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“Electric Theatre! You will find yourself more stimulated by this play of ideas than by any drama in recent memory.”

- TheaterScene

“The script is close to FLAWLESS!”

-Theatre Pizazz

“A hard-hitting, conspicuously intelligent play about the role of art in politics, theology and polarization.”

-Anita Gates, Press Nights 


“Emotional Charge, a Phenomenal Cast and a Rare Message of Kindness.”

-Woman Around Town

What rings most true in Education is the helpless confusion that youth and adult alike face when dealing with the world today. Education reveals the desperate need to combat something, protest something, do something, while being told you are not protesting right. There is a real sense of spinning your wheels in all of the characters, drowning in so much to fight that one just chooses anything to try to make a dent. The youthful need to fight, sometimes just for the sake of fighting, and the parental and societal concerns, realism, and stupidity that can either fight with them or against them. The ultimate conceit of Education lies in the question: what is art’s role in this fight for truth? What makes a true artist and what happens when compromise becomes appeasement and resignation?”

-Plays To See

“Dykstra has a talent for invective that can make his fellow playwright Bruce Norris seem like the shy, retiring type. Education is the work of a playwright who is willing to take on all sides of an argument, sending it spinning in all directions and the hell with the consequences. And his strong, unfettered words can seem like a revivifying blast of fresh air. This is my first experience with his work, and I am eager to see more.”

– Lighting and Sound American

“The world premiere of Education began performances last Friday at 59E59 and its arrival couldn’t be more welcome or timely. The story is centered around two high school students, Mick and Bekka, who use their art to express strong views. When Mick’s art project is banned by the high school principal, the pair team up to ensure the work is seen, a daring move with some unintended consequences. Though set in Ohio, the characters would be right at home shoulder to shoulder with the students of Parkland.

The conversation grabs attention from the moment the lights come up. Written by Brian Dykstra. The script is close to flawless with flowing dialogue and wonderfully developed characters. 

Teenage audience members are sure to relate to the pressures and responsibilities heaped on Mick and Bekka. Adults will recognize the many ways art has been used as an effective weapon in the last few decades. Those who are inspired by this exciting play are invited to participate in the ongoing conversation on the lobby bulletin board and by following the #ArtIsActivism.”

- Theatre Pizazz


A high school senior is suspended when he tries to burn an American flag for a school art fair project. Undeterred, he conspires with his classmate, a slam poet in trouble for an expletive-laden poem, to enter a controversial new piece, setting off a free speech firestorm in a small Ohio town. EDUCATION is a provocative new play about two young people who fight for their right to express themselves in a society hostile to and fearful of change.

Theater provocateur Brian Dykstra returns to 59E59 with an explosive new play about free speech, the dangers of polarization, and using art as a means for change. Follow #ArtIsActivism on Twitter and Instagram to take part in this important conversation happening both on and off stage.

History: began as a one-act play called Mick Just Shrugs commissioned by The Drilling Company for an evening called HONOR.

It was just the first scene--A kid who sets up an art project to burn an American Flag gets into trouble and is sent to the principal’s office. It was published by The New York Theatre Experience in: Plays and Playwrights 2005.

Brian then developed the idea into a full-length and has developed the play at The Lark Play Development Center. It has received public readings at The Actor’s Studio, NJ Rep and PolitiKos, a political theatre festival in NYC.

World Premiere:

59E59 Theaters, Sanguine Theatre Company.

Character Breakdown:

2 Women 3 Men

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