(Hedy Weiss’s article appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, 7/8.)
Well before British playwright Simon Stephens received the 2015 Tony Award for best play for “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (his fascinating adaptation of the novel of the same name by Mark Haddon), his work was being championed by two Chicago companies — Steep Theatre and Griffin Theatre — and by Jeff Award-winning director Robin Witt. And Steep, which staged the U.S. premieres of both “Harper Regan” and “Motortown,” had named him its inaugural associate playwright.
Now, Witt has helmed yet another U.S. premiere of a Stephens play for Steep — his 2011 “Wastwater.” It is a pitch-black triptych that imagines a series of encounters among people who have already walked on the very dark side of life, or are about to step into the abyss. In the process, they reveal their most shameful experiences and hidden desires – their need for love and punishment, closeness and exile, thrills and safety.