In this 2015 article from the Samuel French archives, Amy Rose Marsh – who is now the Vice President of Concord Theatricals literary department – features Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (US/UK), breaking down what’s interesting about the play.
What’s It All About
Set in the breakroom of a Hobby Lobby, this intimate comedic drama examines the life of 5 small-town Idahoans struggle with questions of ambition and faith. After being rejected by the congregation of his Evangelical church, Will gets hired at the Hobby Lobby. It’s not only employment that he’s looking for: his son Alex, whom he gave up for adoption several years ago, works there. Hobby Lobby also employs Leroy, Alex’s adopted brother; Anna, a directionless young woman obsessed, and their manager, foul-mouthed Pauline, who tries desperately to control the politics of the backroom.
Why You Should Do This Play
Since penning A Bright New Boise (US/UK), Mr. Hunter’s work has moved uptown, played in large professional theatres all over the country (South Coast Rep, Seattle Rep, Victory Garden, Denver Theatre Center, to name a few!), and he’s been heralded a “genius” by the McArthur foundation. This is the play that started it all; it’s a delicate, introspective work that appeals to a wide audience. The most educated, classic theatre lover will respect his Inge-like attention to the nuances of small town Idaho, and those new to theatre will respect the progressive, challenging questions this play poses. It’s a powerful work that raises deep questions about family, religion, ambition, community, and the weird, beautiful American West.
It’s a single simple set (card tables, anyone? Breakrooms look pretty similar to greenrooms!), with incredibly accessible characters.
Need To Know
This play was a hit with the New York critics and is STILL a hit with local reviewers across the U.S. There’s great scene work for actors in the play as well!