The Nether

Left Edge Theatre, Santa Rosa
Runs through March 24, 2019

The Nether
Jared N. Wright and Chris Schloemp
Photo by Eric Chazankin

“What you want is a life outside of consequence,” opines Mr. Sims, aka “Papa,” in Jennifer Haley’s intriguing exploration of real ethics in a virtual world. A sci-fi, futuristic look at humanity with an eerie, creepy tinge, the play dares us to consider whether living digitally can or should be policed—and if so, how, and by whom? What might be the potential fallout from lives fully lived virtually? Or, that matter, from policing crimes perpetrated solely on avatars? How do we assess consequences in such a context? Where are we headed in this brave new virtual world? An excellent cast offers up Haley’s timely piece in this Left Edge production, although the subject matter may be too grim and sensitive for some.

Sims (Chris Schloemp) has engineered the most advanced virtual world in his time, known as the Hideaway, a Victorian home complete with sensory details such as music from a Victrola and the kick of aged Cognac. Logging in to the Nether (what used to be called the internet), one can create an avatar and visit the Hideaway—that is, if one is interested in being able to virtually molest and murder children.

It’s important to note that there is no actual molestation or murder depicted, but there may be discomfort from even the suggestion or description of these acts. …

To continue reading about this production, see the full review at Talkin’Broadway:
The Nether