that provides insights into their plight.

Don't see it if you favor "light" entertainment rather than a serious presentation on US immigrants & can tolerate less than excellent dialogue.

291 Reviews | 27 Followers
70
Resonant, Slow, Relevant, Great acting

See it if you want to learn more about the suffering of the Cambodian people who were able to come to the United States. It is a work in progress.

Don't see it if you want to see a light hearted play that does not deal with suffering.

112 Reviews | 20 Followers
75
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Clever

See it if you like smaller works, off broadway shows, newer works, shows dealing with trauma.

Don't see it if you don't like shows that aren't fully polished, don't like shows about immigration, don't like smaller works, don't like slow burn shows Read more

77 Reviews | 11 Followers
90
Superbly acted, engaging, thoughtful look at wrenching issue

See it if You like plays that make you think and feel

Don't see it if You need linear timelines and pure entertainment

21 Reviews | 5 Followers
97
Resonant, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a play that both deals with serious sociopolitical and scientific issues but that is heartbreaking and human at its core

Don't see it if You don’t want to engage with Cambodian genocide or inherited trauma

bun
13 Reviews | 2 Followers
95
Great writing, Great acting, Profound, Refreshing, Resonant

See it if you'd love a simply told story that uses it's simplicity to thread together complex and moving narratives

Don't see it if idk - you have no soul Read more

Critic Reviews (7)

Theatermania
March 17th, 2022

"Chanse makes it clear that Pia is a prickly character, suspicious of outsiders and prone to take offense when none is meant. That can make for a compelling protagonist, especially as we get to understand them better. But the task is nearly impossible when the barriers never come down, even for the audience...Elements of the production draw us back in, especially Brown, whose performance is haunting, hilarious, and surprising until the very end...Director Steve Cosson delivers a competent staging, but is unable to inject any adrenaline into a sleepy script."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 21st, 2022

what you are now was funded in part by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as part of an effort to encourage plays that explore scientific issues. But science plays an ancillary role here…Chanse has taken on more than she can comfortably handle. A play about the scientific effort to reprogram memories would be fascinating and, quite possibly, disturbing. As Lauren Yee has already demonstrated with Cambodian Rock Band, the fallout from the Khmer Rouge is a rich subject for investigation. In taking on both, what you are now scants both.
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Talkin' Broadway
March 16th, 2022

"Looking at the make-up of the play's characters, you can rightly guess that there is a great deal of complexity being presented in just about 90 minutes. Remarkably, the playwright and director Steve Cosson are able to find the time and space to explore each relationship and interaction, so that (almost) nothing seems forced. The one exception is a plot strand involving one person's status as an undocumented immigrant, something that interferes with the delicate balance in place and which might better be explored in a separate play of its own."
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New York Stage Review
March 17th, 2022

"4/5 stars...Playwright Chanse craftily works them into an intermissionless 100-minute play in which all five characters caught in the heavy whirl reach redemptive conclusions. To her credit, Chanse presents no easy solutions, which marks her, with 'Out of Time’s' 'Disturbance Specialist,' as a new voice demanding attention. Notable as well is that Cosson tends to the five-member cast with his usual forcefulness."
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TheaterScene.net
March 21st, 2022

As a play about neuroscience, Sam Chanse’s what you are now needs a great deal more data and information. As a play about the plight of Cambodian refugees, what are you now needs to be clearer and less convoluted, although ultimately it is quite powerful and moving. Informative about the startling situation of these refugees, the play needs to be seen and heard, but in this form it defeats its own purposes by being confusing in chronology and not offering the drama behind the science of trauma and memory.
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Exeunt Magazine
March 17th, 2022

"It’s most successful when Chanse stops trying to explain the infrastructure behind what her characters think and feel; the more its characters describe scientific concepts and the psychological value of survivor testimony and the physiology of fear, the drier and the less grounded in human relationships and human experience the play becomes. And there is a deep well of human experience, of a family’s story, at the heart here–there’s just not enough of that heart in the play."
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Off Off Online
March 19th, 2022

While it’s gratifying that the push by New York theaters to elevate underrepresented voices has expanded enough to include such an infrequently depicted community as Cambodian Americans, the play is hampered by stilted dialogue and uninspiring staging. Too often, what the characters say seems to be for the audience’s benefit instead of a natural-sounding conversation.
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