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Staged reading of ‘The Nether’ explores dark side to desire and technology

Middlebury Actors Workshop presents “The Nether” by Jennifer Haley, the second in a series of four staged readings. The goal of this series, The Cutting Edge, is to share the bold, clever work of some of the most dynamic young writers to hit the New York scene in the last five to 10 years. Each play enjoyed a successful run in a boundary-pushing Off-Broadway theater. Each play speaks to our contemporary moment.
“The Nether” is a virtual wonderland that provides total sensory immersion.  Just log-on, choose an identity and indulge your every desire. But when a young detective uncovers a disturbing brand of entertainment, she triggers an interrogation into the darkest corners of the imagination.
In this multi-layered play, Jennifer Haley focuses on what it means for an individual when there are no moral or societal prohibitions on behavior, and on how real emotions can arise in simulated realms.
The stage seems, paradoxically, the best medium for this modern topic; the immediacy and intensity of performance, the voyeuristic anonymity of an audience, people and their avatars, characters there but not there, theatre as a virtual reality.
The cast includes Ethan Bowen, Bruce Campbell, Wendi Stein, David Tennal and Amanda Whiteley; Frankie Dunleavy reads stage directions and Rebecca Strum directs the reading.
Come explore “The Nether” on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 4 p.m., at The Vermont Coffee Company on Exchange Street in Middlebury. Admission is Free (donations welcome). Not recommended for children under the age of 16.
For more information call MAW at (802) 233-5255 or call the Vermont Coffee Company at (802) 398-2776.

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