From Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic:
Playwright Samuel D. Hunter, who has close ties to several local theater organizations, has received a coveted MacArthur Foundation Award (often referred to as a “genius” grant).
Honored for “refreshing traditional templates to create distinctive and innovative work in theater,” the New York-based Hunter is an Idaho native whose recent play, “A Great Wilderness” was developed at Seattle Repertory Theatre, where it was given its world premiere in January 2014.
An earlier Hunter drama, “The Whale,” was workshopped in 2011 by Icicle Creek Play Festival in Leavenworth, Wash., and had staged readings there and at ACT Theatre.
A recurring theme in Hunter’s sensitive, searching and unsparingly candid plays: the plight of misfit residents of the American West whose desires for meaning and belonging have not been fulfilled, and how they compensate for their social isolation and rejection.
The MacArthur honor comes with a $625,000 grant, with no strings attached. For an LA Times commentary on Hunter and what he represents to the theater world, go here.