SOVEREIGN

 ”As in ‘Blast Radius,’ Mr. Rogers displays an impressive control over his sprawling material, creating a convincing postapocalyptic world inside a sturdy theatrical structure. He is assisted again by the director Jordana Williams, whose emphasis on clarity is exactly what this plot-driven epic demands.” The New York Times – Critics’ Pick  (full review)

 ”…a play every bit as rich and daring as the previous two… ably completing the long and stirring transmutation through which Rogers has taken these characters-from small domestic anxieties to far-reaching debates about mankind’s survival in the face of oppression and moral decay.”
Backstage - Critic’s Pick (full review)

“Rogers skillfully builds a two-act real-time drama with surprise and shock galore. I won’t say anymore about the plot, but I was on the edge of my seat with occasional tears stinging my eyelids… Though it helps to have seen the trilogy in its entirety to get the full effect, this piece stands on its own. This is science fiction, but first and foremost, it’s effective drama… I feel honored to have borne witness to this magnificent series in its entirety. Go.” Broadwayworld.com (full review)

“The crackling alien-takeover drama can operate independently of its former installments. In fact, winding blind through the narrative maze… creates the sensation of gradually unfolding truth, of hearing a story at the edge of great complexity. As for those who saw sections one and two, I’m assuming you were there at the Secret Theatre ahead of me. Who could stay away? …In Cheek’s long series of downtown triumphs… I can not remember ever seeing her in such full, exultant stride.”  Time Out NY (Critic’s Pick) (full review)

“…The Honeycomb Trilogy is a welcome experiment. Here’s to a playwright who’s interested in very big moral issues, and whose take on the family drama — those siblings are positively Greek — at least doesn’t unfurl on one of the Design Within Reach interiors so common on our stages.” New York Post (full review)

“..an intimate, emotional work, bridging the head and the heart without ever resorting to pathos or unearned sentiment… The emotional material here is so deft that it pushes for real estate on a par with Shakespeare, Ibsen and O’Neill… So make the time to catch this show – you’ll regret it if you don’t.” New York Press (full review)

“Mac Rogers’ Sovereign is a gripping and satisfying ending to his epic alien invasion tale, The Honeycomb Trilogy, proving that the work as a whole is one of the most intelligent and complex theatrical events of the year.” Flavorpill, Editor Pick (full review)

“…these three plays have presented a radically transformed Earth without ever resorting to cheesy or fake storytelling, and have made us care for every flawed, flesh-and-blood citizen that’s crossed that stage…Don’t miss Sovereign. More than a love of sci-fi, more than faithful adherence to the last five hours of this trilogy, what you need most is an open mind and your own vivid childhood memories of the scary and alien. Armed with that, you’ll fall for Rogers’ Honeycomb Trilogy the way so many others have.”  Tor.com (full review)
“The story twists and turns, and even the action happening off-stage will have you tilting forward in your chair, anxious to see what happens next. By the end I had my heart in my throat, and it is testament to exquisite pacing and plotting (especially in the second act) that the conclusion is entirely obscured, anyone’s guess until it happens, and is a catharsis of awesome…”Sovereign” is better entertainment than the fictions, genre or no, that are currently on stage and screen. At its best, it is breathtaking. Go now, before all hope is lost.” io9 (full review)

“This is definitely the theater of Big Ideas. The only place one can find a similar level of innovation and profundity these days is on cable dramas like The Wire or The Sopranos. Sci-fi in Mr. Rogers’s hands invigorates the stage and elevates it to where it used to be: the place where we go to learn about ourselves and experience catharsis in the company of others.” Culture Capitol (full review)

Sovereign is a mixture of Greek tragedy, courtroom drama, and epic science fiction adventure…Mac Rogers does justice to both the art of science fiction, and the medium of theater throughout the series. His writing is ambitious and surprising…Gideon Productions has certainly set high stakes for serialized theater with these three shows, and is definitely a group to keep on your radar.” Show Business Weekly (full review)

“Rogers succeeds in his goal: a low-tech science fiction epic—a family drama all on one set—and he has delivered admirably throughout. The endgame for Ronnie and Abbie, the tragic characters of the saga, is heart-wrenchingly sad, touching, and bittersweet… The accomplishment of the world Rogers and Gideon have built is the entirety of the world and the characters they created throughout the three plays: all of the nuance, all of the humanity.” NYTheatre.com (full review)

“This play is highly engaging, with a new cast of powerful actors and the same writing and directing that have made the past installments so successful. Even if you didn’t catch the first two plays, this one functions well a stand-alone.  The humor, emotional resonance, and the entire production’s remarkable ability to create a compelling sci-fi piece on a small set make Sovereign well worth checking out.” Boromag (full review)

“The strength of Sovereign‘s cast, the dedication of the crew, and proven talent of the playwright, are each reasons enough for me to highly recommend this show, even to newcomers. Throw in the fact that, buried within that harshness, there is still a great deal of genuine humor and hope, and I really must insist that you check out this production. Set phasers to stunning, and get your ticket today.” That Sounds Cool (full review)

“With Sovereign, playwright Mac Rogers and director Jordana Williams bring home the wonderful Honeycomb Trilogy with verve, humor, and a bit of campiness… For years, critics have debated about whether science fiction can be literature. There is among many a conviction that once you add alien invaders, human subtleties go out the window. Once again, Mac Rogers has proved them wrong.”  Show Showdown (full review)

BLAST RADIUS

 

New York Magazine Approval Matrix

“Crackling exchanges are at the core of “Blast Radius,” the suspenseful second part of an alien invasion trilogy by Mac Rogers (“Advance Man” was first), whose confident writing displays deep affection for the genre… The director, Jordana Williams, keeps her cast hewing to the realism of this fantastical material… two hours zip by. It’s a credit to the propulsive plotting that amid debates about dissent, love and honesty, the question “Blast Radius” most frequently prompts is simply: What happens next?” The New York Times (Critics’ Pick)  (full review)

“Blast Radius is a moving piece of theatre that pays a deep respect to its genre, but ultimately transcends it. Jordana Williams’ tight pacing and beautiful direction squeezes out every ounce of hurt, love, and emotion that Rogers’ script has afforded them. This triumphant production shows that, while we’re dealing with complex things that are out of this world, the heart of any great sci-fi piece, or for that matter any great drama, is its simple humanity.” NYtheatre.com  (full review)

“Space philosophy comes closest to describing this entertaining work from the indie theatre group Gideon Productions at Long Island City’s Secret Theatre. And yet there’s no point trying to box in a work that comes from an author so clearly thinking outside of the box… Director Jordana Williams focuses on the show’s emotional core in order to keep the audience engaged. Fraying connections to one another and personal stakes provide the heart of this work, not extra-terrestrial attacks.” New York Press  (full review)

Blast Radius is a much-needed mirror on our own world, built on an alien honeycomb. By the end a good deal of the audience alternates between gasping and crying…(the play) demonstrates that the stage is also a perfect medium on which to tell our old/new stories of oppression, destruction, and defiant resilience, and could teach Hollywood a thing or two about how to do it right.” io9  (full review)

“Not a scene feels superfluous or out of place, and the action skips along, keeping the audience on the edge of its seat for over two hours… It’s a more intense, satisfying experience than you can get on your couch or in a movie theater.” Culture Capitol  (full review)

“This play is not only for those who would consider themselves science fiction fans. The rich dialogue, complexity, and character-driven plot make for an intensely engaging and emotional theatrical experience. There are plenty of laughs, gasps, and moments where you would be hard-pressed to find a single dry eye in the house.” Boromag  (full review)

“Like all good science fiction it’s a metaphor for the conflicts that Humanity faces on our own… Blast Radius drew sobs from the crowd around me at this performance as well, and that’s an impressive feat of drama for a story about space m…onsters. Anyone who enjoyed Advance Man should definitely continue on with the series… Sci-fi fans who are unlucky enough to have missed the previous show will find that they can easily catch up on the story-so-far…” Player Affinity  (full review)

“Mac Rogers’ sci-fi epic Honeycomb Trilogy is shaping up to be one of the most original, complex, and compelling theatrical works of the year.” Flavorpill (Editor Pick)  (full review)

“Blast Radius is a complex and engrossing show… The audience will find itself scrambling to stay one step ahead of the action. All that is ugly, desperate, hopeful, and fiercely loving in humanity is on display. Writer Mac Rogers brings us a surprising yet logical progression from the first installment, while also achieving a fully satisfying story if the audience didn’t have the opportunity to catch the first play.” Show Business Weekly  (full review)

“This engaging work from Gideon Productions taps into the themes of humanity that made [Rogers'] Universal Robots so compelling… Rogers is skilled at tugging your heartstrings via vibrations in your funny bone… Rogers’s strengths lie in making the familiar foreign and then cleverly showing us, once more, what we’d forgotten. The fractures between Abbie and Ronnie as well as the new connections between Abbie and Conor help to question the nature of love, humanity, and identity — all while still providing a healthy dose of action…” That Sounds Cool  (full review)

“If you like theatre, and especially if you like science fiction, and especially if you like both, GO GO GO… Director Jordana Williams does incredible work with this great cast, keeping the life-and-death nature of the piece believable and at the forefront. The entire cast is pretty much flawless, but special credit goes to Byers, Howard, Rosenblatt, and Vaughan for continuing their character development from the previous play…  Rogers’ script made me laugh and cry… it seems as though not a line is wasted- even minor details tie into the main themes of the play, those of communication, communion, and cooperation. Even though it’s about aliens, it’s an enormously human play.” Broadayworld.com  (full review)

“Of course, audiences looking for conventional domestic dramas and generic white-yuppie comedies will recoil from this show’s imaginative genre elements. But because Blast Radius is good sci-fi, it’s good theater. Rogers and company have hit upon a way of making the usually spectacle-driven genre work excellently onstage.” New York Theatre Review  (full review)

“The plot of Blast Radius is compelling and absorbing…Suffice to say that Rogers manages to tell a fascinating story; introduce a range of vividly etched characters; provoke thoughts about humanity, bravery, identity, values, relationships, and procreation; elicit some tears; and be quite funny. It’s an impressive feat.” Show Showdown  (full review)

“Rogers, Williams, and their superb ensemble thrive in what is essentially a wartime love story in which lethal circumstances yield earnest emotions and heartbreaking betrayals. Byers in particular excels in this fraught territory, and Ronnie’s strained connections with Conor and Abbie, as well as her desperate romance with another revolutionary named Peck, played by a steely Adam Swiderski, provide a compelling emotional core for the otherworldly conflict offstage.” Backstage  (full review)

“Mac Rogers’ new play Blast Radius — the second installment in his sci-fi series The Honeycomb Trilogy — had me on the edge of my seat…the undeniably human conflicts at the center of the play provide an incredible catharsis that had most of the audience unabashedly crying…This catharsis shouldn’t be missed. I honestly don’t know how Rogers will top this, but I’m chomping at the bit for Sovereign, the trilogy’s conclusion, in June.” Tor.com  (full review)

 

ADVANCE MAN

“The highly promising start to a sci-fi trilogy… the funny, compelling script and the full commitment of the cast leave the audience wanting to learn how this saga plays out.” Flavorpill

“It’s always nice to see sci-fi wrested from movies and TV and brought back to the stage. This is especially true when it is in the hands of talented artists like Mac Rogers and director Jordana Williams… If the first play in the series, Advance Man, is any indication, Rogers has written another sci-fi hit.” StageBuzz

“If you want to make an argument for bringing science fiction to live theater, look no further than Mac Rogers’ Advance Man.” Tor.com

“This effectual first part thrives in its persuasive entangling of science fiction with straightforward domestic drama.” Backstage, Critics Pick

“Fascinating, suspenseful, and gripping… Mac Rogers is one of the most intriguing playwrights working today.” Broadway World

“Rogers’ writing is daring… Jordana Williams’ direction is nothing short of fantastic. I was with this play every moment. And I eagerly wait what happens next in part two.” NYTheatre.com

 Read reviews of Past Productions here