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

Federal mediator joins Met Opera labor talks as…

Unions representing the orchestra and chorus of the Met Opera agreed to have a federal mediator join labor talks on Thursday as a threatened lockout loomed.

Local

Winning $7 million New York lottery ticket sold…

The only $7 million winning New York Lottery ticket for Monday's Cash4Life drawing was sold at a Queens 7-Eleven, officials said on Tuesday.

Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

Movies

Review: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is a refreshingly…

Marvel is sitting so high on a cash mountain that it's now thrown $170 million at the relatively obscure and very silly title "Guardians of the Galaxy."

Movies

Review: 'Get on Up' is a war between…

James Brown finally gets his own boring biopic with "Get on Up," but the Godfather of Soul puts up a good fight against the usual cliches.

Movies

Review: 'Child of God' finds director James Franco…

James Franco's 11th directed feature is a noble but sloppy adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's "Child of God," about a feral mountain man (Scott Haze).

Movies

Review: Alex Gibney's Fela Kuti doc 'Finding Fela'…

Prolific documentarian Alex Gibney takes on Afrobeat god Fela Kuti in "Finding Fela," but fails to capture his unique essence.

MLB

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade…

Yankees land Stephen Drew, Martin Prado at trade deadline

College

Playing the Field: Valentine's Day coupling edition

  It’s Valentine’s Day, a day created by Hallmark to make couples spend loads and loads of money on candy, flowers and gourmet dinners. Or…

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

Career

What do you wear to a career fair?…

Getting that gig starts with presenting the most polished and memorable version of yourself, so refer to our expert fashion advice.

Style

Editors pick: Margiela's finger armor ring

These cool rings from Maison Martin Margiela are designed to overlap over the finger, covering each joint like armor.

Style

Givenchy champions diversity

Riccardo Tisci's uses a variety of ethnically diverse ladies for his spring campaign including Erykah Badu.

Wellbeing

Don't settle for the hotel fitness center with…

Travelers who want to skip the hotel fitness center in favor of local gyms that may offer better equipment, classes and amenities can turn to…