No matter how the 2016 election turned out, close to half the country was going to be disappointed. Over the course of a seemingly eternal and emotionally bruising process, it became apparent that our mainstream media sources were struggling to accurately reflect the state of the nation, and that for many, the internet—specifically social media—was becoming the primary source of information—regardless of whether or not that information was accurate. In other words: truth seemed in short supply.

So where do we turn for reliable and truthful conversations? I believe that the Theatre is such a place. It houses sophisticated conversations about impossible subjects which, under normal circumstances, could rip apart a family gathering or an otherwise innocuous dinner party. Theatre seeks to explore and uncover complex ideas and offer non-partisan mediation on relevant and pressing themes. Julius Caesar took a centuries-old look at a political process that hasn’t changed in the intervening 2000 years. The Hunter and The Bear looks at the weight of personal responsibility and the demons which hide deep within our subconscious.

“In other words: truth seemed in short supply.”

I first saw the premiere of The Scene in 2006 at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and immediately fell in love with it. It was fresh and different. After its premiere, the production travelled to New York where it enjoyed a smashing success but fell just short of a transfer to Broadway, owing to scheduling difficulties with the cast. In the meantime, playwright Theresa Rebeck has ascended to the forefront of the profession, creating a number of follow-up hits and enjoying a significant television career (including scribing the highly enjoyable television show Smash). Ten years later, we return to this theatrical gem. Kimberly Senior who directs the WT production offers us a fresh take on the play. Employing a racially diverse cast (not necessarily implied by the script but certainly supported by the events of the play and by the playwright herself) Senior explores the identity crisis that can occur when a white man, struggling with his inability to find a breakthrough in his chosen profession, suddenly has his interests and buried frustrations unleashed as a consequence of a series of questionable choices.

That said, while Rebeck is exploring difficult subject matter, she lifts her narrative with intriguing plot twists and infuses her highly engaging dialogue with an effervescent wit that makes this play one of the most entertaining journeys into the darker recesses of the psyche that you are ever likely to enjoy. Furthermore, with the superb Kimberly Senior in the director’s chair and a top-notch Chicago cast of fresh faces and old friends, you are in for a wonderful evening of theatre.

I invite you to lean forward and engage as we bring you The Scene.

Michael Halberstam, Writers Theatre Artistic Director