Although there are six characters in Seattle Rep's “A Great Wilderness,” the play is fundamentally the story of one man, struggling to come to terms with himself.
The reclusive Walt has been practicing gay conversion therapy for 30 years. As he faces the end of his career and the prospect of moving to to an assisted living facility he looks back at his life with anguish and, ultimately regret.
When we first meet Walt (Michael Winters), he is ensconced in his rural Idaho cabin, almost completely shut off from the outside world except for the occasional gay teen sent his way by concerned parents. Soon, Daniel (Ballard High School student Jack Taylor) arrives scared and unsure about why he's been sent there.
“I want you to feel safe,” Walt assures him. Daniel doesn’t appear convinced.
Over the course of the next couple of hours, it becomes clear that Walt is suffering from his own multi-faceted internal crisis; at the core of which is a profound human tragedy.