Friday, October 16, 2015

Playwright of award-winning ‘The Nether’ to join CSC talk-back after final performance


aaa jenifer nether Los Angeles playwright Jennifer Haley did not set out to become the first major playwright of the digital age, but that is what has happened, says Jonathan Mandell of New York Theatre in his interview with the playwright.  

Haley tells Mandell that after working in the theatre for years, she had the opportunity to learn web-design and Photoshop in a program specifically designed for artists- skills which then supported her in her early writing years.  She states that there was no direct connection between becoming a web designer and a playwright, but after years of doing both, “they simply started to merge…”

On Oct 25, Jennifer Haley will join the cast and artistic staff of the Centenary Stage Company for the final performance of her award-winning play The Nether, in the Lackland Performing Arts Center in Hackettstown.   The Sunday, 2 PM performance will be followed by an audience discussion with the playwright, cast and artistic staff .  The talk-back will be open to the public.

Haley is known for her work which delves into ethics in virtual reality and the impact of technology on our human relationships, identity, and desire .    Her play, The Nether (which has been running at CSC through October) ,   has won numerous accolades and awards, including four Olivier Award nominations (including best new play) for the London production, seven Ovation Awards (including playwriting) for the Los Angeles production, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, and the Francesca Primus Prize.

nethereye_small The Nether is just one of Haley’s plays to explore the blurring line between cyber-reality and reality.   Her play “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom,”  explores the world of  suburban video game addiction.  In her play “Froggy,” a woman  travels through a video-game universe looking for her boyfriend. 

In her interview with Mandell, Haley stated that  ultimate source of drama for all of her work hinged on the notion of the discrepancy between private and social identity. “I’m very interested in identity, in terms of how we present ourselves versus what’s really going on inside of us,”  an element which is in dramatic evidence in her plays exploring virtual identity, such as The Nether.

“We are thrilled that Jennifer Haley will be able to see this excellent production and talk with us after the performance. The play, which is so compelling, has raised so many important issues that audiences have wanted to discuss during the run,” said CSC General Catherine rust Manager Catherine Rust, “and this will be the opportunity for all of our patrons to get the insights into the work and virtual reality phenomenon, which is becoming so prevalent in our society.”

For more information about performances of The Nether  and the audience talk-back with the playwright, visit, or call the CSC offices at 908 979 0900 x5.   Centenary Stage Company is the professional regional theatre in residence on the campus of Centenary College in Hackettstown.  

The 2015-16 season of performing arts events at the Centenary Stage Company is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community, Silver Sponsors Hackettstown Regional Medical Center, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), The Holiday Inn in Budd Lake.

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