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subUrbia

3.54  ·  Rating Details  ·  649 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
From playwright and bestselling author of Notes from the Underground comes a story of high school friends, lingering in Burnfield long after graduation. While some see Burnfield as the suburban ideal of quiet comfort, the suffocating safe world only feeds their frustrations, and a night of drinking and partying careens recklessly toward violence, despair and death.
Paperback, 112 pages
Published April 1st 1995 by Theatre Communications Group (first published January 1st 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 947)
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adrian anderson
Jun 13, 2014 adrian anderson rated it really liked it
When I was in the 7th grade, I went with my best friend at the time Troy to see the new Green Day musical "American Idiot". Coming out of it, I was thinking how this was our epic, grand generational statement. To be fair, I was a really big Green Day fan, and going into my teenage years, I started to feel rebellious and wanting to say something. The young adult books pushed to us always showed all these teens doing THINGS, accomplishing things. But teenage life turns out to be more hanging out a ...more
Bandit
Jan 28, 2013 Bandit rated it liked it
I saw this long time ago as a movie, was curious to check out the source material. Maybe I am too old now or just not suburban enough to relate to a bunch of kids pontificating and getting wasted (in every sense of the word) in a convinience store's parking lot, but there is a sense of hopelessness throughout that is fairly universal. The writing is good and the play itself is thought provoking and it does reaffirm my dislike for suburbia as a living environment. The expression youth is wasted o ...more
Aaron
Jun 28, 2015 Aaron rated it really liked it
Shelves: play-a-week
The play is set outside of a seven eleven on a street corner. It features lost youth of this modern age. They drink, listen to loud music, and make trouble. They have existential problems. There is rehab, there is a pop star friend, a famous friend. The relationship with fame is interesting. Most of the kids seem to regard themselves as failures. Either that or they're in denial, or they don't give a shit. The alienation which is spoken of and when spoken of seems self-indulgent and petty, grows ...more
Meg
Jul 01, 2010 Meg rated it liked it
Shelves: drama
This is a super-hard one to rate, for two and a half reasons.

1. It is one of those works that was sort of both simultaneously influential and also a summation of a lot of other types of things. Like: if you are going to pick out one mid-nineties play about Generation X, it's going to be this one, it is the one that encompasses all of the things you will be looking for, it is the Slacker of the stage, and I am not even just saying that because Richard Linklater directed the movie version. But als
...more
Stacy Fetters
Jan 10, 2015 Stacy Fetters rated it really liked it
While reading this play, a playlist was swimming around in my head. What completes this play is the music of Black Flag and Bad Brains. All about not giving a fuck while drinking. Henry Rollins and HR screaming at the top of their lungs.
It really made me relive the 90's. The way they talked, where they hung out and picturing this in my head made me see me and my friends.
If you get easily offended by drinking, cursing, bigotry and other sexual innuendos, then step back and run. Or overdose on a
...more
Sarah
Aug 18, 2010 Sarah rated it it was ok
Shelves: drama
I think I have missed my time with this play, since I only read it this year and not at the proper age to appreciate the malaise the characters are dealing with. Also, I don't live in the suburbs anymore. So my caring about the characters can't be based on a nostalgia factor, as was Bogosian's when he sat down to write this script.

The script has a pretty cut and dry story; what happens isn't necessarily surprising, but it does bring about change, which is more than I expected would happen. The B
...more
Korri
Jan 16, 2010 Korri rated it it was ok
Shelves: theatre
Drawn from his own experience growing up in suburbia Bogosian has created a play about misspent, directionless youth in the 1990s. Numbing themselves against the tedium of day to day existence with drinking and sexual fumblings outside the 7-11, the twenty-somethings express inchoate desires, angst, racism and boredom but I found it difficult to care. Perhaps the play was innovative and insightful when it was first produced but now it feels cliched and trite. None of the characters can see a fut ...more
Justin
Nov 29, 2011 Justin rated it liked it
Effectively captures the angsty early-life crisis of a group of wayward suburbanite teens hopelessly stuck in a middle-clas rut. Evokes a strong sense of the ubiquity in the narrative of American Irony--in this case, the corruption of the "infallible" suburban bubble. However, Bogosian's (clearly) autobiographical play is at once--like his comparison of "a place, yet not a place; a city, yet not a city"--vulgar, yet not vulgar; pretentious, yet not pretentious. It is this lack of focus, poise an ...more
Timothy McNeil
Mar 02, 2013 Timothy McNeil rated it it was ok
Shelves: plays
While there are snippets of clever (perhaps even insightful) monologues, Bogonsian's subUrbia fails in its grafting of late '70s (or even early '80s) post-adolescent desperation to the mid-'90s. Being both age (I turned 19 in 1994) and situationally appropriate to the characters, I found it to be a piece that was clearly mindful of an earlier era. Ultimately, I don't think the play really has much to say, but it flails around a lot and tacks on some platitudinal messages to show the the author ...more
Shaina
Apr 24, 2015 Shaina rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays
When I started off the play my first thought was "great, another angsty college aged student who says fuck every chance he can get." But by the end I was hooked. The play delves into our views of ourselves, the role of self esteem in our lives, the role of race in our lives. What happens when someone who is completely different from the cookie cutter American Dream family comes into the suburbs? And what do we really know about those outsiders? And why do so many suburban teenagers end up drinki ...more
Kassy
Feb 03, 2014 Kassy rated it really liked it
I had such a strange time reading this play. I felt anger toward the characters throughout, but still felt grief at the end.
Kevin
Dec 07, 2008 Kevin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: u-s-fiction, pre-2007
This is really one of the great plays of the last 20 years. Bogosian presents the reader with a beautifully satirical look at contemporary suburban life and the characters' struggles to find authenticity in their situations. Anyone who has grown up in suburbia in the last 20 years will recognize their own experiences in those of the main characters. Jeff, in particular, struggles to find a voice and meaning in a life that has been spent hanging out in front of convenience stores and carousing wi ...more
Phillip
Jul 28, 2011 Phillip rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: drama
Eric Bogosian is apparently a tremendously talented individual.

This play is quintessentially suburban, and there's an eerie resemblance between these characters and people I knew growing up. The play actually hits a bit too close to home for me, since I recognize an earlier version of myself in Jeff--the unhappy psuedo-intellectual, struggling with a post-punk nihilism and an anger not directed at anything in particular, combined with mood swings between apathy, intense despair, and serious conc
...more
Kenzie Boonstra
Jun 18, 2015 Kenzie Boonstra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: plays
This is why I love theatre so much. wow man, just wow.
Wess
May 30, 2009 Wess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: theater
I was assigned a monologue from this play in an elective theater class I'm about to wrap up. Suburbia was frustrating on a few different levels. It had a lot of potential that ended up being buried in awkward hip dialogue and a fantastically melodramatic plot that just didn't fit the play's somewhat introspective response to the monotony of day to day life. The majority of the pop-culture references were annoying and forced as well. To add insult to injury most of the characters were ass-holes.
Linda C
Oct 03, 2012 Linda C rated it liked it
This is a play that takes place in the parking lot beside a 7/11 store on a corner in ‘suburbia’. The characters interact over a period of 4 days. 5 of them hang out there and are around 20-21 years old, 2 run the 7/11 and 2 come to meet the 5 locals. Newsweek called it a ‘scarifying dissection of youthful disillusion that manages to be both appalling and appealing.’ I did not get the appealing part. This was simply a look at wasted youth and their effect on the people around them. Depressing.
Kirk
Dec 11, 2007 Kirk rated it it was ok
I read this for an article on Gen X fiction I did years ago. I was a fan of Bogosian's previous monologues, but I thought this one was a severe misfire. It was way too LESS THAN ZERO in its basic premise that the "youth of today" (i.e. the Cobain generation) are (were) affectless, morally inert zombies. It only goes to say that the obligatory dead girl who becomes an object of weird voyeurism was a decade into being a cliched motif by the mid-1990s (c.f. ZERO, RIVER'S EDGE, etc).
Candace
Jan 14, 2008 Candace rated it it was ok
I got this play to find a monologue for my theatre class, and ended up reading the whole thing. I thought it offered some interesting character studies but overall was a little outdated (it's pretty obviously 90's). Also, it seemed like it really wanted to get into suburbs vs. cities, but all it really did was show that the characters were mostly afraid to leave where they were; I'm pretty sure it would have been the same had they all grown up in a city.
Leo
Mar 19, 2008 Leo rated it it was ok
I feel like there's a lot of potential that was never fully explored in this play. Characters are vibrant, and the conflicts are fairly universal without being too bland that they could have had a much bigger impact. Bogosian doesn't seem to shy away from tension and release (and certainly, strong language), but they never quite hit the target; they merely feel wasted.

Overall, a very energetic piece, but seemingly without direction.
Brad Hayes
May 29, 2013 Brad Hayes rated it really liked it
Full disclosure: Eric Bogosian is an acquaintance of mine and someone whose opinions I respect. Regardless of that fact, I really liked this play. I disagree with the publisher's jacket blurb referring to Tim, Jeff, and the gang as a "lost generation," but I do think Bogosian portrays a certain slice of modern America in very realistic dimensions. There are also timeless qualities to be found in subUrbia's characters.
Jeremy
Sep 05, 2007 Jeremy rated it it was ok
Shelves: play, b-dalton
It's aged terribly, though seeing a very good live performance of it was a far more enjoyable experience than reading the play. Characters I once found funny and interesting now seem like whiny caricatures. I have fond memories of discovering Eric Bogosian's stuff in the early 90's, and in the interest of preserving those memories I don't intend to revisit any more of it.
Jillian
Jan 06, 2016 Jillian rated it really liked it
Shelves: plays-theatre
This play was an awesome commentary on teenagers growing up and living in American suburbs. Mostly a commentary on Suburbia itself. Great characters, powerful moments.
Paul
Jul 23, 2011 Paul rated it liked it
I saw this movie years ago and didn't like it. I really enjoyed Talk Radio and wanted to like this, but I not sure what I should be looking for here.
Jay Mccarthy
Jun 10, 2011 Jay Mccarthy rated it really liked it
Good look at the suburbian lifestyle of a group of slackers. Very inspiring. Makes you want to leave your life and go somewhere. Funny yet tragic. Great read.
Cliff
Jun 24, 2012 Cliff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: performance
This play was the shot in the arm for contemporary theater that The Breakfast Club was for film, with regards to its raw exploration of jaded youth culture.
Peter Cline
Dec 12, 2012 Peter Cline rated it it was ok
The characters feel rather shallow and one-dimensional, like caricatures, but there are some moments of real drama. I enjoyed the read, but wasn't riveted.
Steven Savona
Nov 20, 2012 Steven Savona rated it liked it
I saw the film adaptation before I read the play. I much prefer the film. The play raises some compelling ideas but none of it seems to go anywhere.
Brad
Jan 17, 2012 Brad rated it liked it
Shelves: theatre
The five star script to the Richard Linklater film (also written by Bogosian) is far superior. It seems to trim the fat from the original play.
Sara Bohl
This is that movie that really sucked. (same title) And this is the play...so it's a little annoying to read, but the I like the story and dialogue.
Daniel Tain
Oct 14, 2007 Daniel Tain rated it liked it
Would love to see a performance of this play. Great commentary, though not as Great as Bogosian's Mall.
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Eric Bogosian (born April 24, 1953) is an American actor, playwright, monologist, and novelist.

-Wikipedia
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“It's my duty as a human being to be pissed off” 105 likes
“Jeff: I'm saying I don't need a limousine to know who I am, alright?

Tim: Right on. You know what? He doesn't need to limo, man.

Jeff: I mean, you know, at least I admit I don't know. I know that things are fucked up beyond belief and I know that I have nothing original to say about any of it, alright? I don't have an answer. I don't have a fucking message.

Tim: Okay, great. Well, now he's crying. Are you guys happy?”
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