Quotidian Theatre Company presents "A Walk in the Woods" by Lee Blessing. |
Directed by Gillian Drake, featuring Brit Herring and Steve LaRocque.
HELEN HAYES AWARD Recommended
Two wise and decent men spar humorously to overcome their governments' political posturing.
Tickets are $30, or $25 for students or seniors, and can be bought online at quotidiantheatre.org.
The play opens March 15, and runs through April 14 on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 2pm, with one added 2pm performance on Saturday, April 13.
All performances are held at The Writer's Center: 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD 20815. There is ample parking across the street (free on Saturdays and Sundays), and the theatre is just five blocks from the Bethesda Metro Station on the Red Line.
For further information, please contact Jack Sbarbori via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 301-816-1023.
Praise for A Walk in the Woods at Quotidian Theatre Company:
"Smart, funny and intermittently profound. Steve LaRocque gives a wily, winning performance as veteran Soviet diplomat Andrey Botvinnik. As Honeyman, Brit Herring provides an impatient, fastidious, buttoned-down foil for LaRocque. A Walk in the Woods does really well in intimate venues... and it's working now for Quotidian."
(Jane Horwitz, The Washington Post)
"The playwright Lee Blessing is one of the masters of resonant realism, and his Cold War drama A Walk in the Woods is a compact lesson in restrained storytelling. It's an affecting play, effectively staged."
(Trey Graham, Washington City Paper)
"Under the brisk direction of Gillian Drake, this two-hander proves to be just as relevant as when it was staged thirty years ago. Anchoring this production is an award-worthy performance by Brit Herring as John Honeyman, the bright and energetic American who has just arrived in Geneva. As Botvinnik, Quotidian veteran Steve LaRocque demonstrates the virtue of playing Russian characters discreetly."
(Andy White, Broadway World)
"LaRocque gets his character; he is at every moment able to show the Russian's charm, amiability, cleverness and loneliness. Botvinnik is a man of great dignity, but his heart is naked, and LaRocque shows it clearly. Be forewarned: the play has a great deal of talk in it. But it's good talk, and you would be well advised to listen to it."
(Tim Treanor, DC Theatre Scene)
"Quotidian Theatre does certain things very well. One of them is capturing the sense of a historical place or period, as they have captured a specific place in their current play. In addition to being an opportunity for some intriguing political banter, A Walk in the Woods is also an excellent character study."
(Barbara Mackay, Washington Examiner)
"It's these two actors that make the play. They have built up such unique personalities and a strong relationship... Director Gillian Drake keeps the pace of the play up but exploits every personal moment between the characters."
(Jessica Vaughan, DC Metro Theater Arts)
"The idea that our prejudices usually melt when we recognize what we have in common with others we have long considered to be different is by no means a new area of exploration in art. But Blessing's sharp writing still manages to keep the mind engaged (as do two fine performances by Herring and LaRocque)."
(Alexis Victoria Hauk, DCist)
"The two men play off of each other like a well seasoned acting team should. Definitely worth your time and money."
(Elliot Lanes, MD Theatre Guide)
Building on the numerous sold out performances of their ambitious holiday musical "James Joyce's The Dead", Quotidian Theatre Company follows their large-ensemble bestseller with a production of Lee Blessing's intimate two-man play "A Walk in the Woods".
In Blessing's Pulitzer-nominated play set in 1985, a Russian arms negotiator and his American counterpart meet informally after long, frustrating hours at the bargaining table in Geneva. As their talks continue, it becomes clear to both men that, despite their growing understanding and even admiration for each other, the mistrust between their governments will continue to hinder progress and cause profound frustration.
"The writing is just masterful," says director Gillian Drake. "Blessing knows how to write dialogue beautifully; how to turn a scene deftly; and how to give characters, through their words, an arc and actable moments." Drake is joined on the project by actors Brit Herring (who plays American negotiator John Honeyman) and Steve LaRocque (as Russian negotiator Andrey Botvinnick).
Blessing says he "couldn't be happier" Drake is directing another of his plays. Drake previously directed his piece "Chesapeake" to warm reviews for The Bay Theatre Company; she worked with Herring on that company's crowd-pleasing production of Terrence McNally's "Lips Together, Teeth Apart". Herring comes to "A Walk in the Woods" after performances at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and Washington Stage Guild, and LaRocque has performed in over 15 plays for Quotidian Theatre Company.
Since the company's inception in 1998, Quotidian has focused on understated, character-driven drama. Drake says Herring and LaRocque "bring such commitment, integrity, and talent to the project, it makes rehearsal a joy." Herring, Drake says, "is a character actor in a leading man's body, and a powerhouse as well," while LaRocque "delves into each scene with the seriousness of a Ralph Richardson, but with a charm and impish good nature that is disarming."
Blessing credits the play's lasting power to its subject. "While today's politics are different from those of the Cold War," he says, "the world's no less dangerous, and the possibility of a small country touching off a major conflagration by using just one nuclear device grows greater every day. How do we negotiate now that we possess weapons we never actually want to be forced to use? Sadly, I think 'A Walk in the Woods' may seem relevant for quite some time to come."
Quotidian Theatre at The Writer's Center (View)
4508 Walsh Street
Bethesda, MD 20815
|Minimum Age: 14|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: Yes!|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|