A Hard Wall At High Speed
"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

By Ashlin Halfnight

World Premiere

“This is a masterfully executed production of Ashlin Halfnight’s illuminating new play, which chronicles a Florida family’s bizarre upheaval while reframing a well-known national tragedy with compelling specificity.” –Critic’s Pick, BackStage.com

Outstanding Production of a Play
Outstanding FeaturedActress (Ryan Templeton)
Outstanding Set Design (Stephen K. Dobay)
Outstanding Lighting Design (Cat Tate Starmer)


November 3-19, 2011


Donnie Cole has the ideal Floridian existence: he’s a charter pilot who loves to fly planes – he has the perfect family, owns his home, and basks in the respect of his community. But when he misjudges a situation at work, an unexpected burst of media attention turns an uneasy community against him. A play about one man’s mistake, and how it changed the nation, A Hard Wall at High Speed asks how we heal, how we forgive, and how far we’ve come.

This program is supported in part by public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.


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See the rehearsal photos on Facebook.

Inside A Hard Wall at High Speed

Blog Posts

A Transition to New Work (Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik Talks A Hard Wall at High Speed)

Explosive, Emotionally Charged and Dangerous (Playwright Ashlin Halfnight Talks A Hard Wall at High Speed)

A Poignant and Powerful Premise (Director May Adrales Talks A Hard Wall at High Speed)


Video Interview: Olivia Jane Smith Interviews Ashlin Halfnight and May Adrales about A Hard Wall at High Speed – New York Theatre Review

Theater profile: Ashin Halfnight divides his time between writing plays and teaching junior high – NY Daily News

People You Should Know…May Adrales – Visible Soul

People You Should Know…Ashlin Halfnight – Visible Soul

A Hard Wall at High Speed, A Working Class Play- Queens Gazette

Tom O’Keefe to Star in World Premiere of Ashlin Halfnight’s A Hard Wall at High Speed Playbill.com

APAC Announces the World Premiere of A Hard Wall at High Speed – BroadwayWorld.com


“This is a masterfully executed production of Ashlin Halfnight’s illuminating new play, which chronicles a Florida family’s bizarre upheaval while reframing a well-known national tragedy with compelling specificity.”Critic’s Pick, BackStage.com

“…thoughtful and stirring…Halfnight manages to offer a fresh perspective that avoids easy answers. He instead focuses on the fear and insecurity that accompanies a fall from grace, and the seemingly impossible task of finding some way to rebuild.”TheaterMania.com

As usual, APAC’s technical stuff is top-notch; I already mentioned the great set. Becky Bodurtha’s costumes, Cat Tate Stammer’s lighting, Nathan A. Roberts’s Sound Design and original music, and Ashley Cavadas’ props are all great. May Adrales directs with an eye for telling detail.” – BroadwayWorld.com

I don’t recall ever watching a play that had the audience glued to their seats after it ended, that had them turning around to strangers and discussing what they had just seen, unwilling to leave the theater because the experience was so powerful, they needed to discuss it with those who had shared the same.” – Queens Gazette

Director May Adrales lets the characters zing through life until a dramatic turn makes the action and conversation much heavier. The tone and pace are spot-on for this multi-dimensional story. APAC pulls out all necessary stops with this production, creating a successful theatrical event. A gorgeous set by Stephen K. Dobay depicting a cozy Floridian home helps give life to the atypical but loving family at the center of the struggle. And Halfnight’s voice shines through A Hard Wall at High Speed, offering much witty banter and occasional artistic expressiveness.” – Theatre Is Easy

Cast and Production Staff


Sarah Kate Jackson*, Tom O’Keefe*, Johnny Pruitt*, Ryan Templeton

Production Staff

Director: May Adrales
Set Design: Stephen K. Dobay
Costume Design: Becky Bodurtha
Lighting Design: Cat Tate Starmer
Sound Design/Original Composition: Nathan A. Roberts
Prop Design: Ashley Cavadas
Casting: wojcik|seay casting
Press Agent: Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR
Associate Set Design: Michael Minahan
Associate Lighting Design: Annie Wiegand
Assistant Director: Liza Renzulli
Assistant Costume Design: Elizabeth Van Buren
Fight Direction: Lisa Kopitsky
Production Manager: Annie Jacobs
Technical Director: Drew McCollum
Associate Production Manager: Jenny Herdman Lando
Production Stage Manager: Lizzy Lee
Assistant Stage Managers: Alex Fletcher & Jenna R. Lazar
*These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

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