POWERFUL DRAMA THAT WILL TOUCH YOUR EMOTIONAL CORE!
POWERFUL DRAMA THAT WILL TOUCH YOUR EMOTIONAL CORE!
What the press is saying about Hang:
Unanimous Critical Acclaim for Horizon Line Theatre's Production of Hang:
"Currently showing at Ground Floor Theatre the play, that debuted in 2015, boasts an unequaled cast and crew that shatters the audience's perception with an unforeseen plot twist. Producer/Director Chuck Ney and his new production company, Horizon Line Theatre, have chosen the perfect show to make their first foray into the Austin theatre scene. Witty, articulate and provocative, HANG holds the audience in rapt attention, our heads spinning for the duration.
If you are familiar with popular British anthology series Black Mirror or Inside No.9, you will find a similar style in Green's play. The show begins in a perfectly generic office space with two perfectly generic public servants, One (Barbara Chilsholm) and Two (Robert Faires) preparing for the arrival of a member of the public, Three (Nadine Mozin). When she arrives, we see that the oh so pleasant surroundings are a buffer for something much deeper and darker, something unspeakable. The clearly disturbed Three has arrived to make a decision, what that choice is and why it must be made are subjects that are danced around by some of the best written dialogue I've heard in a theatre in a good long while. One and Two bumble their way through a series of meaningless social gestures that are intended to comfort Three and make her feel at ease, but only serve to heighten the tension while giving us the blackest of comic relief. I will not go any further in the play synopsis for fear of spoilers. This is a show that must be experienced.
Chuck Ney's direction is flawless, his blocking and pacing, inspired. Some directors would attempt to move actors around frantically, but Ney keeps the movement understated, using it only when necessary. The effect is as fascinating as it is chilling. Michelle Ney's costume and set design are perfection. Her use of a gray tonal palate is reflected in every aspect of the production. The statement made by the shades of gray are only evident when the play reaches its conclusion, it's impact is purposeful and clear. Cheri DeVol's lighting design is inspired. Her use of stage fluorescents gives the generic office the perfect cold look. If you're looking for top notch actors in Austin, look no further than Barbara Chisholm and Robert Faires. They play off each other beautifully and make the most of every moment on stage. As Three, Nadine Mozin amazing. Her eyes speak volumes even when she doesn't have a word to say. Emotions bubble just below the surface and threaten to break through at any moment. The entire package is powerful, moving and will leave you thinking about the play long after you leave the theatre. I give my highest recommendation to Horizon Line's HANG, go, you won't regret it. I, for one, await with great anticipation to see what the new company will bring to the stage next."
By Lynn Beaver, Broadway World
In ‘hang,’ One Woman’s Decision makes for Chilling Theater:
“...hang” is excitingly sparse. There’s something undeniably engrossing about watching a character come to a single decision in real time, in one place, on stage in front of us. The play’s various tonal shifts are successfully rendered under Chuck Ney’s direction: moments of nervousness and occasional humor stand out against starker, quieter, more somber beats. This yields some uncomfortable and specifically theatrical moments: long painful silences that don’t let the audience off the hook. We are forced to literally sit with this woman’s pain, and, since the specifics of the attack are never specified, are left to imagine its gruesome details too.
The cast of seasoned Austin theater professionals performs the story, and its stakes, with humanity. They deliver on that old acting teacher adage: “play the solution, not the problem.” And rather than show us that This Is A Serious Play, the actors perform with specificity and, refreshingly, hope. Nadine Mozon, as the brave protagonist, and Robert Faires and Barbara Chisholm, as the incapable, overly-cautious administrators, skillfully navigate the arcs of debbie tucker green’s three English-accented characters.
Michelle Ney’s scenic and costume design provide a highlight. Hanging glass panels, dreary office carpeting, some chairs and a water cooler—used at specific moments for comedic effect—and humdrum professional apparel make the people and place of the play feel completely real, even if the play’s premise situates it in a world different from our own. The world on stage is just sufficiently abstracted to allow the audience’s minds to fill in necessary gaps, to imagine what the story proposes: the rest of this world, the attack, and, as the play reaches its climax, what different judgements might await the attacker, described in painstaking detail by Faires’ character. Harsh bright office lighting, by Cheri Prough DeVol, and chilling sound, by Phillip Owen, contribute to this stifling atmosphere.
this production of “hang” is a stirring and unsettling night of theater, and Horizon Line Theater is an exciting new addition to the Austin theater scene. Beat by beat, this artful production is a reminder that good psychological drama is about watching people make decisions, and having to live with those decisions, for better or worse."
by Daniel Tejera, Sightlines: Arts, Culture, News & Ideas
"...tucker green has given us a piece as powerful as Pinter, one that savagely contrasts the ever-so-polite socially concerned helper people, secure in their minion roles, with the real and ongoing suffering of the victims of crime they're assumed to be helping. There's a dash of Orwell here, as well .
The heart and moral of this piece lie in Robert Faires' lengthy, matter-of-fact discussion of the various methods (methodologies, perhaps) by which someone can be put to death. It's funny and yet deeply chilling, perfectly appropriate to the state of Texas, where 565 persons have been executed since the 1976 Supreme Court decision that allowed the resumption of legalized killing. (The most recent was Robert Sparks, two weeks ago.) This play from the United Kingdom doesn't breathe a word about Texas or the U.S.; the playwright gives Faires a chatty, technical, anecdotal narrative that depicts legal execution with about the same emotional involvement as traffic engineering. That earnest presentation vibrates of the death camps of the German Third Reich, without ever mentioning them.
It's a 90-minute look into multi-level hell, where the clean, optimistic purveyors of social good run into the discomfiting reality of individual human existence. Or a slow-motion high-resolution film of naive good intentions smashing into the messy business of collateral damage and revenge. You just can't look away. Nor should you. And tucker green holds out that last unknown (what?), a trump card played too late and to devastating effect only upon the victim -- without ever revealing the message that overwhelms her as the lights dim.
And then die.
by Michael Meigs, CTX Live Theatre
Mozon’s charged, weighty performance is at the heart of Hang, since the nuance of her reactions to Chisholm and Faires’ every word is the largest hook into the story’s context. All three actors are at the top of their game, fully recognizing that every moment needs to be as specific as possible in order to fill in the gaps of the story.
...the presentation is scrupulously realist (achieved through pitch-perfect scenic and costume design by Michelle Ney and lighting design by Cheri Prough DeVol). ..director Chuck Ney recognizes the strength of his cast, and allows them to delve into the emotions of the scene even when the context for those emotions isn’t clear. Together, Chisholm, Faires, and especially Mozon are able to mine real pathos...with a satisfying emotional through-line that buoys the production and allows for some sense of closure in the
Andrew Friedenthal, Critic