THE STORY: Chronologically the second play in Lucy Thurber’s The Hill Town Plays cycle, ASHVILLE is the story of Celia, sixteen years old and trapped in her poor white rural town, among people who can’t hope for anything more than a good blue-collar job and a decent marriage. Celia wants something else in life, even if she can’t articulate what that is. For a fleeting moment she thinks she finds the unnameable thing in her neighbor and tentative friend Amanda, but it may be that no one else can save Celia—only she herself can orchestrate her escape.
“The best thing about these five plays is the detailed and quite devastating portrait they present of the depressed industrial region of western Massachusetts…” —Variety. “[In Lucy Thurber’s universe]…time doesn’t really pass so much as accrue. [Her] whiskey-soaked hillbilly head-butts are so stark, so deliberate, so recursive in their accursedness…Distance is hard-won; pitiable and predatory men from the past—brothers, boyfriends, everything in between—are never far from the door; and progress always comes with a beery undertow of regression…It’s the slow burn of a holiday in hell.” —New York Magazine.