The Nether – the virtual world gets creepy

the netehrIf a tree falls in the woods….you know how that goes. But if you have sex with a child in a virtual world is it still illegal? That’s the essence of Jennifer Haley’s play The Nether.

In the future life is bleak and colorless. The internet has become The Nether, a place where people escape to a different world – one that is vibrant, vivid and virtual. There are some so addicted to The Nether they elect to put themselves on life support systems to live there full-time. But a cop has discovered a site called The Hideaway where you can anonymously have sex with virtual children and when you’re through you can hack them to death to avoid any emotional attachment. She tracks down and interviews the owner of the site and one of the most frequent “gamers” (a nearly retired school teacher) and sends an undercover agent into this repugnant site to investigate and collect the intelligence necessary to shut it down.

The Nether is a good whodunit – full of plot twists, but it is also very disturbing and will make you squirm. Haley’s script is written so intelligently that it is more a parable about ethics in the 21st century than a mystery. It wrestles with questions – both legal and ethical –  about living in a world with no consequences. Bravo to the cast (especially the young girl) and playwright for tackling a haunting topic and creating an environment that will leave you talking*. LAR

*Some of the performances have talk-backs or audience discussions afterwards.

MCC Theater at the Lucille Lortel Theater, 121 Christopher St.

Ticket Prices: $39-$99

Discounts: none currently available. Tickets available occasionally thru papering services

Running time: 75 minutes

Running thu: March 14, 2015





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