Losing Their Religion

Intiman's Documentary Drama About Seattle and God


I saw and mostly liked this unlikely play. More than it being a play though it was a gifted actor doing the impression of 11 different people who had been interviewed in Seattle. Some of the impressions as mentioned above of the Cambodian refugee or the protagonist's uncle are spot on. Others, mostly, understandably the female characters came across as an effeminate man touching his face too much.
The story as not cohesive enough to really draw one in. There is not a deep understanding or a message to be learned. I, as a Catholic raised Seattle native did not find it to be a SEATTLE story, but I found grains of truth.
If given the chance, I hesitate to push this. We are god-less and happy. We have gotten this way by examining much further than this play delves. The uncle probably is the most Seattle of the characters as he says we are all connected as human beings, but then again the woman at the dance club that admits that she "just likes to sin sometimes" is authentic too. It is hard for me to not promote anything and everything that Akinnagbe does, so go.
You're being far too generous. The "play" (really not much of one, with no discernable plot) was bore, bore, boring. 90 minutes felt like 9 hours.
“The Thin Place” was even more patronizing and dramatically lame than I had anticipated, having read a couple of reviews. The experience was like listening to the groupthink of teenagers at a parochial high school.

There is an event late in the play where the collective cluelessness blazes forth like a Spring Break rug fire. Our hero, Isaac (a bible name, isn’t that precious), exits a short stint in the military with exactly the same chirpy demeanor as the 18-year-old boy who enlisted. This is a virtual impossibility. Even if a service experience is a complete washout a person will have been hammered into something noticeably different. It is stunning that neither the writer (Sonya Schneider) nor director (Andrew Russell) nor artistic director (Kate Whoriskey) nor anyone else in the Intiman organization could hear the exquisite phoniness of this character’s juvenile voice. No one knows how to turn Isaac into an adult.

At this point Gbenga Akinnagbe treats us to the hero’s showstopping breakthrough: a discovery that the bible is, you know, gross. God is, like, mean and angry! And he, like, kills people for no reason! So not cool.

Even this meager transition is impossible. In any branch of the U.S. military today Isaac would be a Golden Boy, coddled and nurtured by the top brass religious fanatics who impose anti-Constitutional Christian evangelism on their captive audience. Intiman seems to be completely oblivious of this reality. Does anyone at Intiman read the newspaper?

Isaac’s bubbly goofiness at the climax sums up the ‘spiritual’ shallowness of this… thing. This is naivety with an exclamation mark.

But the most deplorable act of condescension to the audience comes when we briefly return to Isaac’s uncle, the play’s village atheist. Right on cue he cries and tells his nephew to go ahead and pray if it makes him feel better. Thought I was going to puke.

When you’re holding subscription tickets you feel compelled to keep a stiff upper lip and locate some morsel of satisfaction in a weak production, but in “The Thin Place” there is truly nothing to respect.