Scene One Theatre is presenting the Sam Shepard play "Fool for Love."
"This is the first time we have done a Shepard play. Most people will recognize his name as an actor but he has also written several plays," said director Mark Wegman.
The play is set in a stark motel room in the Mojave Desert. May, played by Margaret Graham, is hiding out at the hotel when an old childhood friend and flame, Eddie, played by Matt Connor, shows up. Jim Brady plays the Old Man and is in the minds of May and Eddie. He helps bring out the conflict between the two and in themselves. Seated in a rocking chair to the side of the stage, the Old Man also reveals the past of May and Eddie for the audience. As the play progresses, the audience becomes aware of a secret the two are harboring that will make reconciliation impossible. To enhance their torment and conflict, an old flame of May's, played by Ken Thompson, shows up to take her on a date.
According to Wegman, the play is abstract, bizarre and quite intense. Feelings are enhanced by the set design and decoration by Caleb Forest, who is also the assistant director; Grant Lenhardt, who is also lighting designer; and Connor. Ashley Cook is a new lighting technician working on the show.
Wegman said that in this show, they expanded on their lighting techniques to help with the mood. In one scene, they show the headlights from a car through a large picture window in the set and in another scene indicate a past girlfriend of Eddie's without actually showing a character. For the intimate theater with limited-lighting instruments, this has proved a challenge.
There is no intermission in the show, and Wegman said this forces the audience to share in the pain and torment of the characters.
"This was a short time frame for rehearsal but the actors have embraced the characters and are enjoying them," Wegman said.
Because of the content and adult themes of the show, it is not recommended for children.
"This is a show that I have always wanted to do. It is truly a labor of love," Wegman said.
At a glance
What: "Fool for Love"
Where: Scene One Theatre, 121 E. High St.
When: May 30-31 and June 1, 6-8. Doors open at 7 p.m.; Show at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $10; half price on opening night, 573-635-6713 or firstname.lastname@example.org.