A Walk in the Woods

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A Walk in the Woods is a play by Lee Blessing (1949-*)[].

Not to be confused with the eponymous biographical novel by Bill Bryson

The original text

Blessing spent time in Russia where he found inspiration to write his best-known work, the award-winning A Walk in the Woods. According to interviews with Blessing, the play, which depicts the developing relationship between a Russian and an American arms limitation negotiator is based on fact. Apparently, during the 1982 talks in Geneva, Switzerland, Soviet Yuli Kvitsinsky and American Paul Nitze left the formal discussions to literally take a walk in the woods.

Following its premiere in Waterford, Connecticut, A Walk in the Woods was nominated for both a Tony award and a Pulitzer Prize. Though the production won neither award, it was reprised and produced in Moscow in 1989 and later adapted for television.

Translations and adaptations

Performance history in South Africa

1989: Presented by The Market Theatre Company and Volute Productions. It also played in the Baxter Theatre in November 1989. Directed by Leonard Schach, design by Sarah Roberts, lighting design by Mannie Manim. Nominated as Best Play of the Year for the Vita Awards, 1989. The role of "Botvinnik" was played by Michael Atkinson (nominated as Best Actor for a Vita Award) and that of "Honeyman" by Michael McGovern.


D.C. Boonzaier, 1923. "My playgoing days – 30 years in the history of the Cape Town stage", in SA Review, 9 March and 24 August 1932. (Reprinted in Bosman 1980: pp. 374-439.)

F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1912. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp.203-205

Ruphin Coudyzer. 2023. Annotated list of his photographs of Market Theatre productions. (Provided by Coudyzer)

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Baxter Theatre pamphlet October-November 1989.

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