Inside the play ‘A Walk in the Woods’

October 25, 2011

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(Courtesy of Lara Goetsch)
Janet Ulrich Brooks and David Parkes star in "A Walk in the Woods."

In 1988, Lee Blessing wrote a landmark play called A Walk in the Woods. The story centers on two Cold War arms negotiators, one American and one Soviet, who are locked in a standstill at the bargaining table. Frustrated, they take a walk in the woods to discuss nuclear disarmament, and to their surprise, develop an unlikely friendship. The play poses the question: is nuclear disarmament an attainable reality?

Originally written for two male characters, TimeLine Theatre Company’s current production of the play features actress Janet Ulrich Brooks in the role of the Russian negotiator. We speak with Blessing, Brooks and the production’s other star, David Parkes, about this twist on the Tony and Pulitzer-nominated play, which runs through November 20 at Chicago’s Theater Wit.