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The Thin Place

Randy Danson, Emily Cass McDonnell                     photos by Joan Marcus


The Thin Place


                                         By Eugene Paul



There’s a Celtic saying that Heaven and Earth are only three feet apart, but in the Thin Places, that distance is even shorter. That’s  the Celts for ya. Should you think to go snooping and prying you’re in danger of finding more than one Thin Place. And Heaven is not on the other side more times than not.  And getting back? Well, should you have even pried, in the first place?


Not that you’re the one who has led you to try, it doesn’t even have to start that way, no, it’s more innocent, just ask Hilda (spookily wonderful Emily Cass McDonnell).  Well you don’t even have to ask her she just comes out with her coffee cup and sits in one of the two big chairs and starts telling about her grandmother who would play a game when she was little.  Grandmother would write a word on a tablet and hold it to her breast so that you couldn’t see and then say to you that you should see the word in your own mind and tell her what the word is. And you try and she says no and you try and she says no and you try and—oh my goodness.


So begins artfully aslant playwright Lucas Hnath’s current exploration of unused corners in today’s box of a world in free wheeling Playwrights Horizons, the place that gave him a home for his ever so artfully aslant play, The Christians, which was so artfully aslant nobody got it and praised it for all the wrong reasons. Well, not really wrong, they were perfectly good reasons but just not the right ones. And he never told. And is he going to tell you the right reasons in this play?  Not by a long shot is he.  Oh, you’ll find reasons,  all right, but, where is Hnath going with this, where? To – The Thin Place? Which Thin Place?  How? And when?  Right now?  Right before our eyes?


Well, of course, you silly goose. Why else would we be here with him? So then, out of the blackness of designer Mimi Lien’s bare, black nothing of a set and sitting herself down in the other arm chair comes Linda (awfully good Randy Danson) who is Hilda’s friend.  Well, not exactly a friend but Hilda spent some time finding her and seeking her out because Linda’s a psychic and she is now here in the States because things got too difficult for her back in Britain, as she admits disarmingly.  Linda is a good bit older than haunted Hilda and far more cheerfully at ease.  After all, she brings comfort to people, she puts them in touch with whoever they are seeking on the Other Side. And Hilda wants, no, needs to get in touch again with her grandmother to find out what happened to her mother.  Who just plain disappeared. Well, wouldn’t you?