April 14, 2015

Anyone who has ever lived in a deadly dull town will understand why two bawdy-mouthed Australian schoolgirls dig a hole to China in Alexandra Collier’s “Underland.” It’s the only way out, they decide, from stone-quarry country. But they’re bad at geography, so the nice man who crawls out of their tunnel one day is from Tokyo. Back at school, the girls’ physical education teacher turns into a crocodile. Ms. Collier, who is Australian-born and New York-based, has created six vivid, droll characters. In Terra Nova Collective’s polished production of “Underland” at 59E59 Theaters, Mia Rovegno has directed six assertive, beautifully delineated performances. The meaning of the play, however, is swathed in enough metaphor to suffocate Samuel Beckett.