Running since March 2017 A stunning new play about the collision of race, class, family and friendship, and the tragic, unintended costs of community without opportunity.
The Broadway production of Sweat closed June 25, 2017. For current Broadway show listings and tickets, please click here.
From the producers: Filled with warm humor and tremendous heart, "Sweat" tells the story of a group of friends who have spent their lives sharing drinks, secrets and laughs while working together on the factory floor. But when layoffs and picket lines begin to chip away at their trust, the friends find themselves pitted against each other in a heart-wrenching fight to stay afloat.
Playwright Lynn Nottage is an associate professor of theater at Columbia University and a lecturer in playwriting at Yale University. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 2009 for her play "Ruined." "Sweat" debuted at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2015 followed by its East Coast premiere at Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage earlier this year. The play premiered Off Broadway at the Public Theater October 2016, garnering rave reviews and three extensions.
The cast of "Sweat" includes Carlo Albán, James Colby, Khris Davis, Johanna Day, John Earl Jelks, Will Pullen, Alison Wright, Lance Coadie Williams, and Michelle Wilson.
What is the Public Theater? Founded in 1954 by the legendary showman Joseph Papp, the Public Theater is one of NYC'c preeminent non-profit theaters. Dedicated to the development of new plays and musicals, the theater has spawned many Broadway shows (including "A Chorus Line" and the original Off Broadway production of "Hamilton") and has 40 Tony Awards to its credit. More here.
Bracingly topical...and features a sturdy nine-member ensemble...Though it is steeped in social combustibility, "Sweat" often feels too conscientiously assembled, a point-counterpoint presentation in which every disaffected voice is allowed its how-I-got-this-way monologue. [The play] is best at its muddiest, when love and hate, and the urges to strike out and to comfort, teeter in precipitous balance.
AM New York
Timely, empathetic and critical-minded..."Sweat" is an involving drama, calibrated to increase in intensity toward its brutal climax. Nottage explores her characters and their environment with the sensitivity of a master dramatist and the objectivity of a journalist. In terms of performances, Whoriskey's finely textured production is a triumph of ensemble acting.
Compelling...a fascinating study of class and opportunity, or lack thereof. [The play] features a truly remarkable ensemble and it's a struggle to take your eyes off any one of its layered characters. Far timelier now than when it debuted, "Sweat" offers a heartbreaking glimpse into the domino effect of what happens when life as you know it is pulled out from under you.
New York Daily News
The play grabs you with its ripped-from-the-headlines social and political resonance. It also loses its grip due to predictability and a miscalibrated staging. It is not a pretty picture. But it is as straight-up and real as it gets. Too bad performances frequently don't ring true...[the] actors don't look and sound like people talking, but performers emoting. It becomes distracting and pulls you out of the story.
New York Magazine
Gripping but disappointing...the main story, which takes up the bulk of the action, [is] all agenda, no mystery. [The] points aren't false...it's the characters who are. The political aptness of the play makes you eager to do your part to keep its dramatic engine running. But that's ultimately a kind of bad faith, and all the pep and big emoting of Whoriskey's production can't overcome it.
In a way, this feels like a throwback to Depression-era drama. The depression, however, is ours. The urgency, the deep specifics of the characters make the conventional structure an essential, almost radical part of the storytelling. The relationships are so multilayered, the economic and cruel racial realities so clear that fancier stagecraft might just get in the way.
Time Out New York
Nottage's passionate and necessary drama is a masterful depiction of the forces that divide and conquer us. Director Whoriskey's fluid and propulsive staging benefits from an excellent cast. "Sweat" communicates its points with minimal fuss and maximum grit. Along with the rage, despair and violence, there's humor and abundant humanity. The piece reads as a cautionary tale of what happens when you don't know how to resist.
Mercilessly realistic...[with] solid character work and stretches of realistic dialogue. The plot is less successful for trying to cover every conceivable labor issue, from the failure of collective bargaining and the ultimate collapse of the trade unions to the toll on company towns when the local factory, coal mine or steel mill goes under. But credit the writer for giving many forgotten Americans a voice.