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Theater Review: 'The Healing'

by Photo of Paul Hansen

Theater Breaking Through Barriers presents a new play by Samuel D. Hunter

Theater Review: 'The Healing'

The world premiere production of The Healing recently opened on Theatre Row in New York. The drama is by Samuel D. Hunter who is a MacArthur Fellowship recipient, an award which is given to individuals of high talent.    

The play centers around a group of disabled friends who have assembled in a comfortable middle-class home in Idaho. They are veterans of a summer camp which they attended decades ago. They were taught at the camp that they could cure their disabilities through prayer. The drama deals with the consequences and emotional conflicts resulting from that advice.

The playwright indicates that six of the seven cast members should be played by individuals with actual disabilities. I found the cast performances largely intelligent and thoughtful, though there were times when I wished that the vocal productions had been slightly louder and more varied.

I was very impressed by the physical aspects of the production. Jason Simms designed a very effective living room set. The realistic atmosphere of the stage is assisted by props designer Charles Bowden and lighting designer Alejandro Fajardo. The sensitive production is directed by Stella Powell-Jones.

The Healing is being presented by Theater Breaking Through Barriers. The integrated company describes its mission as “dedicated to advancing actors and writers with disabilities...” Impressively, the company has been in existence for over 37 years.

Playwright Hunter's credits include The Whale which won a Drama Desk and a Lucille Lortel Award. Hunter was born and raised in Idaho and much of his work is set there. His play A Bright New Boise won a 2011 Obie Award for playwriting.

The Healing is performing through July 16 th at the Clurman Theatre at Theatre Row located at 410 West 42 nd St.

 

 


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