Les Hunter

Les Hunter

As a playwright Les Hunter's work contemplates the way that theatre can shed light on emerging problems of selfhood. In the 2019/2020 season, he was an inaugural Cleveland Public Theatre Premiere Fellow for playwriting. He is the Ohio Regional Representative for the Dramatists Guild of America, and a member of the Playwrights GYM at Dobama Theatre. Hunter previously held writing residencies at Ora Lerman...
As a playwright Les Hunter's work contemplates the way that theatre can shed light on emerging problems of selfhood. In the 2019/2020 season, he was an inaugural Cleveland Public Theatre Premiere Fellow for playwriting. He is the Ohio Regional Representative for the Dramatists Guild of America, and a member of the Playwrights GYM at Dobama Theatre. Hunter previously held writing residencies at Ora Lerman and Millikin University. He is past Curator of New Plays at LaGuardia Performing Arts Center in New York City, was the literary director of Theatre 167, and co-founder of the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective.

His plays include TO THE ORCHARD (Playwrights Local and JPP 2016 International Jewish Playwriting Contest Top 10 Finalist); DOWN BY CONTACT (Dobama Theatre and Playwrights Local); WEIMAR (Baldwin Wallace University); and with his wife Elana, APONIBOLINAYEN VISITS THE SKY (Talespinner Children’s Theatre). He also wrote for all three parts of the collaboratively written, NYC hit, THE JACKSON HEIGHTS TRILOGY (Theatre 167). His other dramatic works include an American adaptation with Turkish dramatist Ozen Yula of his play, FOR RENT (LaGuardia Performing Arts Center); a screenplay, LION (Dubai Film Connection); and a musical, ’99 (Theatre 167), with Ben Morss of the band Cake. Playscripts, Brooklyn Publishers, and Indie Theatre publish and license his plays.

His articles and reviews have appeared in "American Theatre Magazine," "The Dramatist," "Text & Presentation," "HowlRound," "Theatre Journal," "The Wallace Stevens Review," "Ecumenica," "Cutbank," "Theatre Survey," and the edited collections "Experimental O’Neill" and "Performing the Progressive Era." In 2014, he attended the Mellon School of Theater and Performance Research at Harvard University. His creative prose appears in "Fiction Southeast," "Barnhouse," and the anthology "Dating Games." Dr. Hunter is an associate professor of English at Baldwin Wallace University and the President of the Board of Playwrights Local.

Plays

  • Down By Contact
    DOWN BY CONTACT tells the story of a former pro quarterback who in retirement struggles with the debilitating effects of CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy). The play is based on the lives of former football players and their families.
  • Weimar
    A collaboratively written full length, originally directed by Anjanette Hall, music by Joshua P. Cohen.

    (6-12W). In WEIMAR, a radical women's collective attempts to resist the authoritarian inclinations of their recently elected government.

    Written by Kenzie Marie Critzer, Sha-Lemar
    Davis, Esma M. Eddeb, Brittany Ganser,
    Danyel Geddie, Delaney Hagy, Anjanette...
    A collaboratively written full length, originally directed by Anjanette Hall, music by Joshua P. Cohen.

    (6-12W). In WEIMAR, a radical women's collective attempts to resist the authoritarian inclinations of their recently elected government.

    Written by Kenzie Marie Critzer, Sha-Lemar
    Davis, Esma M. Eddeb, Brittany Ganser,
    Danyel Geddie, Delaney Hagy, Anjanette
    Hall, Les Hunter, Bryce Evan Lewis, Sarah
    Rupp McKee, Genesis Rosado, Libby Tofig,
    Brooke Turner, and Sydnee

    For more info, contact Les Hunter
  • To the Orchard
    In TO THE ORCHARD, college student Rachel Bergman is propelled to reveal her sexual identity to her conservative father, who has hidden his own past for years. An Orthodox rabbi, a queer studies professor, and the spirits of Robert Plant and Virginia Woolf inhabit this slightly magic-realist play about family, making mistakes, retribution and coming clean.

    -National Foundation for Jewish...
    In TO THE ORCHARD, college student Rachel Bergman is propelled to reveal her sexual identity to her conservative father, who has hidden his own past for years. An Orthodox rabbi, a queer studies professor, and the spirits of Robert Plant and Virginia Woolf inhabit this slightly magic-realist play about family, making mistakes, retribution and coming clean.

    -National Foundation for Jewish Culture New Play grant
    -Readings at Boston Playwrights Theatre and Brooklyn College
    -Grant from the Arch and Bruce Brown Foundation
    -Jewish Plays Project 2016 Jewish Playwriting Contest Top 10 Finalist
    -World premiere from Playwrights Local 4181 (Cleveland, OH) in May, 2016
  • Cyrano de Bergen County, New Jersey
    When it's discovered that two likable jocks, Gene and Ralph, haven't read Cyrano de Bergerac for a big test the next period, Ridgewood High's cafeteria is thrown into disarray as the assembled students rack their brains to help them. Claire, a whiz kid with a ridiculously oversized unibrow and a secret crush, devises an elaborate plan to stage the entirety of the play in order to help the hapless...
    When it's discovered that two likable jocks, Gene and Ralph, haven't read Cyrano de Bergerac for a big test the next period, Ridgewood High's cafeteria is thrown into disarray as the assembled students rack their brains to help them. Claire, a whiz kid with a ridiculously oversized unibrow and a secret crush, devises an elaborate plan to stage the entirety of the play in order to help the hapless athletes. An uproarious, fast-paced spoof of Edmond Rostand's classic. Script available at Playscripts, Inc.:
    https://www.playscripts.com/play/1816
  • NOTES TOWARDS A DIALECTICAL THEATER, DECONSTRUCTED, RECONSTRUCTED, AND ULTIMATELY DISCARDED: A Love Story
    Point A is a character outside the presentation but within the dialectic; Point B is a character inside the presentation within the dialectic; Brecht told us, the audience, NOT TO STARE SO ROMANTICALLY (“Glotzt nicht so romantisch!”) at the presentation, but what happens when we do?
  • Entanglement: A Historical Fantasy of Almost-Love and Almost-Loss, Art History and Entry-Level Quantum Physics
    Entanglement takes two historical characters, the physicist (and “father” of quantum mechanics) Erwin Schrodinger and the art historian Gertrud Bing. The conceit of the play is simple: Schrodinger’s concept of light as a wave and its implications is eerily similar in general overview to Bing and her mentor Aby Warburg’s theory of the history of art, which was developed at about the same time, albeit in a vastly...
    Entanglement takes two historical characters, the physicist (and “father” of quantum mechanics) Erwin Schrodinger and the art historian Gertrud Bing. The conceit of the play is simple: Schrodinger’s concept of light as a wave and its implications is eerily similar in general overview to Bing and her mentor Aby Warburg’s theory of the history of art, which was developed at about the same time, albeit in a vastly different field. My play is a historical fantasy of both personages and their ideas, and is also a tale, as the current subtitle suggests, of (almost) love and (almost) loss between Bing and Schrodinger.
  • Aponibolinayen in the Sky (A Tale of the Philippines)
    More than anything Aponibolinayen wants to get out of her tired old village and visit the sky. In the jungle, she encounters a friendly and magical diwata who grants her wish. In the sky, she meets rhyming betel nuts and the Sun, who provides her with her greatest challenge yet. (Co-written with Elana Hunter).
  • Dating Curveball
    Did April and Coach’s love for each other really end when they lost the championship game of their softball league? Certainly their love of competition did not! Now, they are rival dating coaches who teach four lovelorn clients to believe in themselves in this fast-paced and unreasonably silly game of curveballs, foul play, stolen bases and stolen hearts. Co-written with Elana Averbach.
  • A True Story of the Madness of Prosody as Told by a Handsome and Intelligent Narrator -or- Bill & Kit’s Exquisite Adventour
    A 10 minute play on the exquisite literary adventours of Bill and Kit. By Les Hunter, poetry by Jason Harris.