By Nishka Jain
Days of Rage by Steven Levenson, is a story of a collective that is set to change the world with their revolutionary ideas and intent for a better world. The play begins with Jenny (Lauren Patten) trying to recruit people to join the collective, and more specifically to go to Chicago for a protest. She finds an audience in Hal (J. Alphonse Nicholson) a young black man who works at Sears. Soon after, we meet Jenny’s partners in crime, Spence (Mike Faist) and Quinn (Odessa Young), together this trio make up the collective. We learn in time, that the collective was started by Jenny and Spence, who were best friends and decided to drop out of school to give their political views full expression. The collective that was built on sheer passion and rage starts to rock as Hal and Peggy (Tavi Gevinson) get involved with the trio.

It is a well paced show that at times did feel loud, but reflects the energy and intensity of 20 something year old young adults trying to make a political impact. Trip Cullman’s direction stands out, especially during the quick paced transitions. Both the set and the movement reflect the urgency and passion of the characters. The cast is stellar and the characters are well drawn out, my personal favorite was, Lauren Patten as Jenny. Jenny and Hal are the two characters you feel for the most. While I loved Tavi Gevinson as Peggy, I would have liked to understand the character’s motives better. That to me was the only weak point of an otherwise well written and well delivered play.

Days of Rage manages to take you back to the time of Vietnam war, but more importantly it takes you back to your own youth, the time of your life when you think you can change the world, when you feel you are mightier then the mighty, when your blood boils for revolution. And you are desperate for the world to accept your ideals at any cost.

It reminded me of my own rebellion, and of countless others who either rebelled or wanted to rebel. In the aftermath of our personal revolutions, some of us kept on that path, some meandered and some gave up. And this is true of personal, communal, or social revolutions. If you don’t have great leadership and a clarity of purpose, most rebellions at best become a voice for insecurities and desperate desire for attention and at worst land up being misguided escapades.

This to me is the message of Days of Rage. And it is delivered with such gusto and force that you are left asking for more.  Days of Rage is as relevant today as it was in the times of Vietnam war, and that is its victory.


Days of Rage by Steven Levenson; Directed by Trip Cullman

CAST:Mike Faist (as Spence), Tavi Gevinson (as Peggy), J. Alphonse Nicholson (as Hal), Lauren Patten (as Jenny), and Odessa Young (as Quinn).

CREATIVE: Set designer: Louisa Thompson; Costume designer: Paloma Young; Lighting designer: Tyler Micoleau
Sound designer: Darron L. West

At SECOND STAGE THEATER – TONY KISER THEATER; Through November 25; Running time: 90 MIN. For tickets click HERE.