The Play Company presents the U.S. debut of German playwright Maria Milisavljevic's tense and haunting new thriller about a search for a missing woman. More…
Karla’s been missing since Monday. The police are indifferent, so her friends launch a search of their own. But soon secrets surface, and threaten the safety they’ve worked so hard to find in a new home. This poetic thriller, winner of the prestigious Kleist Award, leads us through a world where people make their own justice, to the brink of irrevocable loss.
"While the story is straightforward, this is only an entry point for Milisavljeic, as she weaves a complex spiral as the characters find themselves getting lost in both their humanity and how they see the world; what moves underneath Abyss is an exploration of what we’re capable of amidst tragedy and who we become in its aftermath; this is a beautiful and challenging work." Full Review
"This poetic drama qualifies as severely arty, it is also genuinely artful. If you bear with its more fanciful flourishes, it will take you places you didn’t expect to go...I think it’s safe to say that 'Abyss' could have been written only by someone who is young and European. But there’s a probing sense of purpose in the play, which has been directed with a mercifully unaffected clarity by Maria Mileaf." Full Review
"A minor but promising play...Secrets and lies are exposed, loyalties and priorities questioned, and lovers’ jealousies provoked...Obscure but suggestive elements keep intruding...Elements like these tend to give the piece an artsy tone that draws attention from the central narrative. Hints of the difficulties faced by Balkan and Russian refugees living in Germany emerge, but they remain hints, valuable mainly as background color." Full Review
"The murder mystery offers rich enough sport once the elliptical text finds its footing, but in the context of the current world refugee crisis, I found that Milisavljevic’s oblique commentary on Germany’s contemporary ethnic patchwork provided more gripping distractions...The three-strong cast takes on these games’ many players with uneven inspiration...The Play Company’s 'Abyss' wades only waist deep into those churning waters, but it might have better played at another game, taken the dare... Full Review
"Promoted as a 'poetic thriller,' 'Abyss' depends upon lyrical text, opacity, and, to a degree, metaphor and an abstract narrative. However, 'Abyss' is lengthy and requires an intense focus in order to follow and find the story’s nuances. While this type of writing could be magical and thought provoking, in spite of any compelling concerns about the underlying political themes, it can also result in a degree of frustration and a level of indifference as regards the characters and the events." Full Review
"'Abyss' never makes anything dramatically engaging out of its mysterious scenario. The script is a dense web of memories, dreams, allusions, and insinuations, all of them pieces in a puzzle of political and spiritual exile. The playwright's narrative method is deliberately cloudy at times; for example, the police's lack of interest in Karla's fate remains baffling throughout. But the real difficulty is the characters, who tend to be disappointingly thin rather than intriguingly enigmatic." Full Review
See it if you enjoy watching a college-level production, sitting in very uncomfortable seats. If you enjoy a pretentious play, this may be for you.
Don't see it if you value high-quality drama, with fine acting, and sitting in a comfortable seat.
Get alerts about your favorite artists and theater companies