Reviews: What Did Critics Think of the Off-Broadway Premiere of Bruce Norris' Downstate? | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Did Critics Think of the Off-Broadway Premiere of Bruce Norris' Downstate?

Playwrights Horizons presents the drama, set in a group home for convicted sex offenders.

Francis Guinan, Susanna Guzmán, and Tim Hopper in Downstate Joan Marcus

The reviews are coming in for the New York premiere of Downstate by Pulitzer-winning playwright Bruce Norris. The play officially opened at Playwrights Horizons November 15 after beginning previews October 28. The production runs through December 11 on Playwrights' Mainstage Theater. 

The ensemble cast features Francis Guinan, K. Todd Freeman, Glenn Davis, Eddie Torres, Susanna Guzmán, Tim Hopper, Sally Murphy, and Gabi Samels in the drama set in a group home shared by four men, all convicted of sex crimes. When a man arrives one day to confront his childhood abuser, the line between justice and retribution begins to blur.

Read the reviews here.

Cititour (Brian Scott Lipton)

The Daily Beast (Tim Teeman)

New York Magazine/Vulture (Jackson McHenry)

New York Post (Johnny Oleksinski)

New York Stage Review (David Finkle)

New York Theater (Jonathan Mandell)

New York Theatre Guide (Joe Dziemianowicz)

The New York Times (Laura Collins-Hughes)*

Theatermania (Zachary Stewart)

TimeOut NY (Adam Feldman)

The Washington Post (Peter Marks)

The Wrap (Robert Hofler)

*This review requires creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

Director Pam MacKinnon, who frequently collaborates with Norris, leads a creative team comprising set designer Todd Rosenthal, costume designer Clint Ramos, lighting designer Adam Silverman, sound designer Carolyn Downing, production stage manager Laura Smith, and assistant stage manager Thomas Dieter.

The play was commissioned by Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where it made its world premiere in 2018. Downstate is the fourth Norris play staged at Playwrights Horizons, joining his Pulitzer winner Clybourne Park, The Qualms, and The Pain and the Itch.

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