A Walk in the Woods

Yale Repertory Theater

Des McAnuff, director


also produced at La Jolla Playhouse, 1988

on Broadway at the Booth Theater, 1989

abroad at the Pushkin Theater, Moscow, and Lithuanian Academic Drama Theater, Vilnius, 1990

and filmed for American Playhouse

top: reference photo

bottom:   white model

top:    Act II, i         winter

bottom:   Act II, ii   spring

“[the playwright] is greatly aided by....Bill Clarke’s remarkable set: a soil-capped hillside, 29 tree trunks shooting straight up into the skies and, on the far back wall, a framed picture of yet another woods, a reminder that these conversations will echo around the world."

-William A. Henry III, Time

“With the help of Bill Clarke’s hilltop set design, Mr Mcanuff gives the play a solid basis in reality.”   -Mel Gussow, New York Times


“…Bill Clarke’s diplomat’s arcadia of a setting, with chill autumn leaves and exploding flowers...." -Clive Barnes, New York Post

“…a magical forest designed by Bill Clarke quarterly changes its raiments.”

-William A. Raidy, Newark Star Ledger

“Bill Clarke’s set, consisting of huge tree trunks towering over the actors, is an eloquent contrast to the rarefied business at hand.”

-David Patrick Stearns, USA Today

“The set is graceful...”

Howard Kissel, New York Daily News

“As at La Jolla, Bill Clarke’s set is a lovely clearing in the Geneva woods that changes wondrously with the seasons  -- fall is a veritable ballet for leaves....”

-Allan Wallach, Newsday

“Physically, the production is breathtaking....You can almost smell the pine needles in the deep woods designed by Bill Clarke, which change with every season. (How do those spring flowers pop up so magically on the mountain?”

-Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times

“The haunting, double-edged set is by Bill Clarke.”

-Richard Stayton, Los Angeles Herald-Examiner

“Bill Clarke’s setting is ravishing combination of realism and elegant, stylized details that make a statement all their own.”

-Welton Jones, San Diego Union

“With its soil spilling off the edge of the stage, plus a shower of leaves in the fall and sprouting flowers in the spring, Clarke’s set takes on a life of its own.”

Don Braunagel, Oakland Tribune

“And after a while, even the trees look erect as missiles, and those lights, the ones smoking in the ground during the final scene change -- are they silos? In Clarke’s outstanding scenic design, realism and symbolism, beauty and horror, are intertwined.”

-Jeff Smith, San Diego Reader

“Clarke’s wooded scenery is as lovely an arboreal atmosphere as anything since the Mark Taper Forum’s  production of Marsha Norman’s Traveler in the Dark several years back.”

-Jeff Rubio, Orange County Register

“Bill Clarke’s set of a wooded meeting place which lies within a conference room wherein hangs a picture of that very wood outside is a wonderful metaphor for the action of the play.”

-Harry Hargrave, Raleigh News and Observer

“The real stars of this production are the lighting and set designers...Bill Clarke has filled the stage with massive trunks of real birch and oak trees, so tall we can’t see the tops disappearing behind the proscenium. These rise out of an uncannily authentic-looking, undulating forest floor of rich brown soil. The effect is intoxicatingly lovely.”

Christopher Arnott, New Haven Independent

“Three cheers for the handsome set by Bill Clarke....”

Owen McNally, Hartford Courant

“The setting that plays such an important role in Blessing’s drama has been beautifully rendered by Bill Clarke, who has transformed the Yale Rep’s stage into a virtual forest. Dark, rich earth has been molded into a hillside filled with tall and varied tree trunks. Over the course of the play, autumn leaves and spring blossoms appear in turn.”

-Ruth Lesser, New Haven Journal-Courier

“ Bill Clarke’s set of birch and linden trees has a subtle power; its seasonal changes come as a natural cycle with the assistance of Jennifer Tipton’s evocative lighting design.”

David Wilson,  New Haven Advocate