Season cloer hits home with a drama of epic proportions


Hutchinson, Kan. – November 6-9 and 13-16, 2014, one American family’s tragedy is thrust into the spotlight in

The Hutchinson Theatre Guild’s final production of the 2014 season, Other Desert Cities, at Stage 9.

Other Desert Cities is, at its heart, a story of the quintessential Reagan-Era GOP American family spending time

together on Christmas Eve, 2004. Lyman and Polly Wyeth are reconnecting with their grown children, Brooke

and Trip, who live their lives apart from their parents. The Iraq War is raging in the Middle East but a dark secret

threatens to fracture the family through what one character can only describe as a “thermonuclear war.” Factor

in Silda Grauman, Polly’s recovering alcoholic sister, and the stage is set for Brooke, an acclaimed author, to win

her family’s approval for her newest work, Love and Mercy: A Memoir.

The literary value of the work is far outweighed by its focus: The suicide of Henry Wyeth, the eldest of the

Wyeth children, after being implicated in the bombing of an Army Recruiting Center in Long Beach, Cal. during

the Vietnam War – an incident that shattered the Wyeth family at its core.

“This play asks its audience to choose between the value of art, and one’s obligation to family,” said Director

Charles Johnston. “As is true of all great theater, attendees can expect to be moved, to ask questions, and to

gain insight into their own lives as a result.”

The play was the smash hit of the 2011 to 2012 Broadway season, garnering numerous honors including a

nomination for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It is a popular title in professional theatres around the

country appearing on the Top Ten Most Produced Plays for the past two years running. A complex and

stunning piece of theatre, the production caps off the exciting 2014 Season in the Guild’s first year at their new

production facility, Stage 9.

The cast features Jo Stropes, recently seen in the Guild’s production of Nickel and Dimed, as Polly Wyeth. Two

HTG veterans, Steve Mills, as Lyman Wyeth, and Becky Christner, as Brooke Wyeth, make their Stage 9 debut.

Trip Wyeth is played by Jordan Hebert, who makes his stage debut with the Guild after serving in various

backstage positions this year. Finally, Amanda Moore makes her third Stage 9 appearance this year in the role

Other Desert Cities is directed by Charles A. Johnston, Production Coordinator for the Hutchinson Theatre Guild.

Other production team members include Lynn Ledeboer (Stage Manager), Nancy Sliker (Scenic and Costume

Design) and Deidre Mattox (Properties Design). In addition to his duties as Director, Johnston is contributing

lighting and sound designs to the production.

The Hutchinson Theatre Guild’s performance space, Stage 9, is located at 9 S. Main in Hutchinson, Kan.

Performances for Other Desert Cities are November 6-8 and November 13-15, 2014 at 7:30 p.m., and November

9 and 16, 2014 at 2 p.m.

Other Desert Cities is intended for mature audiences only. The play has strong language and adult content which

might not be suitable for patrons under the age of 18. It is performed by special arrangement with Dramatists

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $6 for ages 8-14. Children must be eight years old to attend Stage

9 productions. Tickets may be purchased in advance online at as well as at Apron Strings,

located at the intersection of Sherman and Main Street in downtown Hutchinson. Tickets will also be available

for purchase at the door.

All seating is general admission. The house opens at 7 p.m. for evening performances and 1:30 p.m.

for afternoon performances. Stage 9 seats 85 people and seats are available on a first come, first

served basis. To check availability of seating, please contact the Hutchinson Theatre Guild by email at

[email protected] or by phone at 316-350-PLAY (7529).

For more information about Other Desert Cities or to schedule interviews with the director, cast and/or crew,

contact Charles Johnston at 646-628-4353 [email protected]


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