by Samuel D. Hunter
Originally produced at Lincoln Center Theater, New York, NY
November 14, 2019 - January 19, 2020
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: The title of Samuel D. Hunter’s Greater Clements is the name of the town where the play is set. The locale is a struggling rural community in Idaho where properties are being purchased by wealthy out-of-staters, displacing lifelong residents—largely blue-collar workers—who are becoming disenfranchised and disenchanted. The key setting is a shuttered mineral mine that has not only been tapped out but has also self-destructed after a devastating fire that killed 81 miners. Imbued with traditional, naturalistic qualities, Greater Clements is one of Mr. Hunter’s more ambitious plays. It is perhaps his broadest canvas to date not just because of its three-act structure but also because of the variety of characters he has created and the large, symbolic themes, including racism and youth suicide, he has incorporated into his work.
Artistic Statement: Sam Hunter is a fine writer with a wonderful ear, creating worlds that sort of envelop you. With Greater Clements, he has captured and reflects upon an underside of our country that exists today: towns closing down, businesses failing, jobs being eliminated. Sam has a remarkable ability to illuminate the dislocation and loneliness of the Idaho denizens with whom he peoples many of his plays. He has a real sense of that little corner of the world, its inhabitants and their history. His plays tend to be slightly mysterious and somewhat lyrical. His characters can be quirky—physically challenged in The Healing and grotesque, even, in The Whale—as well as needy or solitary or eccentric. Sam is a poet of the American loner, imagining characters whose lives are outside the mainstream; he is keenly observant, open-hearted, and never condescending.
Grant Statement: LCT’s Edgerton Foundation grant will provide funds for an additional week of rehearsals. Greater Clements requires a two-story set and director Davis McCallum has expressed his interest in staging the play in the round. These factors are likely going to result in a protracted tech-rehearsal period to ensure that the actors are given ample time to become acclimated to the set and the audience configuration. An additional week in the rehearsal room before the company moves onto the stage is going to be extremely helpful, particularly given the play’s length.
Director: Davis McCallum
Set Designer: Dane Laffrey
Lighting Designer: Yi Zhao
Costume Designer: Kaye Voyce
Original Music and Sound Designer: Fitz Patton
Cast: Edmund Donovan, Andrew Garman, Nina Hellman, Judith Ivey, Kate MacCluggage, Ken Narasaki, Haley Sakamoto
Additional Funders: The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation’s Theatre Visions Fund Award, Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.