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New York | 1h 40m | Already closed

Wilderness

From 5 critic and 54 member reviews
Members say: Thought-provoking, Relevant, Absorbing, Intelligent, Ambitious

About the show

En Garde Arts presents a world premiere multimedia piece inspired by real-life experiences of young adults struggling to find meaning in their lives. More…

This new documentary theatre event speaks to our collective search for connection and hope, as families grapple with the extraordinary pressures of the 21st century. It explores the challenges of coming of age in an increasingly fragmented society and presents multiple perspectives of trauma and recovery, anchored by real-life narratives that elucidate issues of mental health, addiction, and gender and sexual identity. Developed over two years through firsthand interviews and extensive field research, 'Wilderness' features a driving folk score and sweeping video landscapes.



85
The New York Times

"A terrific, moving new multimedia theater piece about troubled youth...Despite the complexity of its structure, the production’s emotional fluency is bell-clear, as is its honesty about the complex and sometimes mysterious roots of the characters’ problems...The young actors are all superb...'Wilderness' is at its eloquent best when it is simplest, when the characters and their parents discuss their lives, in unadorned language, with an honesty that is deeply affecting." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"What could be maudlin and sentimental is anything but. In one of the most vivid moments a kid reveals that her mother tried to hang her when she was younger. A counselor burst out into tears (usually crying onstage is the sign of lazy writing) and when asked why says, 'it just seems like someone should cry,' in a plainspoken way that can only break your heart. One of the greatest strengths of 'Wilderness' is that it feels too real to be a play." Full Review

80
Village Voice

"A compassionate glimpse at the outer edge of teenage angst...A smart ensemble of young actors turns the real-life stories from Hamburger's research into an endearing constellation of high school kids in distress...Though it's poignant to hear from the parents, the interactions between the teens are what's most compelling here...There's a lot of beauty here. Between scenes, the teenagers perform unison choreography, which is, often, evocative and graceful." Full Review

75
Theater Pizzazz

"Now and then the juxtaposition of interview footage with scripted scenes took some of the punch out of the latter...Interpretive movement sequences, directed by Devon de Mayo and Patrick McCollum, did not seem entirely necessary but nonetheless fit in with the overall aesthetic. While some of the stories, at times, seemed to become repetitive, the play ends on an uplifting note...In the hands of its talented cast and imaginative creative team, the stories take on incredible life." Full Review

40
Theatre is Easy

"There isn't much new here. The play never becomes more than a static after-school special of the '90s. The performances themselves also feel forced and not fully lived in...Director Bockley places this collage together as best as he can, though the performances can never recover from their moments of forced sweater-on-chair ballet. I craved more time with each scene, allowing us to understand and explore each moment with nuance rather than melodrama and interpretative dance." Full Review


97
Absorbing, Exquisite, Masterful, Profound, Riveting

See it if you connect to shows about mental illness or parental guidance.

Don't see it if you dislike documentary-style monologues.

95
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Profound, Relevant, Great staging

See it if you love deep theatre that tells a true story in a beautiful theatrical way. Staging/movement, acting, & writing was wonderful. Very moving

Don't see it if you don't like documentary theatre or some sections of monologuing. If you don't want to see something deep and just want light fluff

95
Absorbing, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if you're interested in being moved by the stories of parents struggling to raise their teenagers, based on and interwoven with real people.

Don't see it if you don't like documentary theater.

95
Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great staging

See it if If you like beautiful staging, wonderful acting and a very relevant story about upper middle class kids.

Don't see it if If you do not want to see how parents struggle with broken teens and their journey to wholeness.

95
Ambitious, Profound, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you like multimedia presentations and want to see a gripping story of young people healed by nature. Anne Hamburger is a genius. Must see!

Don't see it if You are not interested in teenagers and their parents.

93
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Resonant, Great staging

See it if You like theater exploring emotions, family & interpersonal relationships.

Don't see it if You don't want to cry.

93
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Profound, Great writing

See it if If you are interested in seeing about trouble teens. It had different types of scenarios of how kids cope/not cope with teen years.

Don't see it if The scenarios are about modern day scenarios with teens. Don't see it, if you this is not of interest. My daughter, who is a teen, love it

93
Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if You like documentries,true stories, are a parent,sibling or friend of a person suffering from mental illness, addiction or trauma.

Don't see it if You are looking to see a comedy or are upset by the serious subject matter. I saw some audience members moved to tears.

92
Absorbing, Intense, Riveting, Great writing, Great staging

See it if Seeing people persevere through difficult times is intriguing. The mix of documentary, dramatization, & visual arts was very engaging.

Don't see it if The expression of the struggle with choices & feelings is difficult to experience. This rather non-linear story telling requires imagination

92
Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to be inspired. You want to learn the emotional journey some troubled youth go through. You want to laugh and cry in the same show.

Don't see it if You don't like dramas. You don't like actors playing multiple roles. You are looking for a comedy.

Also This show was super cool. I liked the way the short snippets of dance ... Read more Read less

91
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Last day today. But it's being published. Yay. Great play for parents and young adults. Authentic and moving.

Don't see it if If you like traditional plays.

89
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You enjoy thoughtful monologue driven pieces.

Don't see it if You aren't looking for heavy subject matter.

88
Great acting, Intense, Riveting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You want to see something deep and moving about troubled youth. You want to hear the parents view about their troubled youth.

Don't see it if You want light and fluffy. You don't have a problem with extreme measures taken for dealing with troubled youth.

Also This was very interesting and moving. I can understand a parent feelin... Read more Read less

87
Absorbing, Intelligent, Profound, Resonant

See it if Really powerful and personal. Everyone should be able to relate to something in it. Emotional piece for sure. Clever use of visuals.

Don't see it if You don't like self-examination pieces or therapy centered narratives.

87
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You are interested in plays about current social issues. Maybe you'll be lucky enough to be involved in a Q&A after the show.

Don't see it if You're looking for theatre that is all wrapped up with a neat little bow. Mental health and life is messy, and this show doesn't candy coat

87
Absorbing, Edgy, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great staging

See it if you want to see a thoughtful and theatrically very deft exploration of the wilderness of families who resort to sending kids to boot camp.

Don't see it if You unfortunately need a trigger warning before watching an honest portrayal of several damaged families.

Also This is a self revelatory piece about a non-volitional group and very ... Read more Read less

86
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Must see, Great staging

See it if like to see an interesting take on family drama (parents and teens relationships) and great use of mix media

Don't see it if don't like shows that are not completely linear and involve mix media

86
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You enjoy documentary stories. You like natural, realistic dialogue & relationships. You like plays about social issues.

Don't see it if You want light entertainment. You don't like plays about social issues. You prefer more crafted dialogue w/a clear, resolved ending.

85
Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you enjoy real problems for youngsters in today's world,

Don't see it if you only need a story of Life With Father in a happy fantasy world.

84
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You're interested in the topic of mental health in teens and how their parents deal with it

Don't see it if You are triggered by self harm, sexual abuse, or other things in that vein

Also The topic was truly fascinating and important but the acting style see... Read more Read less

83
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy poignant, yet not melodrama . A small show that get its message across with ingenuity , insight, tact & thoughtfulness.

Don't see it if ...if you have no interest in human frailty , mental illness or the human race.

Also Closing this weekend go downtown and see it, you won't be disappointed... Read more Read less

82
Clever, Great acting

See it if You want a glance inside how parents and their kids deal with issues through Wilderness programs

Don't see it if Don't like documentary style plays.

81
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Surprisingly funny

See it if Have teenagers and wish you knew how to relate to them as they struggle with stress, anxiety, and low self esteem. Very touching but slow.

Don't see it if You would not be able to relate to privileged kids on an expensive camping trip as therapy. Or You don't enjoy multimedia shows on stage.

Also This show is a great conversation starter for any parent struggling to... Read more Read less

81
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you want a multimedia drama/documentary about troubled teens & the pain it causes them & their families

Don't see it if you would be distracted by or find the play slowed by videos interspersed with the acting

Also I thought the actors did a great job of portraying not only their own ... Read more Read less

81
Absorbing, Ambitious, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if If you have had someone in your life with profound family and social issues.very personal and emotional beautiful preformed and written

Don't see it if If you don't want an emotional,soul investigation into adolescents and parenthood with all the black and blue marks


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Cast & Creatives (19)