18 19 Season
By Jennifer Haley
Directed by Peter Pasyk
Co-Production with Coal Mine Theatre
October 11 – November 4, 2018
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).
Written by Jennifer Haley
Directed by Peter Pasyk
Featuring Katherine Cullen, Hannah Levinson, Mark McGrinder, Robert Persichini, and David Storch
Stage Managed by Heather Thompson
Set and Lighting Designed by Patrick Lavender
Costume Designed by Michelle Bohn
Music and Sound Design by Richard Feren
Projection Designed by Nick Bottomley
Production Managed by Charissa Wilcox
Child Minding by Amy Lee
“Dark, disturbing and extraordinary…a cold, hard look at human behaviour.”Huffington Post
The strength of this production lies in the moral questions at its centre, and in Peter Pasyk’s masterful direction…As the woman next to me exclaimed before one reveal: ‘Oh. My. God. No.’ What stronger proof of a work’s haunting, visceral power?NOW Toronto (NNNN)
A virtually perfect production…[Playwright Jennifer Haley’s] dramatic twists are gripping – and [actors David] Storch and [Robert] Persichini fill her monsters with enough vulnerability and even love to make the moral universe of her play that much more messed up.” Globe and Mail (3.5 stars)Globe and Mail ★★★ 1/2
A slick production…weighing the positives and negatives of being plugged in, and the long-term effects that the images we see have on us.Toronto Star ★★★
It’s beautifully directed, designed and acted by these gifted people. I love that it makes us feel uncomfortable for all the right reasons. And gives us lots to chew on.Slotkin Letter
Gripping, laser-focused work from the cast in this haunting tale of a fascinating and disturbing new world—all the more troubling as it’s not too far into the future.Life With More Cowbell
It’s an exceptional production, a study in contrasts…The Nether left me with questions and no answers.Mooney on Theatre
As provocative as it is insidious, as seductive as it is repellent. In short, The Nether is an unsettling theatrical experience that cries out for a fierce debate once it has ended…Plays like The Nether that provoke a strong reaction in the audience are what makes theatre such a grand adventure.Paula Citron, Ludwig van Toronto
A dazzling production”Christopher Hoile, Stage Door
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
For Studio 180: debut. 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).
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
For Studio 180: You Will Remember Me, Clybourne Park, Parade, Our Class, Stuff Happens, The Laramie Project. For Studio 180: The Laramie Project, Stuff Happens, Our Class, Parade, Clybourne Park, You Will Remember Me and, most recently, The Nether. Mark is a member of Studio 180’s Core Artistic Team and co-ordinates the Studio 180 IN DEVELOPMENT program. 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. Film and television credits include; Spotlight, Remedy, Murdoch Mysteries and Mayday.
For Studio 180: debut. Robert Persichini has crossed the country playing leading roles on most of Canada’s stages. Robert was awarded the Dora Mavor Moore Award for his performance in the Coal Mine Theatre’s production of Superior Donuts. He has also appeared at the Coal Mine in last year’s production of Category E and The Winter’s Tale (co-production with Groundling Theatre). Other recent theatrical credits include Picture This (Soulpepper), King Lear and Twelfth Night (Canadian Stage). 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.
For Studio 180: The Overwhelming. Directing credits include: Instructions to Any Future Socialist Government Wishing to Abolish Christmas (The Coal Mine Theatre); The Road to Mecca, Speed-the-Plow and Glengarry Glen Ross (Soulpepper Theatre); Bunsch-o-Munsch, Munsch-o-Mania, I’m So Munsch (George Brown Theatre); Robin Hood and Metamorphoses (Globe); The Hours That Remain (New Harlem Productions and Saskatchewan Native Theatre Company); Misery, A Number, Take Me Out (co-directed with Morris Panych), Omnium Gatherum, Twelfth Night, Beard of Avon, Sunday Father and Palace of the End (Canadian Stage); The Goat, Blue/Orange, Einstein’s Gift, The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Citadel); Art (Arts Club). Recent acting credits include: Picture This, Noises Off (Soulpepper); The Boy in the Moon (Crow’s Theatre); Cake/Dirt, In the Next Room, The Misanthrope (Tarragon); Arigato, Tokyo (Buddies); Mr. Marmalade (Outside the March).
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
Set and Lighting Designer
For Studio 180: debut. 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).
For Studio 180: debut. 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 and Sound Designer
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
For Studio 180: debut. 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.
For Studio 180: debut. 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.