Namir Smallwood and Karen Pittman. Photo by Jeremy Daniel.
The reviews are in for the riveting new play by Dominique Morisseau of a mother’s fight to give her son a future, directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz.
Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, 150 West 65 Street
Presented by Lincoln Center Theater
By Dominique Morisseau
Directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz
Tasha Lawrence, Morocco Omari, Karen Pittman, Namir Smallwood, Jaime Lincoln Smith, Heather Velazquez
Playing through August 27, 2017
Ben Brantley – New York Times
That haunting rendering of a panic attack provides the strongest moment in “Pipeline,” Dominique Morisseau’s passionate but frustratingly unresolved play about a family struggling to outrun social prophecy. It’s a scene that captures the wrenching sense of helplessness that pervades this intensely acted production, which opened on Monday night at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater at Lincoln Center.
Marilyn Stasio – Variety
Karen Pittman is giving a sensational performance in the new play at Lincoln Center Theater, “Pipeline,” starring as a mother who fights tooth and nail to save her son from the “school-to-prison pipeline” that bedevils students of inner-city public high schools. Dominique Morisseau has written some quietly devastating social dramas (“Skeleton Crew”) on her way up, but now the playwright has definitely arrived with this emotionally harrowing, ethically ambiguous drama that raises barbed questions about class, race, parental duty, and the state of American education.
Jeremy Gerard – Deadline
Dominique Morisseau has been cutting a wide and spectacular path through the writers’ ranks, as executive story editor on Showtime’s Shameless and as the author of The Detroit Project, a trilogy of plays including Skeleton Crew, recently presented in a knockout production by the Atlantic Theatre Company. With Lincoln Center Theater’s smashing world premiere of Pipeline, which opened Monday at the Mitzi E. Newhouse, Morisseau confirms her place in the sphere of writers not to be ignored.
Frank Scheck – The Hollywood Reporter
Dramatic incidents abound in Dominique Morisseau’s new play receiving its world premiere at Lincoln Center Theater, but the show has little dramatic urgency. That’s partly because the eventful moments mostly occur offstage in this work about a dedicated inner-city schoolteacher and her troubled teenage son. But it’s also because the playwright strains too hard for a poeticism that feels unearned and unnatural to a majority of the characters. While there are some powerful moments, Pipeline overall fails to come to life.
Roma Torre – NY One
“Pipeline” is a riveting new drama by Dominique Morisseau that specifically deals with issues of race and education. But as great plays are wont to do, it paints a mirror that reflects on all of us.
Howard Miller – Talkin’ Broadway
Black lives matter very much to playwright Dominique Morisseau, not just in terms of surviving the mean streets of America, but, far more deeply, with respect to the quality of lives relentlessly burdened by overt and ingrained racism and economic hardships. With empathy and intelligence, Morisseau is able to get beneath the skin of her characters, give voice to their pain and rage, and breathe them fully into life for an audience. She did this magnificently with last year’s Skeleton Crew, which painted a heart-rending portrait of a group of floundering Detroit auto-plant workers, and now she has done it again with her latest play, Pipeline, which opened tonight at the Mitzi Newhouse Theater.
Robert Hofler – The Wrap
Ninety minutes is just not enough time and space for all the pain, trauma, and injustice that Dominique Morisseau loads into her new play, “Pipeline,” which opened Monday at Lincoln Center Theater’s Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater.
Robert Kahn – NBC New York
“Pipeline” powers through its 90 minutes under the steady direction of Lileana Blain-Cruz, who between scenes evokes the war zone aura of an urban public school with video projections of clashing students—it reminded me of a similar technique used to depict Arab and Israeli violence in “Oslo,” which was first staged in this space before moving upstairs to the Vivian Beaumont.