Fool for Love (May 17-June 15, 2019) by Sam Shepard closed out our fifth season.
In Fool for Love we check into a dingy motel room to hear the secrets and confessions of two passionate individuals. Sam Shepard, one of the great American playwrights, has crafted a script that demands a cast that are masterful storytellers. My favorite memories working on this show were watching Jon, Krista, Lindel, and Josh discover such playful choices in the telling of each of these four people’s stories. Each actor came in with bold ideas and watching them take shape and play off of each other made my job that much more exciting. The first words in the acting edition of the play are instructions to the director and cast, “This play is to be performed relentlessly”. Watching Krista’s May and Jon’s Eddie bare their souls in their moments of confession as they encircled one another while Lindel’s Old Man sipped his booze and Josh’s Martin took it all in certainly left a relentless impression. On a personal note, I was really sick during the middle of the rehearsal process, causing me to miss a few rehearsals. Danielle our awesome stage manager kept us going and the hard work we had built up to that point never wavered. On each production the team becomes a little family. At Open Book, that attitude extends beyond each show’s family. The company fosters a wonderful culture of family and it is a joy to have been welcomed into the fold. – DB Schroeder, Director
This is a play I’ve loved for ages, and read every year to see if I thought we could do it. When I reread it before this season, it struck me that Jon was perfect for Eddie, but I was still hesitant… worried it might be too gritty for the Open Book audiences. But Jon was all in, and I’m so glad we did it! Our audiences came along for the wild ride! May was a wonderful challenge for me, with so many conflicting emotions and behaviors. Jon and I talked about what the pact was between May and Eddie, as it’s never disclosed in the script, and what we found took our May and Eddie to some pretty interesting places, emotionally. Jon’s always a delight to work with, as he’s always so present in the moment. Josh and Lindel were wonderful, as well. The audience loved the set, particularly the little details that Bradly excels at… like the broken tiles, dirty areas around light switches, rust running down from the spyhole. So. Much. Door slamming. We have a cutout of Harley that we took with us to a Wilde Awards ceremony when he was in the hospital and couldn’t join us, and now it shows up in fun places around the theatre. It lurked in picture frames for much of the rehearsal process, and then ended up in the bathtub for the whole run of the show. I also remember one show where I put my heel through the back of my dress, so I sewed it during the long stretch where May disappears into the bathroom. It’s what May would have done. 😉 – Krista Schafer Ewbank, May
This was a show that holds a very specific place in my heart as it was a play that I read while doing my very first professional show. During that time I developed a really keen sense of who I thought Martin should be. DB and the rest of the cast allowing me that indulgence speaks volumes of their personal and professional integrity. And it seems to have worked. DB was great to work with and the cast was ok too. Just kidding of course. We had all worked together before multiple times and it’s probably the most workmanlike attitude I’ve ever had with a cast. I felt like we were sled dogs with the brake on. Just jumping and tugging for rehearsal to begin and once it did…we just got to took off. It was great! I want to give a special thanks to Jon. Choreographing the fight was daunting, but I felt like I had a very supportive and non-judgmental partner who let me really go for it. And that was great! – Joshua Brown, Martin
I love working with companies and directors that let me take chances. I had a lot of fun programming the random flickering of the “neon” lights outside of the windows, and the headlight effect. It was quite a contraption back there. – Harley Miah, Lighting Designer
Truly an amazing show! Pictures are worth 1000 words. I was just gonna say with Harley behind the scenes and all the lighting effects brought me back to childhood and traveling and staying in hotels like this. I don’t know what it is about Open Book Theatre, but it brings out the best in myself and all others involved. – Bradly Byrne, Scenic Designer