College News

Barton Theatre to present psychological thriller “The Thin Place”

actors posing on a couch
(From Left) Barton Theatre Students Emily Wilson, Sarah MacMahon, Trevan Peterson and Sayaka Kawai pause for a photo in the Fine Arts Auditorium earlier in the semester.

September 20, 2022
Story and photos by Joe Vinduska

Just in time for “spooky season,” the Barton Theatre Department will present its suspense-filled production of “The Thin Place,” by Lucas Hnath at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7, 8, 14 and 15 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 8 and 15 in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are on sale now at This show is for mature audiences due to strong language.

The play explores elements of the supernatural such as communication with the dead and telepathy.

Barton Theatre Student Sarah MacMahon plays the lead of Hilda who has alleged psychic powers.

“This play is unlike any I have seen or performed before,” she said. “It's a modern work and the show almost forces you to be in a different mind. It's chilling, awkward and uncomfortable, but at the same time, it pulls you in and locks your focus. Each detail is important, and you may finish the show and want to come back another night to see if you missed something.”

MacMahon said the habit we have as humans to seek out suspenseful or scary material for entertainment is an interesting tendency to analyze.

“I believe that we live in a comfortable place and we enjoy that comfort, but our minds can't help but ponder the dangers of the what-ifs,” she said. “When we see suspenseful plays or shows, it allows our mind to fantasize and immerse itself into an experience of the what-if, to see how we would react. To have a taste without consequence.”

Barton’s new Director of Theatrical Activities Dan Williams said he was looking for a short, modern and scary play.

“When I came across this script, I became very excited, as Lucas Hnath is one of the top playwrights in the country right now,” he said. “I love doing new work and teaching modern theatre. This show will feature a new method of production, a frightening story and a suspenseful ending.”

MacMahon has been involved in the theatre program for over a year now and has loved her experience.

“The people, the atmosphere, the products we create by all our minds coming together is so beautiful and fun,” she said. “The program has definitely nurtured my love for theatre and I never really want to stop. Even if you aren't majoring in theatre, I recommend taking a class or even joining a performance. You won't regret it and it will change your life.”

For more information, contact Williams at or (620) 792-9205.