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

Mayor announces public housing improvements

Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at the Lincoln Houses in East Harlem on Wednesday, calling for the scaffolding to come down at NYCHA complexes across…

National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

Local

Bratton defends 'broken windows' work as NYPD support…

Sixty percent of those polled said they support the "broken windows" theory approach popularized by Commissioner Bratton since his first term in the 1990s.

Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Television

'So You Think You Can Dance' recap: Season…

Season 11’s top four dancers gave their final performances before America’s Favorite Dancers are announced next week.

Going Out

Labor Day in NYC: Make the last weekend…

Soon, it’ll be time for wool accessories and knee-high boots. Even the Pumpkin Spice Latte has already arrived — but we still have one last…

Going Out

Things to do this week in NYC, Aug.…

MUSIC The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees…

Going Out

5 things to do this weekend in NYC

The Electric Zoo Festival Aug. 29-31, 1 p.m. Randall’s Island Park $99-$369, www.electriczoofestival.com The electronic music celebration returns for a fifth year, with 150,000 attendees expected. David Guetta,…

NFL

Mario Manningham on the bubble as Giants play…

Former Super Bowl hero Mario Manningham hopes his second go-around with Big Blue doesn’t end with Saturday’s final cut day.

NFL

Source: Stephen Hill 'faces a battle' to make…

A team source says Stephen Hill, who has battled injuries and poor performances during his first two years, is no lock to make the Jets’ final roster.

Sports

Serena Williams leaving legacy of talented American women…

It seems only a matter of when, not if, Serena Williams will win her 18th career grand slam championship.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…

Sex

The 10 types of people you meet online

Does it ever seem like online dating profiles tend to get a little repetitive? It turns out you are not the only one to have…

Home

Labor Day essentials

Whether you’re soaking up the sun on the beach or barbecuing in the park here are some must-haves for your end-of-summer bash.