The Insurgents OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Benjamin Norman
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 5, 2015
    Closing:
    March 8, 2015

    Theater: Bank Street Theatre / 155 Bank Street, NEW YORK, NY, 10014

    Synopsis: 

    When Sally Wright returns to her dead end rural northeast town after losing her athletic scholarship, she’s forced to face her beer guzzling father, wayward brother, and the dearth of hope in her impoverished town. She starts carrying her shotgun wherever she goes, and buries herself in books about Harriet Tubman, Nat Turner, John Brown, and Timothy McVeigh. She begins escaping into an interior world where their spirits talk to her, telling stories of their resistance to injustice. Yet even as she immerses herself in the lives of insurgents and clutches her shotgun to her chest, the bleak oppression of a life without opportunity threatens to poison her spirit.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Insurgents

    ‘The Insurgents’ Stars Cassie Beck in a Lucy Thurber Drama

    Ben Brantley

    February 23, 2015: Beware, America! Sally Wright, a young woman who spends a lot of time with a shotgun in her hands, is having one whale of a nervous breakdown. It is, you might say, a breakdown as big as a whole country, and it’s been building for centuries. Played by Cassie Beck with alarmed eyes that belie her cornfed friendliness, Sally is the central character in The Insurgents, the small but mightily ambitious state-of-the-nation play by Lucy Thurber, which opened on Monday night at the Bank Street Theater. And that shotgun I mentioned? Sally’s going to wind up pointing it right at you. Theatergoers who know Chekhov’s dictum about guns — you know, writers shouldn’t introduce them if they’re not going to shoot them — need not fear for their lives, however. In a prologue to this Labyrinth Theater Company production, the engaging Ms. Beck reassures us that her gun isn’t real and poses no threat to our safety. That is a slightly disingenuous disclaimer. If no violence has occurred by the evening’s end — and this play is mostly all talk — Ms. Thurber still wants us to leave braced for the fire next time. The Insurgents is about a rage that never stops simmering in the home of the free, brave and disenfranchised. And it is achingly, earnestly aware that, as Sally puts it, there’s a fine line in this country between heroism and terrorism.

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