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The Harvest

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Intense
79
Critics
73
11 reviews
Members
79
100 reviews
 

Lincoln Center Theater presents the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter's play about a group of young missionaries prepping to visit the Middle East.

... Read more

In the basement of a small evangelical church in southeastern Idaho, a group of young missionaries is preparing to go to the Middle East. One of them—a man who recently lost his father—has bought a one-way ticket. But his plans are complicated when his estranged sister returns home and makes it her mission to keep him there. Directed by Davis McCallum, who frequently helms Hunter's work.

 

Cast & Creatives (14)



Reviews (111)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
73
Avg Score

70
The New York Times

"The dialogue is rich in fine emotional nuance, and the direction, by Davis McCallum, is unfussy and focused...All the relationships in the play are drawn with care...Mr. Hunter, admirably, does not condescend to his characters for their faith...But there remains that problem of Mr. Hunter’s unwillingness to specify—or his characters’ cluelessness about—just whom they will be trying to convert...The primary plot strand ...didn’t exactly have me gnawing my fingernails in suspense." Full Review

85
Time Out New York

"Like much of Hunter's work, 'The Harvest' takes place in a jammed intersection of religion, family, sexuality and poverty, which the playwright maps out in evocative detail...Masterfully directed by Davis McCallum, the excellent cast—which includes Scott Jaeck and a wittily smarmy Zoë Winters—helps get us inside the complex worlds of these characters’ devotions, as they grasp in the fearful dark for revelation." Full Review

80
Theatermania

"With astutely unifying direction from McCallum, Hunter and the performers do an uncommonly good job of fleshing out all of the supporting roles...But the play really belongs to Kendall, a young actor of astonishing intensity and truthfulness...While a very late-in-the-game twist doesn't necessarily suit the piece as a whole, it is grounded enough in the uncommon reality that Hunter and McCallum create that it is easily forgivable." Full Review

40
The Hollywood Reporter

"The play is slow-going and lugubrious, lacking sufficient dramatic tension to fully command attention. When the speaking in tongues is more compelling than the dialogue, it's a problem...Director Davis McCallum's muted, hyper-realistic production never fully comes to life. It's tedious for long stretches, and although several of the performances are outstanding, much of the dialogue is inaudible...'The Harvest' doesn't bear much dramatic fruit." Full Review

85
The Huffington Post

"The playwright doesn’t just lay it all out for us, though. He metes out tantalizing, impressionistic bits, leaving it to us to put the separate strands together. It turns out to be quite compelling. Davis McCallum—who has directed the New York productions of Hunter’s four main plays—clearly has a feel for the playwright’s work. His entire cast gives strong performances, with four of them compulsively watchable." Full Review

85
New York Magazine / Vulture

"In 'The Harvest' Hunter has engaged, through this love, his anger, to thrillingly contrapuntal effect...There is a bit of awkwardly integrated exposition here and there, and the ending, though very powerful, requires perhaps too many turns of the screw for its own good. But it is passionate and funny and daring and, under Davis McCallum’s perfectly judged direction, marvelously theatrical in a way that most serious plays about faith are not." Full Review

80
The Guardian (UK)

"Hunter’s command of his style seems slightly less complete than in other plays – the focus is broader, the tone more varying, which are not at all bad things, though sometimes there’s a tendency to cap a scene too neatly in an effort to move on to the next strand of plot. But he offers rich and varied roles for his actors...This evangelizing drama may not end well for its characters (Hunter’s plays rarely do), but it is good news for its audience." Full Review

55
Talkin' Broadway

"McCallum's direction is emotionally sincere, and his staging the most that could be expected...There are some compelling performances, too...The prevailing problem with 'The Harvest,' though, is the same as with so much of Hunter's work...He falls back on the lazy shorthand of demonizing one side to make his points with a minimum of opposition...All it does is reduce a potentially worthwhile exploration of a key experience, or a critique of its efficacy, to mere babble." Full Review

70
Front Mezz Junkies

"Although scenes tend to feel drawn out and a bit unfocused, the play, directed by Davis McCallum, is compelling and engaging for the most part...We can guess that the inspirational stories we hear are not so straightforward...So what is Hunter trying to tell us? I’ll let you decide, but I can’t say that I left the theatre content or hopeful. More like a bit sick to my stomach. But I’m guessing that is the desired effect Hunter is going for. Full Review

75
Bob's Theater Blog

"It’s a fascinating peek at an unfamiliar worldview. However, the play loses vitality along the way and, for me at least, shed more heat than light. The five talented actors who play the missionaries give it their all...Davis McCallum’s direction once again demonstrates a sympathy for Hunter’s sensibility...Hunter has empathy for his characters and does especially well with ensembles. I don’t think this is his best work, but it is still worthwhile." Full Review

90
Indianapolis Business Journal

"I can’t recall a recent theater experience where I felt so invested in the fate of the lead character, yearning for him to make a specific choice up to the final moments. I hope this taut, deeply felt drama has a long life in regional and college theaters." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

95
Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to see truly great theater. Easily one of the best plays I've ever seen. It should be on Broadway.

Don't see it if You don't want to feel intense emotions while watching it.

82
Absorbing, Great acting, Masterful, Profound, Resonant

See it if You enjoy a slice of life look at religion and life through the eyes of believers and questioners. Phenomenal acting, staging, and emotion

Don't see it if Intimate conversations about faith, god, love, and life, aren't your cup of tea. While there are funny moments, it isn't a funny show.

81
Refreshing, Relevant, Riveting

See it if Sensitive, specific and compelling portrayal of young, religious characters. Great performances that evoke empathy and heartfelt humor.

Don't see it if Too much exposition towards the end that may need editing or clarifications.

85
Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you had a religious upbringing with which you struggled to align with your life.

Don't see it if you find shows that make you question faith uncomfortable.

69
Ambitious, Quirky, Disappointing, Unfocused

See it if you like new quirky plays that still need some work. exploring religion and devotion in a cult like atmosphere

Don't see it if you want happy concrete endings

84
Funny, Great acting, Resonant, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you want to consider the purpose of religion and explore how it can impact young lives.

Don't see it if you are easily made uncomfortable by religious topics.

95
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Must see, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You want to see a show that deals with religion and the role it plays in people's lives

Don't see it if You have negative experiences with religion or if you don't like shows that deal with stressful decisions

97
Absorbing, Profound, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if you want to relate to the characters on the stage. You so much care about these characters and want to help them through life.

Don't see it if you are tired of seeing plays about characters that are struggling with life.

72
Sad, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Slow

See it if you want to learn about Evangelical groups. Now I understand their voting choices a bit better. Scene changes were very good.

Don't see it if can't sit through 1.75 hours of pregnant pauses that could have been reduced to 1.25 hours.

Also The acting was either awkward or realistic given the nature of the sto... Read more Read less

66
Edgy, Intense, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You enjoy shows based solely on religion and religious activity. You enjoy themes about millennials trying to find themselves.

Don't see it if A one theme show is not something that interests you. The problems and passions of Evangelicals aren't of much interest to you.

Also Confession: I and my friend actually fell asleep watching this play la... Read more Read less

68
Indulgent, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Superfluous

See it if You wanna be " entertained " by a play with a religious/cultish undertone

Don't see it if You wanna leave the theater confused and disappointed

47
Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You are not an atheist.

Don't see it if You are an atheist.

76
Clever, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Resonant

See it if u appreciate a well written play, an excellent production in a gem of a small theater. Samuel D. Hunter is the admirable author. It's just

Don't see it if I didn't care for the brainwashed, holy-roller (evangelical) characters or the somewhat predictable situation. (Does he stay or does he go?)

84
Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant, Slow, Great staging

See it if Hunter's humanistic writing still excites; exceptional characterizations of Idaho youth searching for identity through misssionary work

Don't see it if Numerous plot lines hamper sympathetic feel for faith based youth; excellent acting & top-notch direction save Hunter's schematic plotting

96
Depressing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Extraordinary acting, Strong script and direction

See it if you want to see the latest work from one of our very best young playwrights. He explores issues of faith and doubt.

Don't see it if you become easily depressed and upset at seeing choices young people made. Also, if you don't want to see religion explored on stage.

93
Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you enjoy great acted, intelligent, thought provoking looks at topical issues. Religion is a sort of umbrella topic here but it's MUCH more!

Don't see it if you're looking for fluff. This ain't it. It's a great piece of work that I'm going to be thinking about for a long long time!

61
Thought-provoking, Banal, Disappointing, Insipid, Slow

See it if background of how some people from Idaho spread their religion near and far, and how many young become converts.

Don't see it if going to the middle east (country not specified) with a sales pitch of your religion!

68
Great acting, Intelligent, Slow

See it if Wish for a thoughtful though slow moving play.

Don't see it if Want a lot of action.

100
Absorbing, Clever, Profound, Great writing, Devastating

See it if a play about people lost at the end of their rope fighting blindly for salvation- a salvation most liberal audiences disagree with

Don't see it if you cannot separate your own image of what a happy ending looks like from how it would look for people belonging to the religious-right.

Also This is a piece that sneaks up on you and leaves you guessing the path... Read more Read less

83
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you're a Sam Hunter fan & like his probing looks at quirky, interesting characters stuck in Idaho acted by some fine young actors

Don't see it if you don't like stories involving Christian evangelization, characters mixed up about their feelings & fears, coming of age tales

84
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you like intense theater, explores people who are attracted to becoming missionaries. Long without intermission but absorbing throughout

Don't see it if you don't like religious themes, can't sit for almost 2 hours without an intermission

78
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if You want to see these excellent actors. The play was slow at times but all the actors were wonderful and were compelling to watch.

Don't see it if You prefer a play with more laughs. This play is quite serious and at times stressful to watch.

71
Depressing, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you enjoy dialogue driven plays about real people, and you're open to evangelical christianity being a force for good. Just too looooong.

Don't see it if you want something light or you're not a fan of long intermissionless shows. Frankly, the subject matter was as bleak as the set.

82
Absorbing, Intelligent, Resonant, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You like a well acted play regarding religious beliefs

Don't see it if Evangelism bores you

83
Absorbing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Profound, Riveting

See it if you want to see a sympathetic play about religious people that doesn't condescend or judge. Surprisingly enthralling and emotional. +Funny.

Don't see it if you don't like slice-of-life in middle-America about regular people trying to deal with life, death and religion in an honest way.