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  The Hunter And The Bear at Writers Theatre

The Hunter And The Bear

Writers Theatre
325 Tudor Court Glencoe

The critically-acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co., creators of WT's 2013 smash-hit production of The Old Man and The Old Moon, brings their considerable talents to this original tale. The Hunter and The Bear tells the haunting story of an imaginative young boy and his father, the pragmatic hunter tasked with protecting their isolated town. When his son disappears in the woods, the search to recover him will lead the hunter, and eventually the entire community, through a landscape teeming with dark secrets and supernatural threats.

Thru - Jan 29, 2017

Price: $35-$80

Stage: Alexandra C. and John D. Nicho

Show Type: Drama

Box Office: 847-242-6000

Running Time: 1hr, 40mins; one intermission

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  The Hunter And The Bear Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...This is not the first ghost story about a lost boy, of course, but the characters seem to crave our empathy in strikingly intense fashion. The acting is very strong, especially in the show's quieter, and thus more revealing moments. Your attention, I guarantee, will not wander for a moment. There's just too much at stake — which brings me to the last crucial quality of great ghost stories, their ability to totally upend your own life and its priorities."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Highly Recommended

"...this is an enthralling, ingeniously spun tale, and one that, in these days of land rights battles and sweeping fires, easily taps into a deep vein of American life."
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Hedy Weiss

Daily Herald - Highly Recommended

"...Company members co-direct the play with former Writers associate artistic director Stuart Carden. Together, they do a fine job suggesting the menace at the heart of this cautionary folk tale about men haunted by loss, who are forced to confront their grief and acknowledge their mistakes."
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Barbara Vitello

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Last time Pigpen came to Writers Theatre, in 2013, they brought a fable called The Old Man and the Old Moon, in which treacle fought it out with fuzzy thinking to see which could be most annoying. (Too close to call.) Though the current piece suffers from some of the same issues-lots of things don't make sense, and even hard-bitten loggers get mighty cute-the problems are held in check by a narrative that keeps you guessing, shivery effects, and seven musician/actor/puppeteers working at a high level of skill."
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Tony Adler

Time Out Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...PigPen's trademark lo-fi effects (shadow puppetry, live Foley effects) serve the atmospheric story well, as does the group's inventive, effective musicianship; the work of the entire design team-Fine, scenic designer Collette Pollard, lighting designer Bart Cortright and sound designer Mikhail Fiksel-integrates remarkably well in service of the milieu cultivated by the troupe and co-director Stuart Carden. The plotting and characterization in this new piece could perhaps use a bit more fine-tuning; an entire school of red herrings swims ahead of the big revelation, and Melia's cloying voice work for Elliott underlines the young character's sitcom-style precocity. Still, you shouldn't miss the chance to see this rising-profile group mining new emotional depths."
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Kris Vire

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"...The Hunter and The Bear is a engrossing work of complexly ingenious folk, mythological storytelling enriched by terrific folk music and smart staging. It holds us on the edge of our seats through the 100 minute action. This is old fashion folk storytelling that has sustained many a group around a campfire for hundreds of years. This is a most creative and well-executed work that is a family-friendly show ripe for the holidays."
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Tom Williams

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The technical aspects make a picture that truly works in telling this tale. Collette Pollard’s set is multi-level with ramps, ladders and logs, allowing us to feel as if we are in a secluded area. The lighting (Bart Cortright) is amazing, where even a campfire comes from ones hands to appear real (without seeing a single flame) and the sound (Mikhail Fiksel) allows us to hear every word, sound effect and musical note during this production. The projections are simple so that the puppetry (Lydia Fine) can take on its role in the story-telling and the props (Scott Dickens) are amazing!"
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Alan Bresloff

NewCity Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...An energetic bunch, PigPen tell their tale with equal parts ingenuity and precision. In the spirit of devised work, the play's narrative is fused to its action. Despite the sedentary nature of telling ghost stories, "The Hunter and The Bear" is frequently on the move, whether in hot pursuit of the folkloric beast of its title or in well orchestrated exchanges of instruments or Scott Dickens' ingenious props. At one-hundred minutes, the play is relatively long for being without an intermission but given the subject matter, as well as the expert pacing, you'll be glad that it charges along as it does. After all, what kind of ghost story has a bathroom break?"
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Kevin Greene

Chicago Theatre Review - Highly Recommended

"...In a production that celebrates the time-honored genre of storytelling, as well as employing a copse of invention from an array of creative theatrical artists, this new play by the always exciting PigPen Theatre Company brings a welcome, unusual form of entertainment to Chicagoland. Audiences will be held spellbound by the ominous sense of dread and fear that drives this modern folk tale. Fine direction, excellent performances and polished production values enhance a play that offers even more chills and goosebumps than the cold, winter evening."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Theater Reviews - Highly Recommended

"..."The Hunter and the Bear" wins its spurs for the terrific ensemble acting and the fascinating physical production. The seven-member cast has been together since the company was founded by a group of freshmen at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 2007. After working together for 10 years, they have melded into a seamless multi talented performing troupe."

Dan Zeff

Third Coast Review - Highly Recommended

"...The Hunter and the Bear is both a frontier folktale and a ghost story, primarily chronicling the story of Tobias, a father who travels dark into the woods after a bear attack in search of his missing son, Elliot. While it would be fair to claim that Tobias, played by Ben Ferguson, is the protagonist of this tale, the piece is such an impressive ensemble collaboration that the remainder of the cast (which includes Alex Falberg, Curtis Gillen, Ryan Mella, Matt Nuernberger, Arya Shahi, and Dan Weschler) is equally important in telling this ghostly story. Whether creating shadow puppetry or naturalistic sound effects, or singing the show’s baleful and evocative original folk score, the members of PigPen Theatre Co. pull out all the stops in telling this story."
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Brent Eickhoff

Picture This Post - Somewhat Recommended

"...THE HUNTER AND THE BEAR is a top choice for anyone who especially loves the storytelling genre. If you are able to look past script flaws of too much repetition in need of edit, and especially if you admire creativity on steroids, this is likely a very good choice for your theater outing."
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Amy Munice

  The Hunter And The Bear Photo Gallery

   This show has been Jeff Recommended*

*The designation of "Jeff Recommended" is given to a production when at least ONE ELEMENT of the show was deemed outstanding by the Joseph Jefferson Awards Committee.

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