In its 20 years Actors Bridge Ensemble has introduced Nashville audiences to many great modern theater works (coming into the current season two-thirds of the 92 plays they produced here since 1995 were either Nashville premieres or world premieres). Local theater lovers should prepare themselves for another compelling contemporary offering: the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning crime drama/Sci-Fi thriller from Jennifer Haley called The Nether opens Dec. 4 in the Darkhorse Chapel, the company’s new studio home.
The Nether is directed by ABE Artistic Associate Jessika Malone and features actors Rodney Pickel (Mr. Sims), Phil Perry (Mr. Doyle), Bralyn Stokes (Mr. Woodnut) and Robin-August Fritsch (Iris) with ABE Producing Artistic Director Vali Forrister as Detective Morris.
The Nether is a daring examination of moral responsibility in virtual worlds. As Detective Morris, an online investigator, questions Mr. Sims about his activities in a role-playing realm so realistic it could be life, she finds herself on slippery ethical ground. Sims argues for freedom to explore even the most deviant corners of our imagination. Morris holds that we cannot flesh out our malign fantasies without consequence; their clash of wills leads to an outcome neither could have imagined. Suspenseful, ingeniously constructed, and fiercely intelligent, Haley’s play forces us to confront deeply disturbing questions about the boundaries of reality.
The play premiered in 2013 in Los Angeles at Center Theatre Group’s Kirk Douglas Theatre. A London production opened in 2014 at the Royal Court Theatre before transferring to the West End in 2015. MCC Theatre produced the play in 2015 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre in New York City.
“As a parable for where we’re headed on that big old highway in the digital sky, The Nether exerts a viselike grip, while taking you down avenues of thought you probably haven’t traveled yet.” – The New York Times
“Deeply disturbing and provocative” – The Independent
“The Nether is a gripping and deeply disconcerting look at the Internet and its role in one of the most disturbing issues of our times.” – Telegraph
“…(T)his is a compelling, profoundly disturbing 80 minutes of theater… At the play’s end, the world – both real and virtual – simply doesn’t look quite the same.” – The Guardian
Saturday, Dec. 5 @ 7 p.m.**
Sunday, Dec. 6 @ 7 p.m.**
Thursday, Dec. 10 @ 7 p.m.**
Friday, Dec. 11 @ 7 p.m.**
Saturday, Dec. 12 @ 7 p.m.**
Sunday, Dec. 13 @ 7 p.m.**
$25 in advance/$30 at the door (includes 2 drink tickets).
Online Ticket Purchases: https://thenether.eventbrite.com
NOTE: This play is intended for mature audiences only.
**Please note the 7 p.m. start time. This is the troupe’s first production in the Darkhorse Chapel; they are staggering their start time with a production running in the main theater upstairs at the Darkhorse Theater facility. Entrance to the Darkhorse Chapel is on 47th Avenue.