Griffin Theatre Presents Midwest Premiere of POCATELLO


Samuel Hunter, Photographed in Chicago, Illinois, September 10th, 2014.

Samuel Hunter, Photographed in Chicago, Illinois, September 10th, 2014.

Griffin Theatre Company is pleased to launch its 2015-16 season with the Midwest premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s heartbreaking comedy POCATELLO, directed by ensemble member Jonathan Berry (Punk Rock, Balm in Gilead), playing November 7 – December 13, 2015 at Signal Ensemble Theatre, 1802 W. Berenice Ave. in Chicago. Single tickets are available at or by calling (866) 811-4111. Season subscriptions are currently available. POCATELLO will feature Sandy Elias, Sam Guinan-Nyhart, Bob Kruse, Allie Long, Nina O’Keefe, Morgan Maher, Michael McKeough, Mechelle Moe, Becca Savoir and Lynda Shadrake.

Home doesn’t feel like home anymore for Eddie, an Italian chain restaurant manager who is losing connections with his co-workers and his family. Set in the harsh backdrop of Pocatello, Idaho – a small, unexceptional American city – Samuel D. Hunter’s heartbreaking comedy is a cry and the struggle we face to create an authentic experience – to forge true community – in a place that is being transformed into the endless artificiality of Walmarts, Applebees and strip malls.

POCATELLO had its world premiere in 2014 at Playwrights Horizons in New York. It was the recipient of an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays award and playwright Samuel D. Hunter is a recipient of a MacArthur Genius Award.

The production team for POCATELLO includes: Joe Schermoly (scenic design), Carolyn Sullivan (costume designer), Sarah Hughey (lighting design), Bradford Chapin (sound design), Catherin Allen (production manager) and Jon Ravenscroft (stage manager).


Playwright: Samuel D. Hunter
Director: ensemble member Jonathan Berry

Cast: Sandy Elias (Cole), Sam Guinan-Nyhart (Nick), Bob Kruse (Troy), Allie Long (Isabelle), Nina O’Keefe (Kelly), Morgan Maher (Max), Michael McKeough (Eddie), Mechelle Moe (Tammy), Becca Savoir (Becky) and Lynda Shadrake (Doris).

About the Creative Team

Samuel D. Hunter‘s (Playwright) other plays include The Whale (2013 Drama Desk Award, 2013 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Play, Drama League and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play) and A Bright New Boise (2011 Obie Award for Playwriting, 2011 Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), as well as The Few, A Permanent Image, Jack’s Precious Moment. A Great Wilderness and Rest. Hunter is a resident playwright at New Dramatists, an ensemble playwright at Victory Gardens, and a member of Partial Comfort Productions. His plays have been produced at venues including Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Victory Gardens, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. He received a BFA (2004) from New York University, an MFA (2007) from the University of Iowa, and an Artist Diploma (2009) from Juilliard’s Playwrights Program.

Jonathan Berry (Director) has been working with The Griffin since 1998. As a director, productions include: Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead, Clifford Odets’ Golden Boy, Miller/Tysen’s The Burnt Part Boys, Sheik/Sater’s Spring Awakening, the North American premieres of Simon Stephens Punk Rock (Jeff award–Director, Lead Actor and Ensemble) Port, and On the Shore of the Wide World, Stephen Sondheim’s Company, William Inge’s Picnic, JB Priestely’s Time and the Conways (Jeff nomination– director/ensemble), Sidney Kingsley’s Dead End, Brendan Behan’s The Hostage and R.C. Sheriff’s Journey’s End. He is an ensemble member at Steep, where his productions include: Nick Payne’s If There is I Haven’t Found it Yet, John Donnelly’s The Knowledge, David Eldridge’s Festen, Deirdre Kinahan’s Moment, Howard Korder’s The Hollow Lands and Brecht’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Steppenwolf productions include the SYA production of A Separate Peace, and the world premiere of Melinda Lopez’s Gary, as well as the staged reading of Suicide, Incorporated. Goodman Theatre: The World of Extreme Happiness, and The Solid Sand Below. Roundabout (NY) Suicide, Incorporated. Other work includes: Gift Theatre: Shakespeare’s Othello, the world premiers of both Andrew Hinderaker’s Dirty and Suicide, Incorporated, Chicago Dramatists: I am Going to Change the World, Remy Bumppo: The Marriage of Figaro, Theatre Mir: Bond’s The Sea and Brecht’s Caucasian Chalk Circle, Redtwist Theatre: John Osborne’s Look Back in Anger and Leslye Headland’s Reberb, Lifeline Theater: The Piano Tuner (After Dark Award–Best Production). Jonathan pursued his MFA in directing from Northwestern University. He has taught acting, directing and viewpoints at University of Michigan, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, Act One Studios, Columbia College and The School at Steppenwolf.

About Griffin Theatre Company
Established in 1988 and celebrating its 28th season, the mission of the Griffin Theatre Company is to create extraordinary and meaningful theatrical experiences for both children and adults by building bridges of understanding between generations that instill in its audience an appreciation of the performing arts. Through artistic collaboration the Griffin Theatre Company produces literary adaptations, original work and classic plays that challenge and inspire, with wit, style and compassion for the audience. For additional information, visit

The Griffin Theatre is partially supported by a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events; and the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

The Griffin Theatre’s 2015-16 season Premiere Sponsor is Jeff Graves Realtor @properties, with additional sponsor support from, The Witt Family, Northside Federal Savings and K’s Dugout.