Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-05-27
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW The Harvest
by Jonathan Abarbanel, Windy City Times
2018-08-08

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Samuel D. Hunter

At: Griffin Theatre Company at The Den, 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. Tickets: 773-697-3830; GriffinTheatre.com; $36. Runs through: Aug. 25

The young adults in The Harvest have grown up as part of an evangelical community in a small and culturally isolated Idaho town. In the opening scene, they pray in tongues as they prepare to become missionaries in Islamic lands. One quickly understands they are not yet fully grown-up, and are experiencing crises in faith.

The would-be missionaries include Denise ( Kathryn Acosta ) and Marcus ( Taylor DelVechhio ), a young married couple somewhat unsure of what they expect from each other and the future, and lifelong best friends Josh ( Raphael Diaz ) and Tom ( Collin Quinn Rice ), facing permanent separation as they pursue different missions. There's also Ada ( Kiayla Ryann ), an experienced missionary who teaches them Arabic, has anecdotes for every situation and craftily derails doubts.

Subtly at first, The Harvest reveals that Tom's longing for Josh goes far beyond church-sanctioned friendship, although Josh does not seem fully to perceive Tom's passion or return it. Josh is escaping a tortured family history, which is highlighted when his older sister ( Paloma Nozicka ) returns to town and tries to dissuade Josh from his mission. Complicating things, Tom's father is Pastor Chuck ( Patrick Blashill ), founder of the church which is sponsoring their overseas missions.

The Harvest is a lovely and intelligent ensemble piece, from the opening scene of glossolalia to the final lady-or-the-tiger moment when Josh must choose the course that will determine his future, and maybe Tom's, too. All the actors perform with conviction as directed by Jonathan Berry, in a slightly-claustrophobic church basement set, a multi-function room, neatly designed by Sotirios Livaditis. Blashill is particularly good, entering late in this 100-minute work and performing a near-monolog with quiet authority and genuine humanity, against the hell-and-brimstone the audience anticipates. It's cagey writing which highlights the dilemma of Josh and Tom, caught between what is expected of them and their fundamental doubts.

Playwright Hunter never disparages evangelical Christianity. He does lay out, however, that it's a belief system of absolutes; a universe of all-black and all-white in which the Biblical Word of God is the final authority. Of course, fundamentalist Islam is the same, substituting Allah and the Koran. It's not at all safe for the world that fundamentalist faiths have become politicized—but I digress.

This production should deepen as it's performed, allowing the emotional subtext to grow stronger. The speaking-in-tongues, for example, needs to be ecstatic, leaving them spent in an orgasmic sense.

Samuel D. Hunter's award-winning earlier play, The Whale, was seen in 2013 at Victory Gardens Theater, where Hunter is part of the Playwrights' Ensemble. I'll venture that The Harvest is his best work since The Whale.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

47th annual Non-Equity Jeff Awards postponed 2020-06-03 - June 3, 2020 — Chicago — The 2020 Non-Equity Jeff Awards program has been postponed. Originally scheduled as a virtual gathering for Monday, ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW Improv House Party 2020-06-03 - Playwright: Second City ensemble. At: Second City online, at SecondCity.com. Tickets: Free. Runs through: June 13 All of Chicago's theaters, along ...


Gay News

THEATER Larry Kramer (1935-2020), polemicist and playwright 2020-05-30 - Larry Kramer was an angry man and he made sure people knew it. The language of his public discourse—the hundreds of articles he ...


Gay News

Jeff Awards Nominee Night cabaret concert online June 1 2020-05-29 - The Non-Equity Jeff Awards Nominee Night concert, a version of the annual event at Sidetrack to showcase Jeff Award nominees, will be broadcast ...


Gay News

Chita: A Legendary Celebration to stream May 29 2020-05-27 - Chita: A Legendary Celebration , Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS' one-night-only evening of song and dance celebrating the legendary Chita Rivera , returns this ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Rufus Wainwright, LGBTQ films, Billy Porter, Janelle Monae 2020-05-27 - Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright unveiled the latest single from his eagerly anticipated new pop album, Unfollow the Rules, a press release noted. "Alone ...


Gay News

THEATER Pride in Place Festival brings LGBTQ theater to stay-at-home audiences 2020-05-26 - The upheaval of the Stonewall riots had barely settled before the weekend preceding Independence Day was set aside to honor the right of ...


Gay News

BAMtheatre starting virtual classes 2020-05-26 - In response to the stay-at-home and social distancing orders implemented by the COVID-19 pandemic, BAMtheatre has reimagined its musical theatre-focused programming through a ...


Gay News

Steppenwolf names first woman Executive Director 2020-05-22 - Steppenwolf Theatre Company announced that Brooke Flanagan—who previously worked at Steppenwolf for seven years—will return to the organization in the role of executive ...


Gay News

STREAMING THEATER REVIEW To Master the Art 2020-05-22 - Playwright: William Brown and Doug Frew. At: TimeLine Theatre, streaming. Tickets: TimelineTheatre.com; $15-$25. Runs through: June 7 TimeLine Theatre commissioned To ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News  Entertainment Features Donate Bars & Clubs Calendar Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.