Slippery, spooky ‘The Slim Place’ opens soon at ACT Theatre

You are going to have to forgive Brandon J. Simmons for not telling you additional…

You are going to have to forgive Brandon J. Simmons for not telling you additional about the perform he’s directing.

Some primary details are on the desk: It is named “The Slim Area,” it opens at ACT Theatre on March 23, with previews starting March 18, and there are ghosts.

Simmons calls the engage in “uncanny” and “slippery” and “delicate.” He does not mention considerably about the plot.

“Of study course, we want to communicate to individuals and be like, ‘Hey, this is an remarkable participate in. Arrive see it. And also, you really do not really know what you are about to come see,’ ” Simmons said.

Some of this evasiveness is spoiler sensitivity, but some of it is far more essential: It’s not that easy to describe what comes about.

“The Thin Place” is written by Lucas Hnath, whose cerebral and formally adventurous plays consist of a sequel to Ibsen (“A Doll’s House, Element 2”), an alternate-universe evaluation of a Hillary Clinton presidential run (“Hillary and Clinton”) and his most current Broadway foray, “Dana H.,” in which an actor lip-syncs to a recording of Hnath’s mother telling the tale of her possess kidnapping.

Hnath dedicates “The Slim Position,” which premiered off-Broadway in 2019, to the memory of sleight-of-hand grasp Ricky Jay, which need to give some feeling of his intentions here.

“It’s a enjoy that definitely desires to enjoy with the audience’s expectations, so the tone that receives proven is really fragile, and possibly even a minimal misleading,” Simmons claimed. “Doing that is tough, because it is incredibly effortless to go far too considerably. Just about every day we arrive into rehearsal, we check it out. [Sometimes], we’re like, “Ah, too a great deal, as well considerably, let’s dial it again. Or let us pump it up just a little little bit.’ It’s all about that incredibly minute, specific minimal perform.”

“The Skinny Place” starts with a dialogue in between Hilda (Abigail Boucher) and Linda (Julie Briskman). Hilda is seeking to get in contact with her late grandmother, who applied to apply communicating with her telepathically when she was a very little female, opening “a thin place” where the divide involving this environment and a further dissipated.

As a medium, Linda says she can aid reconnect them: “What I do is like a radio antennae. I tune my dial, then all these voices get started comin’ at me.” 

For Briskman, Linda is contrary to any character she’s performed before. There is a simplicity and a make any difference-of-factness to her that belies the supernatural attributes of her get the job done, she explained.

But is Linda telling the fact? And for that make a difference, is Hilda?

“One of the initial things Brandon explained to me was, ‘Everything she suggests is true. From her place of look at,’ ” Briskman stated. “And which is legitimate for everyone in the engage in. So, if I get started from there, I will not tip my hand [because] there is no hand to be tipped.”

Two supplemental figures, played by Ray Gonzalez and Alexandra Tavares, are present to ponder and complicate the mysteries. More details about their involvement are not quickly forthcoming.

“A good deal of factors are going to materialize inside of the training course of the night that you will not assume,” Briskman explained.

With its nebulous mood, “The Skinny Place” is a play that embodies its title, Simmons mentioned. The much more you test to wrap your fingers close to it, the a lot more it eludes you. And nevertheless, it also has times that are very likely to evoke collective gasps.

“I study it and it just gave me this sort of a tingle, such a spark. It was like a small shiver,” Simmons explained. “It’s type of a ghost tale, but it just peeks close to the corner at a small horror it peeks close to the corner at a thriller.”

“The Slender Place”

By Lucas Hnath. March 23-April 10 (previews start March 18) ACT Theatre, 700 Union St., Seattle masks and proof of vaccination or detrimental coronavirus take a look at needed $27-$84 206-292-7676, acttheatre.org