An adaptation of Peter Grandbois’ novel which won the gold medal in literary fiction in Foreword Magazine’s book of Book of the Year Awards (2011).

Set simultaneously in a farming town in Wisconsin and a mining town in Colorado during the nineteenth century, Nahoonkara follows three brothers across a generation as each strives to re-create his childhood home. While Henry strives to make their new home prosperous and his brother Eli prays to maintain the town’s spiritual center, it becomes clear as the play progresses that the center will not hold.  The only hope lies in the oldest brother Killian’s stories and in a magical snowfall that lasts for three months, changing the lives of everyone.  

Drawing from the austerity of Brecht and Becket, yet reminiscent of such varied American plays as Wilder’s Our Town and Wilson’s The Rimers of Eldritch, Nahoonkara, a Ute Indian word meaning “land of the rising blue” transforms the stage into an oneiric space of wonder, one that exists both within the natural world and within our own minds, a place outside preconceived notions of reality and identity, a place where we are free to re-imagine ourselves.

creative team

peter grandbois, playWRIGHT

Jeremy williams, producing director

liz stanton, Theatrical Development producer

sylvia brown, dramaturge

student application

Applications Due: Friday, November 16th. Participation is open to students of Denison University. Please note, you will need to upload a resume or short bio for the application.

Moving Between Worlds Student Application

Draft: nahoonkara by Peter Grandbois

history of development


Theatrical Developement Lab at Denison University


Staged Reading as part of CTC’s New Play Reading Series


Living Room Reading