The Thing With Feathers

DeAnna Lenhart, Zachary Booth, Robert Manning,Jr., Alexa Shae Niziak.

 

 

by Susan Hasho

 

 The Thing with Feathers opens with a girl sitting on her bed talking to someone on the Internet—a boy. They’re having a great conversation about her writing and Emily Dickinson which eventually turns romantic. He says he loves her. He lives 900 miles away. Whatever guess you have about where this play may go—that there will be trouble for the girl playing around on the Internet, for instance—will be slightly right and mostly off the mark. That’s what makes this play a thriller.

The playwright Scott Organ very skillfully and incrementally introduces piece by piece of the plot and turns each bit of information on its ear as he adds the next piece. The actors are perfectly cast and, true to form, not what they seem to be. This is not a play where the audience knows what’s happening and waits for the characters to catch up. The fun of this play is that we are all in the dark together and have no clue what is coming.

DeAnna Lenhart, Alexa Shae Niziak

 

The actors Alexa Shae Niziak as the young girl Anna, DeAnna Lenhart as her mother Beth, Zachary Booth as the young man Eric and Robert Manning Jr as Tim, Beth’s boyfriend are all as attuned to each other and the play as the director Seth Barrish could wish. Each scene plays with all the time in the world and as though there is no more to add, until there is.

There is a big spoiler alert issue here. It is important not to divulge the twists and turns. But I will say that the relationships created between mother and daughter, mother’s boyfriend and the Internet man Eric’s relationship with everyone else are beautifully portrayed and so fully realized that the surprises flow inevitably.

The play ends with a bang and a question. This is a very enjoyable evening dealing with unsettling issues. It demands a juicy conversation on the way home.

 

Photos: Todd Cerveris

 

The Barrow Group Mainstage Theatre (312 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor). New York, NY

Through February 10th Call 212-760-2615 for tickets

 

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