By Andrew Andrews
- Cast: for both plays, the actors are well-cast and perform their roles flawlessly.
- Scene: the set of each play is sparse but attractive, with lighting and sound design that quietly but effectively support the performance.
- Conflict: While Faculty Portrait has its
moments—especially the argument that escalates between Helen and Kyle—the tension in 17 Minutes started stronger and built more steadily, resulting in a plot that was somewhat more engaging.
- Bond: There was a strong, clear relationship between the characters in 17 Minutes. In Faculty Portrait, it feels a bit like Kyle and Helen were added to beef up the tension without direct-enough ties to the shooting.
- Focus: A lot of philosophical discussion takes place in Faculty Portrait that felt forced and rushed without contributing to the story. I would have rather that time been invested in Kyle’s media exposure, which was attacked by Helen but insufficiently explored.
- Closure: Whereas 17 Minutes left me feeling that the plot wasn’t fully resolved, Faculty Portrait wraps-up very
cleanly—though there’s something to say for a story that leaves you wanting more.
Although the production value of 17 Minutes was a little higher than Faculty Portrait, the cost of admission was double. The second show might not be as perfect as the first, but it’s nonetheless a wonderful production, and my partner feels it deserves one more star than I do.
Andrew Andrews attended Faculty Portrait at IRT Theater in New York on Sunday, March 8, 2020 @ 3:00pm to write this review.