A Bright New Boise

Faith and Fatherhood Collide in Dark Comedy

The cast of <i>A Bright New Boise</i> play quirky Hobby Lobby employees.
Courtesy Photo

Samuel D. Hunter’s one-act play A Bright New Boise takes place in a single location, the break room of a Hobby Lobby franchise in Boise. The action begins as new employee Will (Rob Grayson) is getting his orientation speech from store manager Pauline (Jenna Scanlon). Will has come to Boise to meet his biological son, Alex (Aaron Linker), who also works at Hobby Lobby, and the resistance to this unasked for reconnection that Will encounters, both from Alex and from Leroy, his big brother in his adoptive family, comes as no surprise. What does surprise is the way that Will’s version of Christian faith affects his understanding of the situation and of his son’s reaction. Will is a refugee from the collapse of an apocalyptically minded Christian sect that has recently lost its pastor to a scandal. Outwardly, Will’s a random white dude, but, for example, when co-worker Anna (Katelyn Tustin) urges him to attend a Lutheran service with her, the fierceness of his commitment to the Rapture comes pouring out.

Great direction and an outstanding cast made this show a pleasure, but it was Rob Grayson’s turn as Will that lingered longest in memory. Grayson brought Will’s faith and his failings as a father together at the end and tied them into a complex knot that admitted of no solution, thus offering a remarkably complex perspective on issues ordinarily subject to casual stereotyping.


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