Smashing a Shepard Set
Well it feels like the summer went by like a blur and now it’s time to hop on the runaway train (and I mean the exciting, Indiana Jones-kind of runaway train) that is a new production. Up next, Ages of the Moon by Sam Shepard. Beyond reading a couple anthologies of his plays, this will be my first time working on a Shepard play, so I’m very excited. One of the big things that you have to deal with in actually producing a Shepard play is his penchant for set destruction. Shepard’s been frustrating -erm, I mean, providing creative opportunities for Technical Directors for his entire career, and Ages of the Moon is no different. While I won’t give away the surprise in this play, I thought it would be fun to revisit some of the old production challenges in a few of Shepard’s earlier work. 4-H Club features a group of young men tossing apples all over the stage and, eventually, the entire theater. Shepard’s last play before Ages of the Moon, Kicking a Dead Horse starred (alongside Stephen Rea), a large dead horse in the middle of the stage which would have to sustain a large amount of abuse from Rea each night. And of course, my particular favorite, the rows of stolen toasters in True West which Austin arranges and then smashes over the course of the play. Ages of the Moon has it’s own little technical wizardry in it as well, so watch out for October 15 to see Shepard’s latest theatrical coup.