LWT will conclude its 2015-16 Stage II offerings with the world premiere of Lewiston, by the 2014 MacArthur “Genius Grant” winner Samuel D. Hunter, directed by Eric Ting.
The production runs from April 6 to May 1, 2016. Tickets are $26 to $85. The press opening will take place on Wednesday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m.
The cast includes Randy Danson (Alice), Arielle Goldman (Marnie), Martin Moran (Connor), and Lucy Owen (Female Voice). The creative team includes Wilson Chin (sets), Paloma Young (costumes), Matthew Richards (lighting), Brandon Wolcott (sound), and Charles M. Turner III (stage manager). Casting is by Calleri Casting. The production is sponsored by Whitney Center and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Alice and Connor sit by their roadside stand selling cheap fireworks while developers swallow the land around them. Promised a condo in the new development, their future is secure. Enter Marnie, Alice’s long lost granddaughter, proposing to buy the land to save her family legacy. Marnie and Alice will become reacquainted with each other’s deeply held secrets, uncertain pasts, and hopeful futures. Hunter, a 2014 MacArthur Fellowship recipient, explores the emotional frontiers of a family struggling to make a home in the vastness of the American landscape with affection, poignancy, and a profound sense of empathy.
Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein describes Hunter as one of the most exciting and humane writers working in the theatre today. “He writes about people who don’t normally get written about,” Edelstein said. “He most reminds me of William Inge and Tennessee Williams in his delicate empathy for all the people in his stories.”
Lewiston also marks Eric Ting’s return to LWT. Ting, former Associate Artistic Director and current associate artist, recently took over as Artistic Director of California Shakespeare Theater. His recent Long Wharf Theatre credits include Clybourne Park, 4000 Miles, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and Agnes Under the Big Top, among many others.
Hunter, like many theatre people, first became interested in the art form in high school. While he dabbled in acting as a kid, he saw it as separate from writing. “I came at playwriting through a love of literature more than anything. I started reading a lot of the Beats in high school, and went backwards to James Joyce and Blake and it spiraled and I became more interested in literature. When I found playwriting it felt like natural fit to me, because I feel like I’m not a prose writer. But what I try to accomplish I like to through dialogue and a multiplicity of perspectives, and not through first or third person,” Hunter said in a 2013 interview.
He first gained attention in 2011 when A Bright New Boise won an Obie Award. He went on to produce a series of critically acclaimed plays in rapid succession, including The Whale (a Drama Desk award winner), The Few, A Great Wilderness, and Pocatello, among others. He is inspired by his home in Idaho, making it the setting for much of his work. Hunter’s plays – often quiet and introspective – show human beings wrestling with their belief, redefining familial relationships, and looking for connection in the world.
“If there’s one thing that all the plays are saying it’s that human connection is worth it, and that there’s value in it … I think that as I continued writing, I realized though that I actually have a really unshakable faith in the value of community and human connection, and I think that’s where the plays are coming from,” Hunter said in an interview with American Theatre magazine.
For more information about the show or to purchase tickets, visit www.longwharf.org/lewiston or call 203-787-4282.