Life at the Boise Hobby Lobby is so dreary that some of its employees are actually looking forward to the Rapture. After spending time in their drab break room for Zeitgeist Stage Company’s powerful production “A Bright New Boise,” it’s easy to understand why.
Though little of consequence happens in this isolated Iowa town, desperate existential yearning for meaning is wreaking havoc on its inhabitants. A high school student, a young woman who is ridiculed for reading and a new employee with secrets to keep grapple with staying connected in a bleak, lonely world.
Meanwhile, an art student and a corporate drone push arts and crafts products that provide relief for the idle hands of the masses while finding their own relief in anarchy and commerce, respectively.
Director David Miller creates the perfect backdrop for this emotional maelstrom with a bland, generic break room set, sullied by years of emotional vacancy and frustration. Its inhabitants are going nowhere unless they’re lucky enough to hop on the corporate train to Oklahoma.
Victor Shopov delivers a stunning turn as Will, the new guy in town with secrets that rock the lives of everyone he touches. Shopov’s Will makes your skin crawl with the steady unraveling of his truth in an incredibly powerful performance.
Janelle Mills is sheer perfection as uber-corporate gal Janelle, doling out assignments and following procedures with impeccable comic timing and cringe-worthy authenticity.
Dakota Shepard finds great comedy and endearment in Anna’s bleak existence while David Lutheran’s Leroy is wonderfully angry at the futility of it all. Zach Winston rounds out the ensemble with a heartfelt turn as Alex, the young man paying the biggest price.
‘A Bright New Boise’
Through Oct. 20
BCA Black Box Theatre
539 Tremont St., Boston