THE STORY: In this urban thriller loosely inspired by A Midsummer Night's Dream, a fifteen-year-old runaway named Nihar is living on the streets, hustling to survive. When he meets a well-intentioned (and well-off) graduate student named Jessica, he tells her an unbelievable story—there is a mythical world beneath our world, ruled by the King of Shadows. Nihar claims the terrifying, demon-like creature is hunting San Francisco's homeless population, trying to find him. Can Jessica protect Nihar? Will she? And could the boy somehow…possibly…be telling the truth? The answers in this unsettling play have frightening repercussions for both Jessica and Nihar, as well as for Jessica's boyfriend, Eric, and her sister, Sarah.
"Sci-fi and horror are not genres you often encounter on the legitimate stage. Yet in KING OF SHADOWS, Aguirre-Sacasa has concocted a diverting and intriguing thriller by blending elements of Shakespeare and Stephen King…The playwright is very adept at building a sense of mystery, cleverly feeding bits of new information to deepen it as the play unfolds…Just as the audience thinks it has the whole picture figured out, Aguirre-Sacasa adds more pieces to the puzzle, leading to a series of twists at the end." —NY Times. "Both trick and treat, the play's tightly plotted twists and naturalistic dialogue stay so consistently engrossing it doesn't occur to you until the end of the evening that the little four-hander is actually a remarkably ambitious fantasy…KING OF SHADOWS is a gift to the audience…" —Variety. "…stirring…wonderfully walks the line of fantasy and reality with touches of lush imagery, bringing to mind the works of smart fantasy/horror writers like Richard Matheson and Rod Serling. The script moves deliberately for much of the first act, carefully introducing us to the four richly drawn characters. By intermission, we are deeply involved with the plight of each one. The tension-filled second act zips by at a rapid pace." —NYTheatre.com.