October 25 - December 18, 2022

Evanston Salt Costs Climbing

by Will Arbery directed by Danya Taymor

About The Show

Evanston Salt Costs Climbing

Final Performance, Sunday, Dec 18, 2022.

“This tiny play about love and loss and betrayal in a dying Middle America is something everyone should see and then talk about.” – Variety



“Arbery is one of the theater’s greatest listeners, able to hear and reproduce the subtle and deeply specific ways individuals reveal themselves and their relationships to others with language.” – The New York Times Magazine

“Surreal touches lend mystery to the mundane in this teasingly existential comedy-drama.” – TheaterMania


Winters keep getting worse in Evanston, IL where salt truck drivers Peter and Basil battle the ice and snow and pass the time with jokes and stories. But what’s with this creeping sense of dread? Is it because their boss Maiworm has noble visions of new green technology that would make their jobs obsolete? Or is there a more terrifying warning calling out from under these roads? At least they have each other, right?

Pulitzer Prize finalist Will Arbery confronts humanity’s darkest fears with humor, warmth, and the fortitude of municipal public servants in this play about climate and change.

Directed by Danya Taymor (Heroes of the Fourth Turning by Will Arbery, “Daddy” with The New Group), Evanston Salt Costs Climbing features Quincy Tyler Bernstine (Ruined, Marys Seacole), Jeb Kreager (HBO’s Mare of Easttown, Heroes of the Fourth Turning),  Ken Leung (HBO’s Industry, Lost) and Rachel Sachnoff (Evanston Salt Costs Climbing at White Heron Theatre).


Download the digital program HERE.

Evanston Salt Costs Climbing is the second collaboration between writer Will Arbery and director Danya Taymor. They previously teamed up on the Obie-winning, Pulitzer nominated, critically-lauded production of Heroes of the Fourth Turning in 2019. The production also featured Evanston Salt actor Jeb Kreager!

Production photography by Monique Carboni.



The safety of our audiences is one of The New Group’s top priorities. In accordance with Signature Theatre policies, masks must be worn during all shows in the 2022 calendar year. Acceptable masks include cloth masks with 2-3 layers of fabric, surgical masks, KN95, and N95 masks. Masks should only be removed when actively eating or drinking. We will provide additional updates to these policies as they continue to change and evolve.



**This production uses haze and a strobe light effect. This production contains strong language and the discussion of suicide. If you or someone you know may be struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time, day or night, or chat online.

Support for Evanston Salt Costs Climbing is provided by The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation. Generous support for The New Group is provided by The Shubert Foundation and The Howard Gilman Foundation.

Evanston Salt Costs Climbing is supported in part by National Endowment for the Arts. The New Group’s productions are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. The New Group’s productions are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature. 

Production photography by Monique Carboni.

World Premiere Production Presented by White Heron Theatre Company, New Neighborhood, Jay Alix & Una Jackman and Rebecca Kitt Lynne Bolton & Rolin Jones, Artistic Director Michael Kopko, Managing Director 

Evanston Salt Costs Climbing was developed at the 2017 Ojai Playwrights Conference: Robert Egan, Artistic Director/Producer



“Will Arbery is the playwright of the moment!” 

“Bracing! Galvanizing! A pitch-dark comedy!” 



“The acting by all four performers is pitch perfect — funny, subtle, and deeply moving.” 



“Arbery’s plays are generous gifts.”

Our Partnership with NRDC

Our Partnership with NRDC


Cast & Creative Team



Jeb Kreager & Ken Leung, photo by Monique Carboni
Ken Leung & Jeb Kreager, photo by Monique Carboni
Quincy Tyler Bernstine & Rachel Sachnoff, photo by Quincy Tyler Berstine.
Jeb Kreager, Ken Leung, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, photo by Monique Carboni
Quincy Tyler Bernstine, photo by Monique Carboni.
Jeb Kreager, Rachel Sachnoff, Will Arbery, Danya Taymor, Ken Leung, and Quincy Tyler Bernstine in rehearsal. Photo by Natalie Powers.
Production Stage Manager Rachel April and Costume Designer Sarafina Bush. Photo by Natalie Powers
Evanston Salt Costs Climbing design presentation. Photo by Natalie Powers
Playwright Will Arbery and Voice, Text & Dialect Coach Gigi Buffington. Photo by Natalie Powers
Director Danya Taymor. Photo by Natalie Powers
Performer Ken Leung. Photo by Natalie Powers
Movement Coordinator Tilly Evans-Krueger. Photo by Natalie Powers
Will Arbery. Photo by Natalie Powers
Shariffa Ali with Joshua Yocom, Rachel Spitz-Lieberman and Scott Elliott. Photo by Natalie Powers


Performance Info

Performance Schedule

Performances begin Wednesday, October 26
Tuesday – Friday at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 2pm and 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm.


Post-show Talkbacks

  • Rewrite the Future: Climate Talkback
    • NRDC in Conversation with Will Arbery, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Danya Taymor: Wednesday, November 16, 7:30pm
  • Talkback with The Cast: Tuesday, December 6, 7:30PM

Accessible Performances

  • Open Caption Performance Saturday, November 20, 2:00PM


Download a PDF of the schedule here.
Additional details are available on the Book Tickets page.