New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

The Harvest

From 11 critic and 101 member reviews
Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great writing, Intense

About the show

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. 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.

1h 45m | Already closed | Claire Tow Theater (Upper W Side)

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

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

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

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

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


"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

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

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

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

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

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

Exquisite, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if You like a challenging, subtle, layered, character driven play. One of our best playwrights.

Don't see it if You need spectacle, fireworks, loud, escapism.

Great writing, Profound, Devastating, Absorbing, Clever

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

Absorbing, Great writing, Profound, Resonant, Relevant

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.

Absorbing, Exquisite, Great acting, Riveting

See it if you love Samuel D Hunter's plays and the raw emotion he draws from his characters or if you want to see exquisite acting.

Don't see it if you don't like Hunter's style or can't relate to his downtrodden, hopeless characters, clinging to their last hope of salvation.

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

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.

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

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.

Intense, Riveting, Profound

See it if you enjoy plays that have themes about faith

Don't see it if you like plays that have a clear message

Absorbing, Must see, Thought-provoking, 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

Absorbing, Funny, Sad, Relevant, Profound

See it if you like to explore religion, interested in stories about family, mental illness, you like relevant themes.

Don't see it if you are easily sad, you want to see an extravagant set, if you are offended by religious discussion.

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

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!

Absorbing, Masterful, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Great writing

See it if you like Mr. Hunter's specific brand of pathos, heart, humor, and intellect.

Don't see it if you don't like character studies that drop you in a world for 2 hours vs. giving you a propulsive plot with a pat ending.

Resonant, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

See it if a soulful, spirited rumination on anxieties of faith, dogma, and place-- haunting and deeply felt. Beautifully lived-in characters.

Don't see it if there's an understated, urgent edge to this play. It's a little angry and a lot sad, and you might feel that way too coming out of it.

Absorbing, Well-designed, Thought-provoking

See it if you grew up in a religious family & can relate to how young people use religion in the search for themselves. And if you like intimate drama

Don't see it if if you haven't liked many past LCT3 shows. This, like many there, skews young, but is thoughtful and emotion-driven for all theatregoers.

The characters still haunt my thoughts, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing, Thought-provoking

See it if you're open to feel the struggle of young people facing, or not facing, life. It can be immensely sad but good theater, real characters

Don't see it if you can't get past speaking in tongues or have fixed ideas on happy endings

Also Who would think I would want to meet young Christians caught up in a o... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great writing, Must see, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a clever, thought- provoking play. The actors are amazing.

Don't see it if you do not like to think or laugh about religion.

Absorbing, Great acting, Relevant, Great writing, Resonant

See it if You're a fan of well-acted, interesting new plays by younger playwrights that cover topical issues. Or if you're a fan of Sam Hunter's work.

Don't see it if You don't like plays about religion that may challenge (or possibly mock) your faith -- in this case, Evangelical Christianity.

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy great acting, great direction and a wonderful, timely story of real people.

Don't see it if you dislike praying in tongues. you're not interested in how religion affects people's lives

Absorbing, Edgy, Intense, Relevant, Riveting

See it if you like edgy new plays/you are a fan of Samuel Hunter/you speak in tongues.

Don't see it if you are easily offended by or want to avoid the subject of religion in theatre.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if You enjoy drama, and the struggle of faith and identity.

Don't see it if You are offended by people portraying religious zealots.

Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Thought-provoking

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.

Absorbing, Clever, Funny, Intense, Slow (at points)

See it if You enjoy pieces of theatre that leave you questioning religion, God, and humanity.

Don't see it if You like you're plays simple; an easy to follow plot that leaves you entertained, maybe moved.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You enjoy complex dramas,in depth character development. Standout performance by actor playing Josh. Many layers to this story. Don'tmiss it

Don't see it if You don't want an intense day at the theater, a story W/multiple themes including religion, sexuality, self identity, & some ambiguity

Also Really impressed with all aspects of this production. So much to think... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Great staging, Intelligent

See it if you'd like to see very well-crafted work from one of our country's best playwrights, anchored by some amazing performances.

Don't see it if you'd like to see a play about religious middle-Americans that actually challenges its audience to reexamine their biases

Ambitious, Cliched, Confusing

See it if You can get past the opening scene with the cast speaking in tongues.

Don't see it if You feel religious cults are over the top and over shadow the group and the exceptional acting of some of the characters

Absorbing, Great acting, Great writing, Riveting, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to be fully engaged in the plot and character, with edge of your seat suspense about what will happen.

Don't see it if you are not interested in religion, and it's effects on others

Cast & Creatives (14)