Site-Specific, Immersive, Outdoor Play Staged by Mei Ann Teo
Features Diana Oh, Jeena Yi, and Gabriel Brown

“A fresh and ambitious new play. A giant leap for the West End.”
– Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph

Walden bursts with big ideas. I urge you to see it.”
– Nick Curtis, Evening Standard
Due to popular demand, TheaterWorks Hartford, in partnership with Riverfront Recapture, extends in-person performances of Amy Berryman’s debut play, Walden, to August 29. Directed by Mei Ann Teo (Jillian Walker’s SKiNFoLK: An American Show) and taking place on a natural, undeveloped site along the Connecticut River, the North American premiere marks a return to in-person events for TheaterWorks Hartford, as well as its first outdoor show in its 35-year history. Walden, which opened on July 29 and will stream online August 15–29, is set in the not-so-distant future and explores themes of climate change, space travel, and sibling rivalry. Itfeatures performances by Diana Oh ({my lingerie play}), Jeena Yi (Ivo Van Hove’s NetworkJudgment Day), and Gabriel Brown (Love and MoneyBobbie Clearly), all making debuts at TheaterWorks Hartford.
In Walden, after returning from a year-long Moon mission, Cassie (Jeena Yi), a NASA botanist, finds herself in a remote cabin in the woods, where her estranged twin sister, Stella (Diana Oh), a former NASA architect, has found a new life with climate activist Bryan (Gabriel Brown). Old wounds resurface as the sisters attempt to pick up the pieces of the rivalry that broke them apart.
The site-specific, outdoor, immersive staging of Walden is made possible by an award-winning team of designers. Upon arrival, audiences will be greeted by You-Shin Chen’s expansive environmental set design that includes a custom-built cabin, chicken coop, and vegetable garden. Lighting by designer Jeanette Oi-Suk-Yew embraces natural sources of light and slowly builds in intensity as the glow of dusk disappears. Alice Tavener’s costume design is both futuristic and DIY repurposed. All of these visuals are complemented by Hao Bai’s 360-degree sound design which has the audience wearing sanitized headsets during the performance, greatly enhancing the intimacy of the immersive environment.
In May, Sonia Friedman Productions presented the world premiere of Walden on the West End as part of the RE:EMERGE Season in a production directed by Ian Rickson. Dominic Cavendish in The Telegraph gave it four stars, calling it “a fresh and ambitious new play… a giant leap for the West End.’ Arifa Akbar in The Guardian found it an “intelligent, soulful drama… an original play of ideas,” while Nick Curtis in the Evening Standard declared, “Walden bursts with big ideas. I urge you to see it.”
Walden came from my deep anxiety about climate change,” says playwright Amy Berryman. “It’s set in the future where climate change has intensified, and humanity is struggling with whether to save the planet or flee it. I was curious about the question of what we’re going to do when it’s too late to really turn things around. Are we there already?”

“I’m drawn to stories that are wrestling with our future,” says director Mei Ann Teo. “The outdoor, immersive staging allows us to transport the audience more deeply into the themes of the play. We surround the audience with the natural environment, our current climate crisis, and the imagination of the characters who are actively trying to imagine a new world.”
“With the production of Walden, it was important that we lived out our vision for the American Theater,” says taneisha duggan, TheaterWorks Hartford Artistic Producer. “We are not reaching for a status quo, but visibly displaying a way forward. The not-to-distant-future is multi-melanated, is on a continuum in gender and sexuality, is mindful of our relationship to our land, is, is, is…  We imagine, on the stage, the bridge from where we are today to the future–so that you, the audience, may build it. This work engages in the paramount question: ‘who are we, who do we want to be, and how in the heavens do we get there?’ Because I believe that theater, and the industry it supports, has an obligation to set the vision for our collective future through the art, and the way we make it.”
In-person performances of Walden, starting at $95, will take place at Riverfront Recapture, located at 100 Meadow Road in Windsor, CT, and run Tuesday–Sunday at 8pm from July 24–August 22, 2021. A recording of the production will be available to stream for $25 from August 15–29, 2021. Tickets can be purchased online at or by calling 860.527.7838.

Produced in partnership with Riverfront Recapture and Keeney Park Sustainability Project.
Produced with support from ETCH and Liberty Bank.

Amy Berryman (playwright | she/her) is a New York-based writer and actor with roots in Washington State and West Texas. Her play Walden premiered on the West End in 2021 as a part of Sonia Friedman Productions’ RE:Emerge Season, directed by Ian Rickson. Her other full-length plays include The New GalileosThree Year Summer, Epiphany, and The Whole of You. She has been a finalist for the O’Neill, NNPN’s National New Play Festival, and for Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries. Her work has been developed at theatres all across the U.S. and the short film she wrote, co-produced, and starred in, You Are Everywhere, won Best Short Drama in the LA Short Film Festival 2018. As an actor, Berryman was seen off-Broadway in Jessica Dickey’s The Convent, directed by Daniel Talbott with Rattlestick/Rising Phoenix Rep/Weathervane, as well as Greg Kotis’ Lunchtime at the Brick, and Erin Courtney’s I Will Be Gone in the Humana Festival. Proud member of Rising Phoenix Rep.
Mei Ann Teo (director | they/she) is a queer immigrant from Singapore making theatre & film at the intersection of artistic/civic/contemplative practice. As a director/devisor/dramaturg, they create across genres, including music theatre, intermedial participatory work, reimagining classics, and documentary theatre. Directing work includes world premieres Jillian Walker’s SKiNFoLK: An American Show at the Bushwick Starr (NYTimes Critics Pick, NYMag’s matrix “Highbrow and Brilliant”) and Madeline 
Sayet’s Where We Belong at Shakespeare’s Globe and Woolly Mammoth. Teo’s international work includes Belgium’s Festival de Liege (Bryonn Bain’s Lyrics From Lockdown, “Truly polished, meaningful and entertaining” –New York Times), Edinburgh International Fringe (Thorvald Aagaard’s MiddleFlight, “Stunning” –Scotsman), Beijing International Festival (Labyrinth – Top 8 in Beijing News), and Dim Sum Warriors the Musical by Colin Goh and Yen Yen Woo, composed by Pulitzer Prize winner Du Yun for national China twenty-five city tour. Teo is the Visiting Professor of Directing at Carnegie Mellon University and the Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory.
Diana Oh (Stella | they/them) is an Actor, Singer-Songwriter, Writer, Creator of Installation, Ritual, Concert, Party, and an Open Channel to the art that feels good to their body, and is driven most by mutual care and keeping things heart-centered. Creator: {my lingerie play} (national installations/culminating concert in my lingerie staged in an effort to provide a courageous world for women, queer, trans, and non-binary humans to live in), Clairvoyance (an installation, tree-planting, concert series celebrating Queer Magic in Harvard Yard, the Boston Public Library, Institute of Contemporary Art, and Harvard Arboretum; A.R.T.), The Infinite Love Party(an intentional barefoot potluck dinner, dance party and sleepover for QTPOC and Their Allies; Bushwick Starr), My H8 Letter to the Gr8 American Theatre (Public Theater), Asian People are Not Magicians (, Mentor: Shawn Randall’s The Making of How to Save the World…(Cherry Lane). TV/FILM: QueeringHow To Be SingleNew York is DeadHey YunUnicornland, Refinery29 Top LGBTQ Influencer, The First Queer Korean-American interviewed on Korean Broadcast Radio. Oh tours with their art in unexpected spaces and enjoys not fitting into boxes.
Jeena Yi (Cassie | she/her) is incredibly grateful to be back in a theatre again and thrilled to make her Theaterworks Hartford debut. Previous credits include Network on Broadway directed by Ivo Van Hove, Judgment Day at the (Park Avenue Armory), Somebody’s Daughter (Second Stage), and GIRLS (Yale Rep). TV/FILM: Modern Love (Amazon), Only Murders in the Building (HULU), Sucession (HBO),  Manifest (NBC), Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix).
Gabriel Brown (Bryan | he/him) NY Theatre: Blue at the Apollo Theater (Upcoming). Off-Broadway: Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Theatre Company); Love & Money (Signature Theatre Company); The Mystery of Love & Sex and The City of Conversation (Lincoln Center Theater). Regional: Tartuffe (Huntington Theatre); Watch Me (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor); Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Ovation Award, Mark Taper Forum); Love & Money and A Raisin in the Sun (Westport Country Playhouse). TV: Issa Rae’s “Minimum Wage”, “I’m Dying Up Here”, “Madam Secretary”. Film: Carole’s Christmas, American Nightmares, Signal. Training: University of North Carolina School of the Arts, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

About TheaterWorks Hartford

Celebrating its 35th season, TheaterWorks Hartford (TWH) produces high quality, contemporary theater that is relevant to our audiences, engages a diverse community, and provides insight into the human experience. TWH is committed to the power of storytelling in creating community. Founded in 1985, TWH has produced over 170 plays and presents approximately 225 performances per season. TWH also owns and manages the historic property at 233 Pearl Street, known as City Arts on Pearl. City Arts provides an affordable home and services to a diverse family of non-profit arts organizations.

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Funding Credits

TheaterWorks Hartford is supported by Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Travelers, Aetna, Hartford Financial Services, Hartford Healthcare, Lincoln Financial Foundation, Bank of America, Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation, Greater Hartford Arts Council, Edward C. and Ann T. Roberts Foundation, Richard P. Garmany Fund, United Technologies Corporation, J. Walton Bissell Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, Ensworth Charitable Foundation, John and Kelly Hartman Foundation, Connecticut Office of the Arts, George A. and Grace L. Long Foundation, Cheryl Chase & Stuart Bear Family Foundation, People’s United Bank, TD Bank, William and Alice Mortensen Foundation, The Saunders Foundation.

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