The Humans

The Humans Breaking with tradition Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter s apartment in lower Manhattan Unfolding over a single scene this delirious tragicome

  • Title: The Humans
  • Author: Stephen Karam
  • ISBN: 9781559365420
  • Page: 131
  • Format: Paperback
  • Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter s apartment in lower Manhattan Unfolding over a single scene, this delirious tragicomedy Chicago Sun Times by acclaimed young playwright Stephen Karam infuses the traditional kitchen sink family drama with qualities of horror in his portentous and penetraBreaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate Thanksgiving at his daughter s apartment in lower Manhattan Unfolding over a single scene, this delirious tragicomedy Chicago Sun Times by acclaimed young playwright Stephen Karam infuses the traditional kitchen sink family drama with qualities of horror in his portentous and penetrating work of psychological unease Variety , creating an indelible family portrait.

    One thought on “The Humans”

    1. I read Stephen Karam's brilliant "The Humans" in one sitting. It's a play which was commissioned by the Roundabout Theatre Company in New York, was a finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Play (I watched some fragments of the play on youtube and thought acting was actually pretty awful so maybe the competition wasn't so fierce). It's a chamber American family drama taking place on a Thanksgiving evening. And it is American to the core. The way family [...]

    2. I love reading plays, perhaps as much as seeing them, even though they are meant, above all else, to be seen. Reading a great one is like reading a great long story or short novel; you can do so in one or two sittings. And the prose in some plays, like STREETCAR and GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, is as dazzling as the best prose you'll read in stories and novels. All of this is prelude to my saying that I'm almost certain that I would enjoy seeing THE HUMANS more than I enjoyed reading it. This has less t [...]

    3. Absolutely a phenomenal play--one of the best I have read in quite some time. Karam has an almost preternatural ability to capture the real rhythms of family dynamics and family conflicts without making it too theatrical-and then drops an immensely theatrical and deeply haunting ending. This opens on Broadway soon and would be worth checking out.

    4. The Humans takes place in real time and is meant to be performed with no breaks in one act. A family gathers together for Thanksgiving and we get to witness their familial affections, offenses, and revelations unfold over the course of one evening. It is funny and searing and real. Excellent play.

    5. A well written tale of nothing I couldn't experience from actually having conversations with my friends and family.

    6. This is the kind of theater piece that deserves a discussion after seeing. I did not understand the ending and perhaps needed to witness the theatrics, as plays are meant to be seen more than read.

    7. “Don’tcha think it should cost less to be alive?” That line, which concludes the father's speech to his daughter's new live-in boyfriend, captures much of what this play is about. Karam gets at the financial stress that burdens the middle-class in this period of stagnation. Jobs and pensions lost, dead-end jobs stoically endured for decades, caring for an aging parent while still holding down full-time jobs, etc. Karam shows the interconnections between these economic woes and the social a [...]

    8. In the essays attached to the TCG edition of The America Play, Suzan-Lori Parks writes that, if you write a play, you should know the reason /why/ you're writing a play. In Stephen Karam's play The Humans, that's a question that's never addressed. I suspect Karam wants this to be a film, and that the entire theatrical existence of The Humans is nothing more than a dry-run for a cinema version. The whole experience of reading the play was tiring. The characters come across as thinly-developed and [...]

    9. Maybe my expectations were too high, since it won the Tony, but I didn't find it that original. Or maybe it comes off much better when performed as opposed to read. The story is about 3 generations going through financial, work, and health difficulties. It didn't seem that different from something you might see on TV. Maybe I've been spoiled by recently reading Tennessee Williams one-acts. Those were gems--depth of character conveyed in so little space. The Humans seemed somewhat superficial in [...]

    10. All those dreading Thanksgiving dinner with relatives should be thankful they’re not spending it with the Blake family. Stephen Karam presented readers the opportunity to sit in on this dysfunctional household’s holiday celebration in this 2016 Tony Award winner for best play: The Humans. Due to the way this family presented themselves, several times I had to refer back to the title to clarify that I was reading about people. The Humans originated from Richard’s recollection of a sci-fi co [...]

    11. The writing is outstanding Stephen Karam's gifts are obvious but with all the overlapping dialogue it becomes abundantly clear that this thing is built for the stage. I mean, what play isn't? But still, some read a little better than others. Even a quality audio recording of a staged reading would do. Anything to bring Karam's brilliant, almost hyper-realistic, living and breathing dialogue to life. Fortunately, the richness of the characters comes through, as does the humor.

    12. Stephen Karam thankful does not write "dialogue;" all of the text is natural conversation that says so much. The slice of life is as humorous as it is tragic; real as it is surreal.

    13. An uncomfortable, touching, funny and deeply moving Thanksgiving dinner. The Humans is so much more than a typical family dinner drama-quite an extraordinary look at us!

    14. Very moving and unsettling. I'd love to see this play performed sometime. I saw the playwright and actors on Charlie Rose a few months ago. The characters are Irish Americans from Scranton, Pennsylvania (near where I'm from and where my mother was born) so I was drawn to entering the story of a familiar tribe. I loved hearing my mother's phrases and seeing a family, so like my own, where a more traditional generation balances love, worry, and learning not to judge. It's a play about a family at [...]

    15. This was something that I didn’t intend to read in one sitting, but became instantly absorbed into. Honestly, The Humans is one of the most relatable plays I’ve ever read. The characters could be from any average family, something that makes you feel their struggles and makes their development punch you in the stomach. The Blakes could easily be my family- loud, fast-paced, talking over one another, and arguing, but all of a painful kind of love that comes from changing family dynamics. It [...]

    16. I saw the Roundabout production of "The Humans" a few years ago, and it totally blew me away. It's so cool to read it to see how Karam wrote a story that often simultaneously plays out on two different floors of an apartment at the same time. Also, the naturalism of his dialogue is just incredible. I already loved the hell out of this play, but reading it gave me an even greater depth of appreciation.

    17. 4.5 stars.I'll be honest: I didn't want to read this. My book club (which is meant to focus on short stories) selected a play for this month, & I was bummin' hard. But I ended up loving it! It's a realistic/humorous/sad story about an Irish Catholic family "celebrating" Thanksgiving. The message is that mundane betrayal (along with the failure to connect & communicate) is more horrific than any fanciful horror story or bizarre nightmare.

    18. Plays are meant to be seen, not read, which is why this much celebrated play only gets three stars. It touches on a number of things that great plays are made of - family tensions, and economic tensions. The added bonus is the hint of the supernatural. All in all, a well constructed play that I wish I'd gotten to see performed. Maybe one day

    19. Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night is a play pregnant with the potential for peace and reconciliation. Of course, this never happens because O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night is chaotic and traumatic as are his characters; moments of peace and reconciliation are fleeting and impossible to sustain in any meaningful way. To some degree, Stephen Karam's The Humans is the binary opposite. The Humans is a play pregnant with the potential for chaos and trauma, but unlike O'Neill, Kar [...]

    20. While I loved the naturalism of the dialogue, it's going to be the haunting descriptions of the father character "Erik" that will stay with me. I don't know if I could ever direct this, but I'd love to try and play that character.

    21. A brilliant family portrait; effortless, naturalistic dialogue and interesting characters. Would be really fun to stage.

    22. Read the correct The Humans this time :) Plays aren’t my favorite to read but enjoyed this funny but also sad peek into a family Thanksgiving.

    23. Saw this Tony award winning show on Broadway with original Tony winning leads (Reed Birney & Jayne Houdyshell) who were superb as well as the remainder of original cast, also excellent. My seat was not great so I missed some of the dialogue because some of action takes place at same time in different parts of the amazing set. Hence, why I am reading it now to see what I missed. The ending was lost on me as well also due to the location of my seat. I was lucky to see Mr. Birney outside the st [...]

    24. The playwright has a gift for capturing family dynamics of today's age, as well as the travails that plague ordinary middle class suburban Americans and young millennials. Thus most audience might find some familiar echoes to their own experiences. However effective of a snapshot it presents of our times (and some readers might find those elements stirring on their own), does the play inspire some deeper emotions, or elicit some hidden longing from within our souls? I didn't think so, which in m [...]

    25. (view spoiler)[Four stars'll do for now, but I should come back to review my thoughts on it. (hide spoiler)]

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