The Nether, a daring examination of moral responsibility in virtual worlds, opens with a familiar interrogation scene given a technological twist. As Detective Morris, an online investigator, questions Mr. Sims about his activities in a role-playing realm so realistic it could be life, she finds herself on slippery ethical ground. Sims argues for the freedom to explore even the most deviant corners of our imagination. Morris holds that we cannot flesh out our malign fantasies without consequence. Their clash of wills leads to a consequence neither could have imagined. Suspenseful, ingeniously constructed, and fiercely intelligent, Haley’s play forces us to confront deeply disturbing questions about the boundaries of reality.
Jennifer Haley won the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for The Nether. The play’s premiere by the Center Theatre Group at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles won seven 2013 Ovation Awards, including Playwriting. Her other plays include Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and Breadcrumbs. Her work has been developed at the Sundance Theatre Lab, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Playwrights Conference, and Lark Play Development Center. She is a member of New Dramatists.
“Like the hard-core radical voyeurs in Jennifer Haley’s terrific sci-fi play ‘The Nether,’ you won’t want to leave the Hideaway.”—Variety
“Tapping into the post-9/11 fears and discussion surrounding privacy and human rights, The Nether forces audiences to contemplate the consequences of these issues even in the most repellent cases.”—TheaterMania
“Big-budget theater rarely has this kind of hip factor and hardly ever addresses issues in cutting-edge technology with as much sophistication as we see here.”—LA Weekly