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
Local

Girl, 10, dies after being pulled from water…

A 10-year-old girl died after being pulled from the waters off Coney Island Beach in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, police said.

News

NY judge throws out lawsuit by Empire State…

A New York state judge has thrown out a lawsuit in which longtime investors in the Empire State Building claimed they were shortchanged out of hundreds of millions of dollars…

Local

Mysterious white flags appear over Brooklyn Bridge

Two white flags mysteriously appeared over the towers of the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday in place of the American flags that are a traditional fixture.

National

Judge sets January start for murder trial of…

By Elizabeth BarberBOSTON (Reuters) - Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez will be tried in January for the murder of semi-professional football player Odin…

Arts

Don't miss 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' at the…

Have you been meaning to see "Charles James: Beyond Fashion"? There are only two weeks left to get to the Met and catch this amazing American fashion designer's collection.

Television

Zac Posen talks 'Project Runway' and what it…

We talked to Zac Posen, judge and designer extraordinaire, about the new season of "Project Runway" and what keeps him coming back after three seasons.

Television

'Face Off' contestant David 'DOC' O'Connell sounds off…

David "DOC" O'Connell tells us about getting cast on Season 7 of Syfy's "Face Off," premiering tonight at 9.

Arts

PHOTO: Wildlife photographer Marc Mol captures amazing aerial…

This aerial image was taken by photographer Marc Mol who spotted the animals during an air safari in Zambia.

NFL

David Tyree hiring has gay rights advocates angry

Former Giants Super Bowl hero David Tyree will re-join the franchise as its new director of player development.

NFL

Ben McAdoo's new offense has Giants excited to…

Even Tom Coughlin feels he has a lot to learn about offensive coordinator Ben McAdoo’s new offense, which makes the veteran coach very excited.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead…

MLB Power Rankings: A's, Angels, Dodgers, Brewers lead pack

NFL

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will…

2014 NFL season betting odds: Which team will win Super Bowl?

Tech

Learn Braille with these gloves

U.S. scientists have designed high-tech gloves to help users understand Braille in a matter of minutes.

Home

5 New Ikea products that will change your…

We round-up the latest must-have products.

Food

Recipe: Wolfgang Puck's Buttermilk French Toast

We recently spent some time chatting with restauranteur/celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck at his Wolfgang Puck American Grille in the Borgata in Atlantic City. Puck wanted…

Style

Go retro with your sneakers

The best of wacky new sneakers.