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Theater Review: The Thin Place

Caitlin Zambito in The Thin Place. Photo by OddDog Pictures.


No, Echo Theater Company’s The Thin Place has nothing to do with Ozempic. Playwright Lucas Hnath has created a world with supernatural elements, and the thin place is a fragile boundary between earthly and the spirit world.

Hnath is playful and edgy in his tennis match between true third-eye believer and charlatan. Hilda (Caitlin Zambito) greets the audience in a unique staging that splits the audience into two facing groups. Director Abigail Deser designed the set with Amanda Knehans and lighting designer Matt Richter for maximum intensity.

As Hilda walks between the audience sections, she describes a relationship with her grandmother centered on trying to communicate without words. Her grandmother was preparing her for a time when she would be gone but would reach out to her beloved Hilda.

Hilda’s mother called such talk demonic and banned her grandmother from seeing Hilda. And when Hilda’s grandmother dies, so does their communication. Seeking a way to reconnect with the dead, she is drawn to Linda (Janet Greaves), a psychic with big promises. She tells Hilda that if she listens closely enough, she can go to the thin place. And then she seems to deliver on that promise.

Jerry (Justin Huen) and Sylvia (Corbett Tuck) join the earthly/spiritual gathering. Sylvia questions Linda’s “tricks” and accuses her of taking advantage of people. Hilda’s trust in Linda’s abilities is so deep it even unnerves Linda. The “manipulative nature of persuasion” is addressed in multiple ways against a backdrop of grief and searching.

The audience is in the mood for all this talk of death because they were asked to write the name of a lost loved one on a slip of paper and deposit in a container that sits onstage for the duration of the performance. Thoughts return to the personal as the plot unfurls, giving the play more depth and consequence.


Justin Huen, Corbett Tuck, Janet Greaves in The Thin Place. Photo by OddDog Pictures.


The Thin Place is performed on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, Sundays at 4:00pm and Mondays at 8:00pm through April 24. Tickets are $34, except for Monday performances, which are pay what you want. Tickets are available here. Atwater Village Theatre is at 3269 Casitas Ave.

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Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Theatre West.

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