William Clark


The Nether

Every Tue., Wed., Thu., Fri., Sat., and Sun. from Sept. 13-Oct. 15
7:30 p.m.
Every Sun. from Sept. 17-Oct. 15
2 p.m.

Emerging from The Nether, one might have a newfound wariness of the escapism promised by virtual-reality utopias. As suggested in playwright Jennifer Haley’s provocative work, these fantasy spaces can provide an arena for acting upon the most aberrant of impulses. Rife with twists and mounting suspense, the piece fulfills the fundamentals of a sci-fi thriller, focusing on a detective who, tasked with investigating crimes in the Nether (essentially a technologically evolved internet), discovers a virtual reality known as the Hideaway wherein users are encouraged to engage in behavior that would be condemnable in the outside world. That these acts involve child avatars only amplifies the distressing questions at the story’s core. Headlined by two of the Twin Cities’ finest performers, Mo Perry and Stephen Yoakum, this Casey Stangl-directed regional premiere at the Jungle Theater also features supporting turns from Craig Johnson, JuCoby Johnson, and Ella Freeberg.