The Bryan/College Station community does not have theatre critics that review our work.
In lieu of professional criticism, I have collected a sampling of feedback from patrons, donors, and playwrights I have worked with below.
From a patron:
"I have seen shows on Broadway. I have been in shows off-Broadway. I have been a patron of theatre for many years across the country and seen countless interpretations of countless shows over the years.
And yet, the one theatre that never ceases to amaze me and touch me deeply, is This Is Water. Every time I go to one of their shows, it's like rediscovering theatre all over again. Andrew is a creative genius, and his ensemble team is made up each and every one of skilled artists giving their all.
Their current show, "Of Serpents and Sea Spray," is playing two more performances this weekend and four next weekend, and I really can't recommend the show more. Under Andrew's direction, the show taps into the meaning of theatre as an art, to tell stories with one another, but more importantly to connect with other people. They take down the walls we build up and show realness, rawness.
Please, please take the time out of your week to go see one of these (or many of these) phenomenal performance(s). It will be worth your time for what is, hands down, one of the greatest theatrical experiences available in BCS." (Review of Of Serpents and Sea Spray by Rachel Bublitz)
From a donor:
"It struck me that The Flea (which has an annual operating budget of about $1.5 million) uses a company of unpaid actors who, in addition to acting, are required to put in three hours of work per week at the theater (office work, cleaning, etc.). Meanwhile in Texas, This Is Water (which I'm assuming has a slightly smaller budget) pays a stipend to the entire company. That seemed more than a little impressive, so you get my money." (Received during Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom by Jennifer Haley)
From a playwright:
"Andrew Roblyer is a safecracker. His ear is on the text, always. I so valued his unerring instincts and emotional intelligence, as well as his sheer good manners towards all parties in the rehearsal room." (Playwright Elizabeth Keel, about her play Going Dark)
From a patron:
"I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for you to go see Of Serpents and Sea Spray at This Is Water Theatre. It is a beautiful play. Actually, it's not just a play, it's an experience. It's an experience that begins before you even get inside the performance space. And the performance space feels like there are no walls, floor, or ceiling, though the room is a large black box, there don't seem to be any angles to it because it's painted with fantastical swirls that wrap around corners and set the tone before the play even starts.
The play is magical. It's about a little girl with a dark secret and an imaginary friend with whom she goes on heroic adventures, and that's all I'm going to say about that. I am not much affected by bad things, but happy things make me cry, especially when they follow bad things. This show makes me cry happy tears. If you have already seen it, you should see it again. It's even better the second time. Please support the magic that can be experienced when good theatre happens. Go see this show." (Review of Of Serpents and Sea Spray by Rachel Bublitz)
From a donor:
"Once again, the ensemble of This Is Water Theatre has pulled off a phenomenal performance of a new play about the controversial subject of where parental vs. state rights begin and end where children are concerned--with actors, puppets, and an experiential component for the audience. We went to opening night last night and I haven't stopped thinking about the play since then. Can't wait to see it again!” (Review of A Real Boy, by Stephen Kaplan)
From a patron:
"I'm going to attempt to write words about what I saw at This Is Water Theatre tonight. I can't write cerebral, philosophical words about it. At first I thought it was because I'm not smart enough to do that, but then I realized it's because it didn't hit me that way. It spoke to my emotions very much more than to my brain. It was so real and right, it was completely amazing. It didn't feel like a performance at all. I was just watching a guy doing things and talking through things and reading things and I felt all of the feelings he felt. It was funny, touching, and a little cleansing. I left the theatre with less makeup on than I went in with...Here's what you need to understand: if you don't go see this show, and you don't have a good reason to miss it, I'm afraid I'm going to have to come taunt you about what you've missed; I may even have to kick your ass. Believe me when I say that I want to do that less than you want me to. I beseech you, please go see Uncle Eb, To Begin With." (Review of Uncle Eb, to Begin With by Andrew Roblyer)
From a patron:
"Tonight I saw something truly breathtaking. Tonight I went to a local theatre called This is Water Theatre, having zero expectations of what I would see and how it would make me feel. I was treated with 'Skinny Dipping with Our Clothes On,' a slate of eight 10-minute 'mini-productions' all with the central theme of vulnerability. The last show I witnessed 'American Kids' (written by Emily Kaczmarek) was spellbinding and struck an emotional chord regarding my past.
To the cast, crew, donors, and even audience of Skinny Dipping with Our Clothes On, I thank you with all my heart for telling a story that made me realize that I'm truly not alone with my past struggles. The company's passion for theatre, truth, and life is something truly remarkable. If you love theatre and the art of telling a story with truth and dignity to those who the stories were written for then check out This Is Water Theatre." (Review of the 10-minute play festival Skinny Dipping With Our Clothes On)