The London Times

DERBY DAY

“With the overabundance of dramatic monologues at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, it is ironic that this old-fashioned well-crafted play, in which the tension gets ratcheted up to a snapping point, should come as a breath of fresh air. The skilled cast makes light work of Williams’ lively dialogue, with all four betraying the emotional cost suffered by their characters in trying to defy or outrun their past. Samuel Brett Williams has a bright future ahead of him!”

Allen Radcliffe

THE WOODPECKER

“Think The Subject Was Roses meets The Deer Hunter!”

“Themes of family dysfunction, emotional and physical violence, and spiritual survival make for a complex yet lucidly dramatized mixture, enhanced with soaring lyricism and dark humor.”

“The Woodpecker is a disturbing yet thought-provoking work.”

Les Spindle

DERBY DAY REVIEW

“Featuring some of New York’s finest cutting-edge talent, DERBY DAY gives us a fresh and roaring take on what we often want most from theater: a vision of humanity’s smooth outer surface falling away, and the collapse, right before our eyes, of what has passed for civilization.”

Jon Sobel

THE REVIVAL

“Samuel Brett Williams’s provocative script is written with humor and a remarkable sensitivity to the characters and setting.”

“The play is dark, witty and absorbing.”

Andrea M. Meek

THE REVIVAL

“Williams writing is economical. The stories here are told with the briefest of brushstrokes because the characters are clear as crystal. Nothing is “explained” that doesn’t need explaining. Surprises are steady in their appearance and almost never foreshadowed.”

“What a perfect play for these times. Samuel Brett Williams has filled the tiny stage of the Lion Theatre with an enormous tale and is fortunate to have a cracker jack cast that is ready, willing and more than able.”

Tulis McCall

THE TRASH BAY TOURIST

“One is “Bobby Hebert,” a short, tragi-comic curtain-raiser, and the other a longer one-act, “The Trash Bag Tourist.” Both are quirky, funny, yet serious pieces written by Samuel Brett Williams, an Arkansas playwright who studies and teaches at Rutgers University.”

“A screwball comedy that surprises with the depth of feeling beneath the humor.”

David Cuthbert

REVELATION REVIEW

“Williams’ episodic play is consistently amusing, and the religious issues it raises are compelling. Finally, though, it’s the relationship between Brandon and Rebecca that makes Revelation more than just a collection of funny scenes, the observation that how we treat each other in the here and now is just as important as any faith in an afterlife.”

Terry Morgan

REVELATION

“Williams’ play is sharply off-kilter, absolutely chock-full of glorious chances for outrageous hilarity in its rapid barrage of wonderfully wrong circumstances.”

Travis Michael Holder

DERBY DAY REVIEW

“Directing his own work, Williams does a good job of choreographing the action. As a playwright, he delivers flesh-and-blood characters we can all relate to—even if we don’t necessarily want to know them.”

Kurt Gardner

DEMOLITION DERBY

“Place your bets and be prepared for 80 minutes of non-stop bleakness and despair. In this Derby, the only winner is the audience.”

Tom Chaits

DERBY DAY

“Williams’ dialogue is sharp and witty.”

“Samuel Brett Williams is making quite a name for himself in the theatre world. Derby Day is a deep, traumatizing, and often funny, case study of a troubled family with too many vices to count.”

Brett Edwards

REVELATION

“If you like contemporary comedy with lots of pop culture references and provocative religious humor then Samuel Brett Williams’ Revelation is for you!”

Kirk Sheppard

DERBY DAY

“This play is a Trifecta in disaster. You will leave stunned.”

Tracey Paleo

REVELATION

“Samuel Brett Williams’ Revelation is personable, impish, and ready to engage in fiery spiritual debate”

Cincinnati Enquirer

The Sentinel-Record

DERBY DAY

“DERBY DAY by Hot Springs native and award-winning playwright Samuel Brett Williams, feels so real and natural that it seems like you’re eavesdropping on someone’s private drama. Williams has created something so startlingly genuine that I felt like I should quietly excuse myself at times.

DERBY DAY fluctuates constantly from laugh-out-loud hilarious to poignantly heartbreaking, with side-trips into some pretty dark places along the way. It’s labeled a black comedy for a reason and delivers the goods as one unsavory secret after another gets exposed as the horses run and the alcohol flows — and flows. Fists and curses fly, things get broken and the fragile love — or at least shared history — that bonds the three brothers gets pushed and pulled to the limit.”

Steven Mross

Edinburgh Evening News

DERBY DAY

“The script is fast, punchy and hits squarely in the chest with each revelation. The humor is nicely placed, allowing you to breathe between fights. This is a physical piece of theatre with no piece of furniture left untouched. The hard-working cast faultlessly embody their characters with ease, and with over 3000 shows at this year’s Fringe to choose from, this is a safe bet for your money.”

5 Stars!

Lorna Diamond

CAN I GET AN AMEN?

“Samuel Brett Williams’ The Revival, the rare play to take a clear-eyed look at Christianity without resorting to satire, manages to balance clarity of vision with crackling good theater.”

Mark Peikert

BROTHERLY SHOVE

“Samuel Brett Williams’ DERBY DAY makes for a winning day at the races!”

Doug Strassler

REVIEW: DERBY DAY

“Then, at the end, a brief, unexpectedly heartbreaking moment makes it clear that, although he may be dead and buried, the abusive Big Bastard lives on in every ruinous step his sons take, in their every stunted attempt at generosity, in their mutual resentments and in their doomed bond. This revelation, which deftly reframes the coarse comedy as a tragedy, would not work as well if the characters were more sympathetic earlier. Williams, who also directs, engineers the transformation brilliantly.”

Margaret Gray

DERBY DAY

“DERBY DAY doesn’t just push the envelope, it rips the envelope in half, lights it on fire, and has sex with it.”

“Samuel Brett Williams’ new play is an amazing piece of theatre.”

Julie A. Feltman

REVIEWS OFF BROADWAY

“The Revival, premiering at The Lion @  Theater Row, is a raw tragedy, littered with repressed desires, unexpected temptation and bad choices.  Set deep in the Baptist Belt and written by Samuel Brett Williams, a native of Arkansas, The Revival has an honest feel about it, albeit while telling a desperate tale.”

“Five Stars!”

“The Revival plays out as a tragedy.  It is a short play (about 80 minutes) and moves with a graceful slowness that builds in speed and intensity.”

THE REVIVAL

“Williams has a real knack for natural realistic dialogue infused with humor, which helps us care about these characters.”

Judith Jarosz

REVELATION

“Samuel Brett Williams’ Revelation is a humorous, 70-minute one-act that explores love in the time of the Rapture. Director Kevin Crowley introduced the playwright before the performance, caught between the heartbreak of just losing his father and good fortune as a writer of plays, TV and film. I suspect Williams’ best play is yet to come, and I predict it will be very good.”

Stacy Sims

THE REVIVAL

“Samuel Brett Williams’ “The Revival” is a highly charged insider’s look at one theatrical preacher’s life on the mega church track. And it’s a Holy Hell of a show down there in righteously dramatic Hot Springs, Arkansas.”

“Ms Sullivan’s growing presence in this drama is a powerful tribute to playwright Samuel Brett Williams skills at creating well rounded and vital female characters.”

Larry Litt

REVELATION ADDRESSES THE STRUGGLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL

“A fearless, physically harrowing play!”

Shari Barrett

Theatre Reviews Limited

DERBY DAY

“DERBY DAY contains a pulse that leaves the audience shaking with every fight, curse, and shocking truth.

This dance between dangerous and hilarious is all thanks to Williams’ deeply personal script. His pacing is so in tune to the actors, that it almost seems too real as the day uncovers the secrets of the brothers, creating perfect moments of high tension.

DERBY DAY is essentially a mix of assholes and alcohol. As dark comedy’s come, It’s a jam packed evening of amazing performances that allow the audience to be up close and personal with the actor. It is extremely intimate, but still has big moments of high action and contains twists that will leave your stomach in knots as you exit the theatre. The play closes in New York soon, but it will move to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this August, and if you find yourself there, DERBY DAY should be on your ‘must see’ list.”

Brooke Clariday

 

Arts Award Voice Magazine

DERBY DAY

“DERBY DAY is funny, there’s no doubt about that, but it’s also gritty and real, discussing subjects that many plays wouldn’t dare touch.

This show allows the audience to see men be vulnerable, allowing the actors to show a full range of emotions, from fear to anger to despair, and this is quite refreshing to see. The stories, tensions, and relationships between the brothers (and their waitress – Becky) make this show outstanding, and in the last 15 minutes I was openly weeping, simply out of compassion for these characters.

5 Stars!”

Joshua  Gould, Arts Award Voice Magazine

REVELATION HAS A FIELD DAY

“Armageddon arrives amid unrepentant lunacy in Revelation. Samuel Brett Williams’ pitch-black apocalyptic comedy is a breakneck, often uproarious trek through hell on Earth.”

David C. Nichols

DERBY DAY

Derby Day named “Top Ten Shows Off Broadway of 2011.”

Tom Murrin

THE REVIVAL

“Call Samuel Brett Williams a playwright on the verge.”

“Williams could develop into a playwright to watch.”

David A Rosenberg

SEAT-FILLERS OF 2010

“A tense staggering drama!”

“The world premiere of The Revival closed September 25 at the Lion Theatre, but if there is a God, it will be made into a movie soon!”

Number Two on their Top Ten Plays of the Year.

Brandon Voss

DERBY DAY

“Williams writes pungent dialogue. His characters are drawn with wit and sure strokes. How you respond to this play probably depends on your ability to tolerate/enjoy drunkenness and hideously bad behavior. But however you feel about it, it makes for a lively evening.”

Neal Weaver

THEATER REVIEW: THE REVIVAL

“Trevor’s observation is a sad but true fact of modern oration, especially in politics, but that’s what makes Samuel Brett Williams’s The Revival such a miracle. The dialogue, actions, and characters of his play are not only filled with passion, but they are convincing enough to keep the audience listening, and more than that—it is filled with things worth hearing and seeing.”

“The intensity ratchets upward throughout The Revival—particularly in a set of concurrent scenes that juxtapose violence with a genealogical prayer, and the writing continues to outdo itself, shifting from irrational explanations of rational actions to rational explanations of irrational actions. The plot surprises, excites, and ultimately delights; it’s more than just a series of passions. In fact, Williams has provided so much history for these characters that his actors are able to show multiple things at once.”

“The Revival does enough to make you want to spring to your feet—and at the same time, floors you.”

Aaron Riccio

THEATER REVIEW: REVELATION, A PARALLELOGRAM

“Williams is clearly a skilled writer.”

Christopher Cappiello

DERBY DAY RACES TOWARDS DISASTER

“Unflinching in its bleak portrayal of human depravity, Samuel Brett Williams’ Derby Day features gut-wrenching prose, black comedy, and animalistic acting as it examines the destructiveness of one family.”

Mary Mallory