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Davis McCallum

Davis McCallum (Director) directed the award-winning New York premiere of Samuel D. Hunter’s The Whale at Playwrights Horizons (Callaway Award nomination).  Other recent productions include London Wall (Mint Theater Company), Henry IV (Pearl Theatre Company),  Quiara Alegria Hudes’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Water By the Spoonful (Second Stage, Hartford Stage Company), Gabriel Kahane and Seth Bockley’s February House (The Public); Samuel D. Hunter’s A Bright New Boise (Partial Comfort, Drama Desk nomination) and Five Genocides (Clubbed Thumb); Michael Mitnick’s Sex Lives of Our Parents (Second Stage); Gregory S. Moss’s punkplay (Clubbed Thumb); Charles Mee’s Queens Boulevard (Signature Theater); Hudes’s Elliot: A Soldier’s Fugue (P73, Pulitzer Prize finalist);  Henry V (New Victory); Jane Eyre, The Tempest and The Turn Of The Screw (The Acting Company). Regional: The Guthrie, The Old Globe, Humana, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Williamstown, Alliance Theater Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, the O’Neill, Playmakers Rep, Two River, New York Stage & Film, others. Other: Drama League Fellowship (2001), Phil Killian Fellowship (2003), NEA/TCG Career Development Program (2007), Boris Sagal Fellowship (2010), Princess Grace Honoree (2011). He has taught directing at Princeton University and the New School for Drama. He trained at LAMDA and studied at Princeton and Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He is the Artistic Director of the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (

Photo by Zack DeZon


More Reviews


Adam Greenfield and Samuel D. Hunter

A: Can you talk a little bit about the Idaho you grew up in? S: Yeah. I mean it bears less and less resemblance to the plays that I’m writing as I continue to write them. I mean they’re obviously set in Idaho, but there’s nothing that’s really quintessentially Idahoan about most of the plays. Like, there are some references that, sure, are Idahoan, but I think the plays actually are trying to be sort of non-regional, in a way. They could be anywhere in America.

Playwrights' Perspectives

Samuel D. Hunter on "The Whale"

About two and a half years ago, I took a job teaching expository writing to freshmen at Rutgers University. Initially, I had taken the job out of desperation; I needed money and was unable to find any adjunct teaching in theater departments anywhere in the city. An hour into the first training session, as I sat in the middle of a large group of English MA and PhD candidates and recent grads, a thought started to nag at me: You have no idea how to write a good essay. When we broke out into smaller groups, everyone introduced themselves and I stuttered a bit before telling the group that I had a masters degree in playwriting.


Tim Sanford on "The Whale"

"Consider them both, the sea and the land; and do you not find a strange analogy to something in yourself? For as this appalling ocean surrounds the verdant land, so in the soul of man there lies one insular Tahiti, full of peace and joy, but encompassed by all the horrors of the half-known life."


The American Voice: Your Own Private Idaho

There's Steinbeck and Salinas. Faulkner and "Yoknapatawpha." Raymond Carver and his stomping ground, the Pacific Northwest. Philip Roth and Newark. More recently, there's Annie Baker and her fictional Shirley, Vermont. And then there are the settings of Sam Hunter's plays which, if you look closely, reveal a pattern:


Backstory: The Mormon Moment

The media are calling it "The Mormon Moment." Perhaps you've noticed it. The GOP nominee for President is Mormon. The Book of Mormon remains by far the hottest ticket on Broadway. And, the ecclesiastical ad-men of Salt Lake City have launched an omnipresent, well-produced TV campaign featuring normal folks—a New York comedienne working for The Daily Show, a Haitian woman turned American mayor, a French opera singer—who are meant to strike most of us as unlikely Latter-day Saints.