PLAYBILL.COM'S THEATRE WEEK IN REVIEW, Dec. 28-Jan. 3: Spider-Man Honored Prior to Closing and New Plays Set to Open Off-Broadway

By Robert Simonson
03 Jan 2014

Samuel D. Hunter

The world premiere of A Great Wilderness, a new play by Hunter, will be presented by Seattle Repertory Theatre beginning Jan. 17. Performances will continue through Feb. 16 in the Leo K. Theatre.

Directed by associate artistic director Braden Abraham, the cast includes Michael Winters, Gretchen Krich, Mari Nelson, R. Hamilton Wright, Christine Estabrook and Jack Taylor.

Just as The Whale dealt with an uncomfortable subject not typically seen on the stage — the morbid obesity of the central character, whose compulsions and weight have cut him off from society — A Great Wilderness tackles thorny social issues. It centers on Walt, a man who has devoted his life to counseling teenage boys out of their homosexuality at his remote Idaho wilderness camp.

Another new Hunter play, Rest, will open soon afterwards at South Coast Rep. This one is set in a nursing home in northern Idaho that is shutting down. Only three patients remain, and one of them, Gerald, is 91, suffering from Alzheimers and has wandered off. In the midst of a record-breaking blizzard, the search for Gerald takes an unexpected turn. The play runs March 28-April 27.


In other new play news, Breathing Time, a new drama by Farragut North and "House of Cards" writer Beau Willimon, will have its world premiere beginning March 21 at Teatro Iati in New York City.

Fault Line Theatre will present Breathing Time, which is about two bankers, "one reckless and larger than life, the other responsible and grounded," and two women in their lives, one a struggling dancer trying to make ends meet, and one a suburban mother doing her best to raise a young son.