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In a Forest, Dark and Deep

a Thriller
by Neil LaBute

COMPANY : Out of Box Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Out of Box Theatre at Artisan Resource Center [WEBSITE]
ID# 4775

SHOWING : October 09, 2015 - October 24, 2015



Siblings Bobby and Betty meet at her cottage in the woods to clear out the belongings of a previous tenant. But in this cabin of lies, nothing is as it seems and the truth obstinately refuses to be packed away. What is Betty hiding? And does Bobby really want to find out? In a Forest, Dark and Deep is a dark journey into sibling rivalry that escalates into a psychological thriller bursting with savage conflict.

Starring Aretta Baumgartner and Travis Young and directed by Kara Cantrell, this utterly absorbing production takes its time exploring what is true, what is not, and the lies we tell ourselves to get by.

In a Forest, Dark and Deep runs October 9-24, 2015, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 8PM and Sunday matinees at 3PM. Out of Box Theatre is located in the Artisan Resource Center at 585 Cobb Parkway South, Marietta, GA 30060. Tickets are $17-$25 and can be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 678-653-4605.

Director Kara Cantrell
Stage Manager Meghan B Zern
Betty Aretta Baumgartner
Bobby John Stanier
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


Fool for (Sibling) Love
by playgoer
Saturday, October 17, 2015
I’m somewhat at a loss as to why I was so engrossed by Out of Box Theatre’s production of Neil LaBute’s "In a Forest, Dark and Deep." True, the set and lighting by Joel Coady do a wonderful job of suggesting a small, rustic cabin filled with books, and Dolph Amick’s sound design provides a perfect rainy, thunder-y backdrop to the action. True, the performances by Aretta Baumgartner and John Stanier don’t strike any false notes. But the script is filled with foul language, which I’m not generally fond of, and the storyline is pretty slim. Yet somehow the whole thing fascinates from start to finish.

The two characters in the play are Bobby, a moralistic, serial monogamist carpenter and Betty, his adulterous college professor of a sister. She is clearing out the cabin of a former student/lover and has asked him for help. In the course of their bickering spats and reconciliations, we learn more about each of them, their pasts, and the circumstances requiring the cabin to be cleared out. Mr. LaBute has structured the play so that facts slowly spill out, but the interplay of the siblings keeps the action popping at a far quicker pace. There’s not a dull moment.

The fact that a cast replacement occurred at the last moment makes this achievement even more startling. John Stanier, as Bobby, created his performance during the course of little more than a week, and it’s a powerhouse performance. While Kara Cantrell’s blocking is sometimes a little iffy, with one character upstaging the other for entire segments, the flow she has created works remarkably well. But I think it’s Aretta Baumgartner’s performance that’s the key to the success of the production. The apparent sincerity of her character allows the layers of her lies each to appear as a new truth. Not too much is given away too soon.

Out of Box Theatre has created another exemplary production of a tantalizing script by a modern master. It’s only a matter of time before this theatre starts getting more widespread recognition. (Ms. Baumgartner is already quoted in the current issue of nationally distributed "American Theatre" magazine, in her position as a puppeteer performance adjudicator.) Continued kudos! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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