Lewiston hit the national headlines recently with the world premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s latest play bearing the city’s name.“Lewiston” premiered to high praise in April at the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn. The play tells the story of Alice, a distant descendant of Meriwether Lewis, who owns and operates a shabby roadside fireworks stand outside town with her “roommate” Connor. Developers are swallowing the land around them, churning out big-box stores and apartment complexes. When Alice’s long-lost granddaughter, Marnie, arrives with a proposal to save her family’s legacy, buried family secrets begin to surface.
A review in The New York Times said the play demonstrates Hunter’s “growing mastery of narratives that slowly, sometimes painfully, and ultimately sympathetically peel back the layers of struggles that define the lives of people who drift below the middle class.”
Hunter, a Moscow native, often digs into his home territory for material. “Lewiston” is the companion to his play “Clarkston,” set in a Costco store on the edge of Washington state where a fledgling writer and a descendant of William Clark bond as they stock televisions and cheese puffs. It premiered in 2015 at the Dallas Theater Center in Dallas, Texas.