The American Pilot

  • What the critics had to say.....

    CHARLES ISHERWOOD of the NEW YORK TIMES: �Mr. Greig intends to reveal the dehumanizing influence of civil and global strife on all the little people caught up in it. But at just 90 minutes (there is also an intermission), the play is too schematic to do justice to the rangy moral territory it purports to explore."

    FRANK SCHECK of THE NEW YORK POST: "THE Manhattan Theatre Club has delivered more than its share of misfires recently, but it makes a fine return to form with 'The American Pilot. Smart, provocative and excellently staged, this British play deals with large political themes without bludgeoning you to death with a message." & "Director Lynne Meadow draws vivid performances from the talented ensemble, and stages the shocking final moments with enough force to make one wish the work had received a larger-scale production"

    MICHAEL SOMMERS of STAR-LEDGER: "The drama happens in extremely close circumstances with spectators. Such proximity increases the steadily growing tension in director Lynne Meadow's taut, very well-acted production." & "The assorted insights offered by playwright David Greig's characters regarding unwelcome American presence abroad -- although thoughtful enough -- are scarcely novel. But he integrates these troubling observations smoothly into his well-told story, which rarely releases viewers from its grip. Cannily staged by Meadow -- who usually directs lighter fare -- "The American Pilot" considers how the United States is judged by people in far less fortunate places. The love-hate viewpoint articulated here is sadly convincing."

    LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY: "One of the smartest new plays of the season crept in under the radar this week, when "The American Pilot" opened Tuesday without fanfare at Manhattan Theatre Club's tiny second stage. Big-picture political yet intimate and humane, David Greig's timely 90-minute allegory was acclaimed at the Royal Shakespeare Company and the West End last year. We can see why. The prolific Scottish playwright is hardly known in this country. We can't see what took so long." & "Lynne Meadow's production is allowed to lose steam during an unnecessary intermission, and the climax happens so abruptly that its impact in the small playhouse feels less devastating than it should. But her cast brings an enchanting, horrifying individuality to the characters, all nice people whose quirks and heartaches are surprisingly nuanced in such a brief work."

    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of ASSOCIATED PRESS: "There is an innate theatricality to the piece. It produces an almost unbearable tension as these villagers try to decide the American's fate. Greig, who knows how to write a confrontation, and director Lynne Meadow play off that tension effectively. So does the cast"

    MARILYN STASIO of VARIETY: "Greig sets his riveting drama in a nameless country "mired in civil war and conflict for many years," imagining the impact on inhabitants of a rural village when an American pilot crash-lands in their remote mountain valley. Unable to communicate with their prisoner, the villagers project all their fears and fantasies about America onto the soldier, whose state of oblivion about the people whose land he has invaded proves as tragic as his own government's willful ignorance." & "...delivers an intelligent and moving argument about the disastrous results when nations large and small look upon one another in such utter ignorance that they fail to see their common humanity."

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Post
    Associated Press