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‘Admissions’ review: A good fight for school diversity

Sally Murphy and Jessica Hecht in "Admissions" at

Sally Murphy and Jessica Hecht in "Admissions" at Lincoln Center's Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater. Credit: Jeremy Daniel

WHAT “Admissions”

WHERE Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater, Lincoln Center

INFO $82; 212-239-6200,

BOTTOM LINE A provocative look at the human side of affirmative action.

Colleagues know not to mess with Sherri Rosen-Mason. Or Jessica Hecht, for that matter, who plays her in Joshua Harmon’s provocative new work “Admissions” at Lincoln Center. As director of admissions at an elite New England boarding school, Rosen-Mason (a tough-as-nails portrayal by Hecht) leaves nothing to chance as she advocates for improving the school’s diversity. Her tinkering with the production of the annual recruiting brochure is micromanagement at its worst.

But when her son, Charlie (Ben Edelman, full of teen angst and bluster), dares to challenge the process as he applies to college, Mom reverts to full-blown helicopter mode, leaving Dad (Andrew Garman, playing the school’s headmaster) to negotiate the anguished soul searching.

The play, directed by Daniel Aukin, takes a hard look at privilege and affirmative action, coming to no conclusions but making it painfully clear that there are also no easy answers to the complicated family issues that inevitably come into play.

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