'Exit Strategy': The Final Days of a Failing School

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Ryan Spahn and Christina Nieves perform in 'Exit Strategy' at Primary Stages at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Ryan Spahn and Christina Nieves perform in 'Exit Strategy' at Primary Stages at the Cherry Lane Theatre. (James Leynse)

Set at an urban public school on the brink of closure for the usual reasons — poor test scores and low graduation rates — playwright Ike Holter's Exit Strategy is an indictment of the state of public education but not a polemic. Much of the play takes place in a teacher's lounge, where faculty discuss their previous stints failing schools.

When one enterprising student hacks into school's website, creating a Kickstarter campaign for last-ditch fund-raising, several teachers are inspired to act.

Despite the serious subject matter, "the play is quite funny," says New York Times theater critic, Charles Isherwood. "The characters are wisecracking their way through this crisis in their careers."

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