Idaho's Samuel Hunter Selected For O'Neill Center National Playwrights Conference


Moscow-native Samuel Hunter is the winner of the Obie and Whiting awards for his dramas.
  • Moscow-native Samuel Hunter has won the Obie and Whiting awards for his dramas.

A new work from Idaho playwright Samuel Hunter was chosen today to be one of eight plays nurtured at this summer's prestigious National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut.

Hunter's new drama, A Great Wilderness, was one of a handful of scripts selected from 1,100 submitted plays, the highest ever in the competition's history. Hunter's play was chosen along with new works from Bekah Brunstetter (whose play brings the Oregon Trail to life) and Pulitzer Prize-winner David Auburn (Proof).

In 2011, Hunter won a Whiting Award and an Obie Award—Off-Broadway's version of the Tony—for his play, A Bright New Boise. And Treasure Valley audiences may remember his 2011 productions of A Permanent Image and Norway at Boise Contemporary Theater.

Playbill describes the plot of Hunter's A Great Wilderness like this:

"Facing a forced retirement and early signs of dementia, a man who's devoted his life to counseling teenage boys out of their homosexuality has taken on one last patient at his remote mountain cabin in Idaho. But when tragedy strikes and his life and mind begin to unravel, he is forced to confront some demons of his own."

A Great Wilderness will be workshopped and produced this July at the Connecticut playhouse.