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The Healing

  • Theater, Drama
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

The Healing: Theater review by Adam Feldman

In the script for The Healing, his thoughtful and affecting new drama, Samuel D. Hunter notes that six of the seven characters should be played by actors with disabilities. Except in the cases of Sharon (the magnetic Shannon DeVido), who uses a wheelchair, and Greg (John McGinty), who is deaf, he doesn’t specify what the disabilities should be. Those particulars, and the lifetimes of specific experience that come with them, are provided by the impressive cast of the play’s world premiere, directed by Stella Powell-Jones for Theater Breaking Through Barriers. The actors perform with tremendous ease in their complicated bodies.

Like much of Hunter’s work, The Healing takes place in rural Idaho, and involves lonely people trying to define themselves and their faith in the midst of empty space. Four childhood friends—scarred by their time at a Christian Science summer camp, where they were told they could pray their “sickness” away—reunite after the suicide of a fifth (Pamela Sabaugh, achingly lost). There is humor in the play, notably from Mary Theresa Archbold as the grouchy Laura and David Harrell as the kind, gay Donald. But there are also moments of defensiveness, anger and judgment. It’s a sensitive portrait of wounded people moving, with difficulty but also with some help, toward acceptance.—Adam Feldman

Clurman Theatre (at Theatre Row) (Off Broadway). By Samuel D. Hunter. Directed by Stella Powell-Jones. With ensemble cast. Running time: 1hr 30mins. No intermission.

Follow Adam Feldman on Twitter: @FeldmanAdam

Adam Feldman
Written by
Adam Feldman


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