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The Thin Place

Stacy Fischer as Hilda. Photo: Edward Boches

Review by Jaiden van Bork

Part of the beauty of boundary-pushing theater is that I never know quite how I’m going to feel once I’m sitting in my seat, the doors close, and the play begins. There’s a thrill to going into this type of thing blind, finding satisfaction in this kind of suspense and unpredictability. However, it is incredibly rare that I find myself truly scared by something on the stage. The Thin Place at the Harbor Stage in Wellfleet caught me off-guard in this way.

The play by Lucas Hnath, directed by Jeff Zinn, is frankly creepy, and the Harbor Stage’s incredible cast for this production delivers a performance that hits all the right spots. D’Arcy Dersham plays Linda, a psychic who claims to help her clients connect with loved ones beyond the grave. Stacy Fischer plays one of her clients, Hilda, a woman struggling to come to terms with the mysterious death of her grandmother and her mother. Hilda clings to Linda, hoping to use her supposed abilities to reconcile this mystery, but begins to find that the truth is complicated and hazy — and that not even the spiritual expertise of a medium like Linda can truly unravel the full story.

But the talk of ghosts, spirits, and unexplainable events are not the most frightening parts of this story. What is truly captivating is Fischer’s eerie performance, which exposes the inner uncertainty of Hilda’s character and her flailing attempts to make herself feel better about a terrible scenario — which all seem to be in vain.

This play has much to teach us on this subject — the ways in which our minds can often deceive us much more than anything external. Linda’s rather wealthy friends, Jerry (Robert Kropf) and Sylvia (Brenda Withers) complicate this idea further in discussions that elevate this play beyond mere ghost story and illuminate themes of class and ignorance.

The Thin Place is thematically complex, and seems to meander around all sides of these issues of truth, belief, and consciousness. At times, I almost felt lost, unsure of where things were going next and what exactly this show was trying to tell me. But while I was scared there might never be any real narrative catharsis, everything ultimately comes together to produce a deep, thrilling, and incredibly cerebral experience — one that incorporates subtly gut-wrenching horror, thoughtful social commentary, and apt humor in a way that feels almost à la Jordan Peele.

Despite all of these layers, The Thin Place does not feel self-indulgent or forced. In fact, it’s quite a humble play in many ways. A small cast, a small set, and a modest runtime with perfect pacing simply make the ephemeral significance of
this show feel even bigger.

The Thin Place is performed at the Harbor Stage, 15 Kendrick Ave., Wellfleet, Thursdays – Saturdays (except Friday, August 25), 7:30 p.m., and Sundays, 5 p.m. through September 3. On Friday, August 18, tickets are offered at the door for pay-what-you-can night. Otherwise, for tickets ($25) and information call 508.349.6800 or visit

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Ginger Mountain

Ginger Mountain (MS Communications Media, BA Fine Arts/Teaching Certification K-12) has been part of the graphic design team at Provincetown Magazine since 2008. Ginger has worked as a creative director, individual contractor, and freelance designer with clients representing many areas —business software, consumer products, professional services, entertainment, and network hardware to name just a few — providing creative layout and development of a wide range of print media content. Her clients ranged from small local businesses to large corporations and Fortune 500 companies, from New Hampshire to Georgia

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