Theater: See one slice of life done five ways in The Hill Town Plays

Here's a scene from "Killers and Other Family," one of the features in The Hill Town Plays at the inaugural Theater Village festival. Credit: Sandra Coudert
“Killers and Other Family” is one of the features in The Hill Town Plays at the inaugural Theater Village festival.
Credit: Sandra Coudert

David Van Asselt, artistic director of Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, wanted to put together a West Village event for a long time. But it wasn’t until Lucy Thurber was finishing her five-play cycle, The Hill Town Plays, that he had a catalyst for doing so.

He felt “the whole would be greater than the sum of the parts” if all five plays were up at the same time. So he waited two years until Cherry Lane Theatre (Mainstage and Studio), Axis Theatre and New Ohio Theatre were all available to join Rattlestick — and the Theater Village festival, which may become an annual tradition, was born.

Playwright Thurber thinks the resulting theatergoing experience — five thematically related dramas playing within the same time span — is epic. All deal with “a girl, who happens to be gay, coming out of the world of the rural poor.” The plays, Thurber says, are part autobiography and part fiction.

Among other things, they “examine the fact and effect of violence in that culture.” Violence features prominently onstage. Chairs are thrown against walls and punches against teeth with alarming frequency. Thurber says she actually toned down the violence from her own life experience. She notes the urban poor share the pressures of drugs and alcohol; people lose track of themselves. And if you don’t own anything or feel you have a real chance of justice, “hitting somebody, defending perceived pride and honor, gives you the sense you exist in the world.”

The Hill Town Plays
Through Sept. 28
Various West Village theaters
$55, general admission
www.theatervillage.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.