On the Culture Front: Kings of War, Wilderness and more

11.10.16
The Huffington Post

The teenagers in “Wilderness” are lost, feeling untethered from the world and closer to an impending abyss than any rescue scenario they can dream up. Watching Seth Bockley and Anne Hamburger’s beautifully drawn docu-play, we see things differently and want to find the words to tell them that this will all pass, and they will be okay. We can’t though and neither can their parents who have sent them to a rehabilitation intervention camp called Wilderness. A number of the counselors have their own demons and know all too well of this abyss and use their familiarity with it to try to reach the kids. 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.