offoffoff theater



Site links
  • Contact us

    Get our newsletter:
    Search the site:

    Theater section
  • Theater main page
  • Theater archive
  • Theater links

    Current theater

  • Fall Briefs
  • Nick


    Complete archive, 1999-present

    2008-2009 reviews:
  • Anaïs Nin Goes To Hell
  • beast: a parable
  • Blanche Survives Katrina in a FEMA Trailer Named Desire
  • Blasted
  • Buffalo Gal
  • China: The Whole Enchilada
  • The Corn Maiden
  • Crawl, Fade to White
  • Doruntine
  • Extraordinary Rendition
  • The First Breeze of Summer
  • Fringe Festival 2008
  • Fringe Festival favorites
  • The Glass Cage
  • Hair
  • Hidden Fees* (A Play About Money)
  • Jailbait
  • King of Shadows
  • The Longest Running Joke of the Twentieth Century
  • Lucasville: The Untold Story of a Prison Uprising
  • Macbeth
  • The Master Builder
  • Missa Solemnis, or The Play About Henry
  • Mourn the Living Hector
  • A Nasty Story
  • Nowadays
  • the october crisis (to laura)
  • Oresteia
  • Other Bodies
  • Prayer
  • Psalms of a Questionable Nature
  • Raised by Lesbians
  • Reasonable Doubt
  • Sleepwalk With Me
  • Small Craft Warnings
  • Something Weird . . . in the Red Room
  • Soul Samurai
  • The Sound of One Hanna Clapping
  • Southern Promises
  • The Third from the Left
  • Twelfth Night
  • Voices from Guantánamo
  • The Wendigo
  • Zombie


      Hyperreal America
    The hyperreal world

    A cast of 20 assembles a collage of American life in your mind in the magically dreamlike drama "Hyperreal America."


    As you enter the theater, the play has already started. A gaunt, unconscious young man shivers and moans on a hospital bed. You observe quietly and uncertainly, along with a doctor and a nurse, until eventually the lights dim and the man — or almost certainly his ghost leaving his body — rises from the bed and begins to tell his story.

    Company: International WOW Company.
    Directed by: Josh Fox.
    Cast: Robert Barcia, Ryan Edwards, Dawn Eshelman, Josh Fox, Beth Griffith, Connie Hall, Gina Hirsch, Ikuko Ikari, Kerri Lynn, Patrick McCaffrey, Alanna Medlock, Nurit Monacelli, Aya Ogawa, Noro Otitigbe, Liz Pounsett, Matthew Pritchard, Magin Schantz, Stephen Sislen, Tyren Scott Thomas, Aaron Mostkoff Unger, Rachel Vidal.

    Related links: Official site
    From this captivating beginning, "Hyperreal America" unfolds — with not so much a straightforward plot as a scattering of scene snippets that build a story through the impressions they leave on the audience, some cinematically visual, others intimately personal.

    The dying man — and it's not clear yet what he's dying from — shows us scenes from his high school days, which he seems to remember fondly if only because he doesn't remember it clearly. Through the accumulation of fractured images (and oh yes, a funny musical number), we get a portrait of teenage rowdiness, fun, confusion and sadism. As always, the popular kids torment the unpopular kids, but this is never a trite sitcom or an angsty teen drama because it's not a linear story intended to pull your strings — it's a collage meant to assemble itself in your mind.

      Hyperreal America
    The second half takes place in the adult world as the same actors — though not the same characters — deal with work, relationships, illness and isolation. This segment seems a bit overlong — with the play clocking in at about three hours overall — and disconnected from the first half until it reaches a stunning conclusion that helps the two halves make sense together.

    New York is full of experimental theater that simply leaves you puzzled, and it's rare that a non-linear play has this much impact while taking this many chances. "Hyperreal America" uses its 20-actor ensemble to present sometimes four or five scenes on the same stage at the same time, each cutting in and out like bits of overheard conversation, all adding up to a dreamlike but memorable whole. We finally remember that we're exploring the mind of a man at the moment of death and seeing our own society through the splinters of his memory.

    FEBRUARY 6, 2001

    Reader comments on Hyperreal America:

  • How incredible!!!   from Robert Barcia, Feb 8, 2001
  • Congratulations to Rachel and Sarah   from Aunt Mary JO, Feb 9, 2001

  • Post a comment on "Hyperreal America"