Braden Abraham Directs Samuel D. Hunter play at Inge Festival

Director Braden AbrahamAn acclaimed director of exciting contemporary work will take the reins of a new play by Samuel D. Hunter, as part of the 32nd Annual William Inge Theatre Festival. 

Titled “A Great Wilderness,” the concert reading takes place Thursday May 2, 2013 at the Inge Festival, based at Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas.  Curtain time is 7:30 p.m.

Abraham is associate artistic director at Seattle Repertory Theatre, where he has won numerous awards for direction of both classic and contemporary plays.  Of the latter, he recently helmed “Photograph 51” (Anna Zeigler), “Opus” (Michael Holllinger.) and “Riddled” (Marya Sea Kaminski.) 

In addition to heading the new play program at Seattle Rep, Abraham has worked on new plays with The Playwrights Center, Portland Center Stage, On the Boards, and Richard Hugo House, among others. 

Inge Center Artistic Director Peter Ellenstein said, “We know our audience will enjoy this beautiful play by Samuel D. Hunter, which tackles complex and important issues with gentle clarity, surprises and enormous humanity.  His deeply nuanced character and relationship work makes him a worthy inheritor of William Inge’s legacy.”

A Great Wilderness” centers on Walter, who has spent his life counseling teenage Christian boys whose parents fear their sons have homosexual tendencies.  When a confused teenager arrives at Walt’s fellowship camp in the Idaho mountain wilderness, Walter has a crisis of faith.

Samuel D. Hunter is an Obie-winning writer, whose plays include “The Whale,” recently in New York at Playwrights Horizons and “A Bright New Boise.”

Hunter is the Inge Festival’s 21st winner of the Otis Guernsey New Voices Playwriting Award, named for the late theater scholar.  Guernsey was a frequent Inge Festival attendee and a champion of new plays.

The William Inge Center for the Arts is best known as sponsor of the annual William Inge Theatre Festival, which is the Official Theatre Festival of the State of Kansas.

The 32nd annual Inge Festival takes place May 1-4, 2013, and honors William Inge on the commemoration of his 100th birthday May 3.  Visit the Festival website for more information, and tickets.

Major supporters of the William Inge Center for the Arts include the William Inge Festival Foundation, and Independence Community College.

This program is presented in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency, which believes a great nation deserves great art.  Independence, Kansas, is located 160 miles south of Kansas City, Mo., and 90 miles north of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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