En Garde Arts shares stories of teen-parent struggles in multimedia ‘Wilderness’

February 16, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — En Garde Arts returns to Penn State with the documentary-style theater production “Wilderness,” which reveals the communication breakdowns of six families due to addiction and mental health issues, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 15, in Eisenhower Auditorium.

The tales of broken and healing family bonds are revealed in on-screen interviews, a folk-music score and actor dramatizations. The Village Voice described the production as “a compassionate glimpse at the outer edge of teenage angst.”

The production is a collaboration among playwright-director Seth Bockley (“Basetrack Live”), En Garde Arts founder and show executive producer-writer Anne Hamburger, and movement directors Devon de Mayo and Patrick McCollum. Kyle Henderson (of the band Desert Noises), Kyle Miller (of the band Tow’rs) and indie-folk singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov wrote the show’s music.

“Wilderness” grew out of Hamburger’s personal experience with her son’s issues. While the show arises out of teens sent to wilderness therapy, “The production is actually about relationships between parents and their teenage children and what happens when you have a child that kind of spirals off the rails due to any number of mental health issues and struggles,” she said in an interview with the Center for the Performing Arts. “It’s really about the quest for connection within families and, when troubles arise, how one looks at oneself differently and how one needs to change in order to heal and make connection possible.”

The Center for the Performing Arts presented En Garde Arts’ production of “Basetrack Live” — a piece about the effect of war on Marines and their families — in 2014.

“Wilderness” includes adult language.

For more information about the presentation and related engagement events, including a post-performance discussion with the audience, visit “Wilderness” or call 814-863-0255.


En Garde Arts discuss the influences behind the company’s newest documentary theater project “Wilderness.”

Anne Hamburger

Watch members of En Garde Arts discuss what influenced the production.

Artistic Viewpoints, an informal moderated discussion featuring a visiting artist or artists, is offered in Eisenhower one hour before the performance and is free for ticket holders. Artistic Viewpoints regularly fills to capacity, so seating is available on a first-arrival basis.

Sandra Zaremba and Richard Brown sponsor the performance. The William E. McTurk Endowment and the Sidney and Helen S. Friedman Endowment provide support.

Patrons are welcome to bring a contribution for a book drive aimed at supporting Mid-State Literacy Council’s efforts to improve reading and learning proficiency in children. New and gently used books with reading levels of preschool to sixth grade are preferred. Blue collection buckets are located in the Eisenhower lobby during regular business hours — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday — and during events at the auditorium.

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(Media Contacts)

Last Updated February 16, 2017