By Jennifer Haley
Directed by Peter Pasyk
A co-production with
October 11–November 4, 2018
Previews: October 7, 9 & 10
Coal Mine Theatre
1454 Danforth Ave, Toronto
In the immersive virtual world of the Nether, guests can log in, assume an identity and indulge their darkest desires. A serpentine crime drama and haunting sci-fi thriller, The Nether explores the consequences of living out one’s private dreams. Written by Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-Winner Jennifer Haley and directed by acclaimed Coal Mine alumnus Peter Pasyk (Killer Joe, Poison).
“as smart as it is unsettling…The Nether exerts a viselike grip, while taking you down avenues of thought you probably haven’t traveled yet.”
The New York Times
“thought-provoking, deeply disconcerting…a piece that taps into one of the most urgent and disturbing issues of our times”
“Dark, disturbing and extraordinary…a cold, hard look at human behaviour.”
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.
Studio 180 Season Sponsor
Cast & Creative Team
Written by Jennifer Haley
Directed by Peter Pasyk
Featuring Katherine Cullen, Hannah Levinson, Mark McGrinder, Robert Persichini and David Storch
Stage Manager Heather Thompson
Set and Lighting Design Patrick Lavender
Costume Design Michelle Bohn
Music and Sound Design Richard Feren
Projection Design Nick Bottomley
Production Manager Charissa Wilcox
Child Minder Amy Lee
Previously for Coal Mine Peter directed the Toronto premières of Tracy Letts’ Killer Joe, and Lot Vekeman’s Poison. Peter directed the world premières of Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company (Theatre Centre) and Rosa Laborde’s Like Wolves (GCTC). He has been twice nominated for the Dora Award for Outstanding Direction. Dora-nominated productions include: Killer Joe, Dying City, When the World Was Green, The Jones Boy, and Blood. Most recently Peter directed John Patrick Shanley’s Outside Mullingar at Manitoba Theatre Centre; and Geoffrey Simon Brown’s The Circle at Tarragon Theatre. Peter was an artist-in-residence at Stratford Festival, Shaw Festival, Tarragon Theatre and Crow’s Theatre. This fall he will direct the world premiere of Rosamund Small’s Sisters at Soulpepper.
Jennifer Haley is a playwright whose work delves into ethics in virtual reality and the impact of technology on our human relationships, identity, and desire. She won the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a Los Angeles Ovation Award and the Francesca Primus Prize for her play, The Nether, which premiered at Center Theatre Group and was subsequently produced at The Royal Court Theatre with Headlong in London. Other plays include Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, which premiered at the Actors Theatre of Louisville 2008 Humana Festival, and Froggy, in development with Center Theatre Group and American Conservatory Theater. Jennifer’s work has been developed at The Banff Centre, the Sundance Theatre Lab, O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, Lark Play Development Center, PlayPenn, Page 73, and the MacDowell Colony. She is a member of New Dramatists in New York City and lives in Los Angeles, where she founded the Playwrights Union. Read an interview with Jennifer Haley here.
Katherine is an actor and associate artist with Outside The March theatre company. Select theatre credits include Mr. Marmalade, Passion Play, Vitals (Dora nomination Outstanding Performance), The Prince of Homberg (Talk Is Free), Hanna Hashimoto and the 6th Violin (Carousel Theatre), Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play, TomorrowLove (My Entertainment Theatre Award, Best Supporting Actress). Most recently, Katherine
performed her show Stupidhead! A Musical Comedy (Theatre Passe Muraille) which she co-created with her dear friend Britta Johnson. Stupidhead! was nominated for a Dora award for Outstanding New Play. Select TV/Film credits include: Fahrenheit 451 (HBO), The Handmaid’s Tale, A Simple Favor (Dir. Paul Feig). Katherine is beyond thrilled to be making her Coal Mine and Studio 180 debut and feels so lucky to be working with this incredible team of artists.
Hannah is thrilled to be performing the role of “Iris” in The Nether. Select theatre credits include “Polly” in The Preposterous Predicament of Polly Peel (Act 1) (Toronto Fringe); “Small Alison” in Fun Home (The Musical Stage Company/Mirvish Productions); Matilda in Matilda (Broadway National Tour/Mirvish Productions); Pollyanna in Pollyanna (Charlottetown Festival); Lee Bouvier in Grey Gardens (Acting Upstage), and more. Currently, Hannah also lends her voice to the principal role of Emily Elisabeth on Clifford and Zippa on Jim Henson’s The Doozers. Past TV/film credits include: Designated Survivor, Age of Reason, JJ Abrams’ 11/22/63, Meet the Family, The Twelve Trees of Christmas and the title role in Daisy, as well as many national TV commercials. Hannah sends love to her family, teachers and Daniel at The Talent House.
Mark is delighted to be making his Coal Mine debut and has appeared in numerous Studio 180 productions including; The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, Parade, Clybourne Park and You Will Remember Me. He also adapted and directed Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish for the company and has assistant directed productions of Blackbird, God of Carnage and The Laramie Project 10th Anniversary reading. Mark was a member of the Shaw Festival’s acting ensemble for 5 seasons and performed in several reviews with The Second City’s National Touring Company. He is a member of Studio 180’s Core Artistic Team and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday. He will next be seen in Studio 180’s production of Oslo, presented as part of the Off-Mirvish series.
A popular character actor, Robert Persichini has crossed the country playing leading roles on most of Canada’s great stages. Robert was awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his heartbreaking performance as “Arthur Pszybyszewski” in the Coal Mine Theatre’s recent production of Superior Donuts. Other recent theatrical credits include Picture This (Soulpepper), King Lear and Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage), The Winter’s Tale (Groundling Theatre). A veteran of the Stratford Festival, Robert has appeared in productions of Mary Stuart, Measure for Measure, The Tempest, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, The Importance of Being Earnest, Cyrano de Bergerac, Macbeth, Timon of Athens, Julius Caesar, Richard III and Romeo and Juliet. Robert recently appeared in CBC/Netflix’s Alias Grace, A & E’s The Crossing and Missing for Lifetime. He appeared in the hit series Slings and Arrows and was recently featured in the ABC Family Channel film This Time Around. He was featured in the CBC production of the stage play Nothing Sacred, an adaptation of the play in which he appeared at the Winter Garden Theatre in Toronto.
Studio 180: The Overwhelming. Coal Mine: directed Instructions to Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas. Recent: acted in Picture This, Noises Oﬀ (Soulpepper); The Boy in the Moon (Crow’s); Cake/Dirt, In the Next Room, The Misanthrope (Tarragon); Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies). Directed The Road to Mecca (Soulpepper); Bunsch-o-Munsch, Munsch-o-Mania, I’m So Munsch (George Brown Theatre); The Hours That Remain (New Harlem, Gwaandak, Gordon Tootoosis Theatre); Robin Hood, Metamorphoses (Globe). Directed Restoration (York University), Speed-the-Plow, Glengarry Glen Ross (Soulpepper), Misery, The Palace of the End, A Number, Take Me Out (co-directed with Morris Panych), Omnium Gatherum, Twelfth Night, Beard of Avon, Sunday Father (Canadian Stage); The Goat, Blue/Orange, Einstein’s Gift, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Citadel); “Art” (Arts Club).
Select theatre credits: 1837: The Farmers’ Revolt, The New Canadian Curling Club, Mr. New Year’s Eve, The Pigeon King, Kitchen Radio, Stag and Doe, Beyond the Farm Show, Garrison’s Garage, Dear Johnny Deere, The Devil We Know, The Nuttalls (Blyth Festival); Hedda Noir, It’s a Wonderful Life, Half Life, Alice in Wonderland, Fly Me to the Moon, Art (Theatre NorthWest); Still/Falling, Celestial Being (Green Thumb Theatre); Gimme Shelter (Why Not Theatre); The Wanderers (Cahoots Theatre); The Show that Smells or the Last Temptation of Jimmie Rodgers (Clawhammer Theatre); dirty butterfly (Bound to Create Theatre). Heather originally hails from Clinton, Ontario. With love and thanks to her family and RJM.
Set & Lighting Design
Patrick is a Toronto based production designer and production manager for multiple performing arts disciplines, touring in Canada and internationally. He is the recipient of 2 Dora Awards for both independent lighting design and set design, and he was a nominee for the 2017 Pauline McGibbon Award in design. His recent and upcoming work includes; Century Song (Volcano Theatre), Circus Riot (Lookup Theatre), Poison (Coal Mine Theatre), Party Game (Bluemouth Inc. / Necessary Angel), Charlotte: A Tri-coloured Play with Music (Theaturtle), Brave New World (Litmus Theatre), The Circle (Tarragon Theatre), Extremophiles (Summerworks), Killer Joe (Coal Mine Theatre), Late Company (Why Not Theatre), Crawlspace (Videofag), It Comes in Waves (Necessary Angel/Bluemouth).
Select credits: Off-Broadway: A Four-Letter Word (Classic Stage Company); Richard III, King Lear, Macbeth (New York Classical Theatre). Off-Off- Broadway: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project); Brave Ducks, Revolution on the Roof (Fringe NYC). Select regional credits: Theory (Tarragon Theatre); Jukebox Hero (Annerin Productions); The New Canadian Curling Club (Blyth Festival); Amadeus (Talk Is Free Theatre); The Lieutenant of Inishmore, Relativity, Rising Water, Kimberly Akimbo (Southern Rep Theatre); Orpheus (Tsunami Dance); The Philadelphia Story, Rumors (Creede Repertory Theatre). Associate costume designer: HMS Pinafore (Stratford Festival). Assistant designer: The Forest, Three Sisters (Classic Stage Company). Film/TV: Costume designer: NOLA, The Red Thunder (short), and Good Sister (short). www.michellebohndesign.com
Music & Sound Design
Richard has been creating music and soundscapes for theatre, dance & film since 1992. Recent credits: An Ideal Husband (Stratford Festival); Sisters, Animal Farm, Waiting for Godot, Cage (Soulpepper); Silence (The Grand Theatre); Daughter (QuipTake/Pandemic/Theatre Centre); Asking For It (Nightwood/Crow’s/Necessary Angel); Jerusalem, Tomorrowlove™, Terminus (Outside The March); Confederation & Riel/Scandal & Rebellion (VideoCabaret); Unholy (Nightwood Theatre); The Magic Hour (Theatre Centre); The Body Politic (Lemontree Creations/Buddies In Bad Times). Other: composed scores for six feature films & numerous shorts; won seven Dora Awards; 1999 Pauline McGibbon Award; shortlisted for 2012 Siminovitch Prize.
Nick is a Halifax based projection designer and programmer. He holds a Masters of Science in Visualization from the Glasgow School of Art and also studied Computer Science. Recent credits include designs for Stephen Fry’s MYTHOS (Shaw), One Discordant Violin (2b theatre), Princess Rules (HEIST), Sir John A: A Gentrified Ojibway Rebellion (NAC English Theatre), HMS Pinafore, Treasure Island, Possible Worlds and The School for Scandal (Stratford), Dream ON (BBC Live), Let’s Not Beat Each other to Death (Accidental Mechanics), When it Rains (2b theatre company), NATION and Princess Rules (Heist Theatre), Pop-Up Love Party (Zuppa Theatre), It’s a Wonderful Life, Mary Poppins and Billy Bishop Goes to War (Neptune Theatre). Follow him on instagram @nickbottom.
Charissa’s day job is being the Head of Production for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre. She has been with this Queer Canadian Theatre for the past nineteen years and has held this position since 2005. Charissa has continued for her third season as the Production Manager/Technical Director at The Coal Mine Theatre. Additional Production Management credits include; Studio 180, Native Earth of Performing Arts, Theatre Rusticle, Outspoke Productions, Nightwood Theatre, Cartier Dance, Circus Orange, Femme du Feu, Anandam Dancetheatre Co, Aluna Theatre and Modern Times Theatre. In her spare time she trains in aerial and acrobatics. She additionally creates and constructs new & old apparatus with her partners in crime under their circus company FLYING SOLO.
Amy is a performer, playwright, producer and educator. She is Co-Artistic Director of U.N.I.T. Productions and plays Jasp in the Award-winning clown duo Morro and Jasp, co-creating many plays including the company’s 2018 Fringe hit, Morro and Jasp: Save the Date. She has worked with Young People’s Theatre, Theatre Columbus, Factory Theatre, Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Manitoba Theatre for Young People, Theatre Brouhaha, Carousel Players, and more. Amy often works as an assistant director and an artist educator. She is currently a writer-in-residence at Factory Theatre. Amy is thrilled to be working with the Coal Mine, Studio 180 and this fantastic team.
October 11–November 4, 2018
Previews: October 7, 9 & 10
Please note that seating is general admission. The theatre and bar will open 45 minutes before each performance.
Approx. 2 hours
Coal Mine Season Subscription $35/show
Regular Ticket $42.50
Arts Worker $25 (limited number—use code ‘180CoalMine’)
Rush $25 (limited number available at the door)
Prices do not include HST.
The Nether deals with mature and sensitive content matter, including physical and sexual violence, pedophilia and suicide.
By Jennifer Haley
OCTOBER 7—NOVEMBER 4, 2018
Coal Mine Theatre
1454 Danforth Ave
Toronto, ON M4J 1N4
Weekday matinées: October 17, 18 & 24 1:30pm (third matinée added due to popular demand!)
Student group rate: $18 (student groups of 10+, 1 complimentary teacher ticket per 20 students)
Recommended for: Grades 11 & 12
Perfect for: Drama, English, Media Studies, Communications and Technology, Law, and Social Science
“Who are we when we interact without consequence?” – Morris
Part crime drama, part sci-fi, The Nether prompts important conversations about technology, virtual reality and the impacts of the internet. Playwright Jennifer Haley (Netflix’s Mindhunter) imagines a future dystopia of environmental degradation and human disconnection and investigates whether there is such a thing as a life without consequence.
There is some very strong language in the play, and the content is mature, featuring provocative and taboo topics such as child sexual abuse, pedophilia and suicide. These topics are addressed by inference and primarily through dialogue. No sexual contact is depicted on stage and there is no nudity.
“Big-budget theater rarely has this kind of hip factor and hardly ever addresses issues in cutting-edge technology with as much sophistication as we see here.”
Your experience at the theatre includes…
- A comprehensive study guide complete with background information and pre- and post-show discussion questions and activities
- A talkback with cast members
- Complimentary teacher tickets