Representative Reviews – Acting
More Stories by Tobias Wolff
In the beguiling "Sanity," the focus is on the relationship between . . . teenage April, captivatingly uncomfortable in her body, and Stephanie Hunt as her wonderfully confident, classy and sexually frank stepmother.
— Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle for Word for Word’s More Stories by Tobias Wolff, 2008
Fall River Axe Murders by Angela Carter
. . . the brilliant performance of longtime Word mainstay Stephanie Hunt as Lizzie.
— Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle for Word for Word’s The Fall River Axe Murders, 2003
Stephanie Hunt also does brilliant work as Lizzie herself, living in "the thin condition of New England spinsterhood" — more than 30-years-old but still under her father's roof. Hunt has an expressively mad way of staring out from behind her frizzy, disheveled hair.
— Michael Scott Moore, SF Weekly for Word for Word’s The Fall River Axe Murders, 2003
Oil! by Upton Sinclair
Hunt does brilliant work as not just the Speedometer but also a yucca, a wild rose, the speed cop, and a swiveling restaurant door.
— Michael Scott Moore, SF Weekly for Word for Word’s Oil!, 2001
Hunt is awesome in one mercurial shift after another: As an ebulliently proud horse (as in horsepower) or embarrassed eucalyptus; a crafty-smug country judge or a waitress overcoming her astonishment at a large tip; a poor roadside waif or a burly motorcycle cop silently chewing out another motorist.
— Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle for Word for Word’s Oil!, 2001
Friend of my Youth by Alice Munro
Stephanie Hunt adds hilarious townswoman sourness and disapproval, in cat's-eye glasses, as Cleta Stapleton.
— Michael Scott Moore, SF Weekly for Word for Word’s Friend of My Youth, 1999
Stephanie Hunt plays a town gossip with a telephone gripped in her hand like a weapon.
— Steven Winn, SF Chronicle for Word for Word’s Friend of My Youth, 1999
A Place with the Pigs by Athol Fugard
Stephanie Hunt, as his practical, unimaginative wife, is wonderful, as always, at showing the spark of wit, of rebelliousness, under a plain-as-dirt exterior.
— Judith Green, San Jose Mercury News for Aurora Theater’s A Place with the Pigs, 1995
Stephanie Hunt is his perfect foil, endowing Praskovya with an endearingly buoyant optimism that makes her utter disregard for the agonies of the soul both funny and refreshing.
— Mari Coates, SF Weekly for Aurora Theater’s A Place with the Pigs, 1995
As his long-suffering wife, Stephanie Hunt is a study in anguish. Moved by pity and love, she watches in horror as her husband devolves into an unkind stranger prone to acts in inexplicable rage. Every year of patient martyrdom is played out on her expressive face. Her every twitch, nod, and shudder are designed to appease. Hunt artfully strikes a balance between Praskovya’s steadfast strength and her raw weakness. Her immaculate accent and exact physical bearing make for an eerily truthful performance.
— Karen D’Souza, Hayward Daily Review for Aurora Theater’s A Place with the Pigs, 1995
A Man’s a Man by Bertolt Brecht
Hunt’s portrayal of Begbick and her two daughters flirting with Bloody Five is sublime, her gloved hands batting eyelashes and pursing her finger-lips as the younger camp followers.
— Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle for Encore Theatre’s A Man’s a Man, 1994
The Lady Upstairs by Sara Felder
With the superb Stephanie Hunt, the solid C.W. Morgan, and the always sensational Jane Angeles, under the deft direction of Mary Forcade, Felder’s play comes to theatrical life.
—Noreen Barnes, Bay Area Reporter for the Intersection-for-the-Arts’ The Lady Upstairs, 1992
It’s daring theater that succeeds with the aid of Mary Forcade’s assured staging and the actor’s terrific performances.
—Elliott Smith, S.F. Bay Guardian for Intersection-for-the-Arts’ The Lady Upstairs, 1992
Hunger by Peter Mattei
. . . some wonderful acting, particularly Stephanie Hunt as Angela and Rod Gnapp as her blue-collar beau of sorts, Bill. Both are a delight to watch perform.
— Noreen Barnes, Bay Area Reporter for Magic Theatre’s Hunger, 1991
East by Steven Berkoff*
The production, which originated in San Francisco, was directed by Paul Hellyer and it couldn't be stronger. Unusually convincing when assuming English accents, all five cast members deliver the caterwauling dialect with the fluency and ease of born Londoners.
— Stephen Holden, NY Times for Industrial Strength’s production of East, 1991
*Bay Area Critics’ Circle Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for East—1991
Representative Reviews – Directing
Angel Face by Cornell Woolrich
Director Stephanie Hunt makes some very savvy choices that help bring the story to life. Faced with Woolrich's metaphor-rich narrative and dialogue, she eschews Word's frequent practice of playfully acting out a story's colorful turns of phrase. Instead, she lets the language create its own play of images, enhancing the action with period sound and visual effects.
[There is] a great deal to enjoy in Woolrich's intriguing suspense story, Hunt's more ingenious directorial choices and the work of the fine-tuned ensemble.
— Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle for Word for Word’s Angel Face, 2007
Lady’s Dream and Bullet in the Brain by Tobias Wolff*
. . . another woman's remembrances of a love misplaced and the grisly death of a critic are all beautifully brought to life in Word for Word's "Stories by Tobias Wolff" at the Magic Theatre. It isn't just that Wolff's stories are such compact delights nor that the company brings them to the stage with its typically inventive skill. It's the near perfect fit of form, content, skill and sensibility that makes for theatrical magic.
Hunt stages the piece [Bullet in the Brain] with wonderfully inventive touches as the story leaps from a mundane wait in a bank to the wildly funny drama of a robbery and on into the biology of Harloe's determined bullet's progress through a brain and the life scenes that do and do not flash before the dying critic's eyes. As brightly rewarding as the first two stories are, "Bullet" shoots "Stories" to exhilarating heights.
— Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle for Word for Word’s Stories by Tobias Wolff, 2002
*Stories by Tobias Wolff was extended for two months beyond its original run at the Magic Theater, and was named one of the “10 Best Productions in the Bay Area for 2002” by the SF Chronicle
Naked Moon by Domenic Stansberry
Directed Staged Reading of noir thriller
Later, with author Domenic Stansberry watching from the back, San Francisco performing arts company Word for Word came forward to do a staged reading of selected excerpts of Stansberry's latest novel, Naked Moon. Word for Word gained fame doing performances of short stories by Tobias Wolff and others, not "dramatizing," not abridging, but performing every word the author had written. Their performance of Stansberry's already lyrical work was nuanced and layered.
— Mark Coggins, Huffington Post Review of Naked Moon presented by Subterranean SF (City Lights Books), Word for Word, and Litquake, 2010