Theater for the New City to present Beetlebung Road LLC's bi-coastal
Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" November 15 to December 2.
Production moves to LA's Lounge Theatre December 6 to 9.
WHERE AND WHEN
Theater for the New City presents the Beetlebung Road Production of "Fool for Love" by Sam Shepard
November 15 to December 2, 2018
Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (at E. 10th Street), NYC (East Village)
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM, Sundays at 3:00 PM. No show Thanksgiving, Nov. 22.
$18 general admission
Box office 212-330-8171, www.Plays411.com/LoveNYC
Running time 75 minutes. Previews November 15, opens November 16. Critics are invited on or after November 16.
Photos are available at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3TmSMpPvj16ezny4A
Los Angeles run follows Dec, 6-9: see info below for details.
NEW YORK, October 14-- Beetlebung Road LLC, a new theater production company, will launch November 15 to December 9 with a bi-coastal production of Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love," to be presented November 15 to December 2 by Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave., Manhattan and December 6 to 9 by The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. The production, directed by Kymberly Harris, will arise from a careful artistic process of immersion on many levels. The company chose to debut at Theater for the New City as part of that process: to honor and recapture the path of Shepard's "Buried Child," which was commissioned by TNC and premiered there in 1978.
In the play, a woman named May occupies a stark, low-rent motel room on the edge of the Mojave desert. She is haunted by a frenetic rodeo cowboy named Eddie, with whom she shares a mutual obsession and whom she has been trying to escape for years. He arrives there unexpectedly, desperate to drag her back with him to his farm in Wyoming. Eddie's passion is admirable, but he takes after his father, a serial adulterer who abandoned two households. Eddie suspects it's a self-fulfilling prophecy and that his love for May cannot escape this fate. She resents his frequent absences and love affairs and physically attacks him. As Eddie tries to console her, one of his "other" women, referred to as the countess, shoots out the windshield of his truck parked outside. A hapless young man, Martin, appears amidst the fracas; he is May's date for the movies and becomes a butt for Eddie's jokes. The relentless action is interrupted periodically by running commentary from a ghostly old man in the corner who is revealed to possibly be the father of the two ex-lovers. These "fools for love" cannot get along with or without each other, yet neither can subdue their burning passion. Their relationship is mystifying and discomfiting; the atmosphere is pungent and evocative; the language is sparking with Shepard's genius for sound and imagery.
A new production company, Beetlebung Road LLC, has been formed with this "Fool for Love" as its inaugural production. Its actors, director and designers are all from the Los Angeles area. This is an Equity Showcase production.
In director Kymberly Harris' vision for the play, alcohol, wild horses, rodeo stunts and western music are key elements and sources for inspiration. Shepard had a long history of creativity in Montana so the troupe, to recapture the environment that was so evocative to him, journeyed to Bigfork, MT to soak up the atmosphere of what was once a quaint, western stage-stop and to take roping lessons. With a similar goal, they immersed themselves in rodeo culture at Kern County Fair Rodeo in Bakersfield, CA. That town is a frequent stepping-off point for travelers crossing the Mojave Desert toward Las Vegas.
Harris is also discovering the resonance in the power of Shepard’s female character in the #MeToo era. The plot could be seen as overshadowed by its men's history of philandering, but Harris refuses to take this at face value. Projecting herself into the male characters' shoes, she asks "If you need your independence to make art, how can you give yourself to a love relationship?" From May's perspective, she asks, "if you are really in love with a soulmate, how do you accept being treated?" Eddie, she says, cannot give himself over to the power of a woman, while May really loves him, yet needs to find her own voice and independence in the face of this love.
Sophia Silver makes her theatrical debut as May, Andrew Dits plays Eddie, George Oliver Hale plays The Old Man and John Ruby plays Martin. Scenic and lighting design are by David Goldstein. Sound design is by Jesse Manapat. Costume design is by Wendell C. Carmichael. Key art is designed by Jordan Weeks. Producer is Racquel Lehrman of Theatre Planners, Los Angeles. Assistant producer is Misha Riley.
Scholars have identified the play as part of a quintet of Shepard plays with family themes that also includes "Curse of the Starving Class" (1977), "Buried Child" (1979) "True West" (1980) and "A Lie of the Mind" (1985). But in its suggestion of incestuous family secrets, "Fool for Love" is most closely related to "Buried Child," in which the corpse buried in the back yard has been interpreted to represent an epic theme: the secrets and crimes our country was built over. Shepard was well established and influential among the avant-garde by the late 70's when "Buried Child" was commissioned and premiered by Theater for the New City, but that play cemented his place in the larger cohort of leading American playwrights. After an exploratory production in San Francisco's Magic Theater, it opened at TNC with a New York cast in October 1978. The TNC production moved to the Theatre De Lys (now the Lucille Lortel Theater) and subsequently received the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, the first ever for an Off-Broadway production. "Fool for Love" had its Off-Broadway premiere in 1983 at Circle Repertory and later transferred to the Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in drama the following year.
Following the TNC run, the Beetlebung Road production will move to Los Angeles for performances at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd, December 6 to 9. The performance schedule there will be: December 6 at 8:00 PM, December 7 at 8:00 PM, December 8 at 8:00 PM and 10:30 PM and December 9 at 3:00 PM. General admission is $30; tickets can be purchased at www.plays411.com/LoveLA. The box office number is 323-960-7784.
Director Kymberly Harris's work tends to be deeply experiential and process-driven. She teaches acting at The Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute in West Hollywood and to select private clients who are working in TV and Film. In her early acting career, she once played May in a showcase at her MFA Program directed by Arthur Penn. Now a director, writer, and filmmaker, she bridges the theater and film worlds. Her play "Faith" is the only drama published in the new anthology, "Proofread or Die!," featuring works by colleagues and friends of the late David Foster Wallace. She has directed several new and contemporary plays at her resident companies in LA and in the Midwest. She recently wrote and directed an award-winning short, "Rose’s Turn,” and her new film, “FAITH,” won Best Short at the 2018 New York International Film Festival. She is in post production for her first feature film, "Plead Me Guilty." As an actor, she originated the role of Holly in "Bang the Drum Slowly" by Eric Simonson opposite Tracy Letts and performed in the workshop of "It’s Only a Play" by Terence McNally opposite Thomas Sadoski, Josh Radnor, and Lisa Kudrow. She is a member of AEA, SAG/AFTRA and the Dramatists Guild. She holds an MA from Illinois State University in Theatre and a double MFA from The Actors Studio Drama School at the New School in Acting and Playwriting.
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Critics are invited on or after November 16.
Photos are available for download at: https://photos.app.goo.gl/3TmSMpPvj16ezny4A