Hellbent in a Northwoods Cabin

[Full-Length] NOTE: This play was previously titled, Flannel Sheets and a John Deere.
It all starts innocently enough when on the afternoon of November 19th, 2021, four coworkers are thrown together in a hunting cabin in the Wisconsin Northwoods on this, the very day that Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty of fatally shooting two people during the Kenosha unrest of 2020. One of the four is an...
[Full-Length] NOTE: This play was previously titled, Flannel Sheets and a John Deere.
It all starts innocently enough when on the afternoon of November 19th, 2021, four coworkers are thrown together in a hunting cabin in the Wisconsin Northwoods on this, the very day that Kyle Rittenhouse has been found not guilty of fatally shooting two people during the Kenosha unrest of 2020. One of the four is an interloper, a fish out of water who has no business being there. As they discover unnerving truths about each other, including how they are each uniquely connected to the events in Kenosha, hostilities are sparked, alliances form and break, and everyone is put in jeopardy. How destructive can polarizing values become on a personal level? These four coworkers are about to find out.
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Hellbent in a Northwoods Cabin

Recommended by

  • Daniel Prillaman:
    30 Dec. 2023
    I saw somewhere that folks w/ADHD won't follow rules they think are stupid. To them, they're nonsensical. But on the flip, rules they don't think are stupid? They will follow those to the death. And rage if other people don't. But that doesn't really apply to just neurodivergents does it? Ruyle's play is a pressure cooker, a perfect example of what might all too easily happen if you trap enough different viewpoints in one place. No one thinks they're the villain. And it takes a nuanced, delicate hand to navigate. Are we up to the task? Excellent chamber drama.
  • Ricardo Soltero-Brown:
    22 Jul. 2023
    Ruyle makes a melting pot out of a cabin then turns it into a pot-boiler. The ingredients are the four characters, a weekend getaway, a potential hookup, a good-samaritan gesture, and a lost-and-wounded authority. It's a hodgepodge but it works like a magic trick, because everyone gets suspicious of everyone else just by their being themselves. Opposites attract, flip sides align. It's remarkable thematic work for looking at our country today and considering the values we hold in order to coexist. The dialogue never lets up, the character work follows through, and the lost-in-translation provides laughs. Wonderful contemporary piece.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Chicago Dramatists (excerpt of early draft, Flannel Sheets and a John Deere)
    ,
    2023

Awards

Finalist
,
2024 Scriptwriters & Co International Festival, Full-Length Play Script Category
,
Scriptwriters & Co
,
2024
Finalist
,
2024 Wisconsin Wrights
,
Forward Theatre (Awarded for early draft, Flannel Sheets and a John Deere)
,
2024