Overlay - Hollywood Fringe Review

A review by Rachel Flanagan.

Violence in often overlooked these days thanks to the abundance of violence in video games and movies and television.  Real violence is recapped every day, multiple times a day, on the news and newspapers and shared through social media sites. People have become so immune to the real violence and war that happens every day unless they see it up close and personal. Overlay takes an unnerving and yet brilliant look at war in a story of a dystopian future who uses virtual reality video games using an "overlay machine" to escape the reality of every day violence.  The story is told through various characters like the "handler" who uses a certain set of skills to calm people down and convince them that everything is okay and her husband who works on the virtual reality games and cannot quite handle the reality of what he is doing.  Then there is the "clean up" crew who thinks she is playing a fun game with dancing flowers until her overlay machine glitches out and she sees that she is actually picking up body parts in the destroyed war zone.  The advancement and problems with the overlay is explained through someone who started out in the real war zone, moved into overlay war zones where they saw teddy bears getting shot instead of people, and finally working on the overlay machines and creating the virtual realities themselves. Overlay is a deep and slightly unsettling story with an interesting look at what the future of technology could perhaps bring to our own future.


OVERLAY is a one act play set in a dystopian future where the horrifying realities of war have been replaced with adorable video games. But no matter how remote the act of killing has become, can we ever be far from the burden of guilt below the surface?

Adam Hahn is a Resident Playwright with SkyPilot Theatre Company. His previous productions with SkyPilot include KONG: A Goddamn Thirty-Foot Gorilla, Earthbound (a musical written with composer Jonathan Price and lyricist Chana Wise), and The Mermaid Wars during Fringe 2015.

SkyPilot Theatre Company is a playwright-driven company that workshops, develops and produces World Premiere presentations of the works of our resident playwrights.

Posted By Rachel Flanagan on June 23, 2016 02:41 pm | Permalink