Sam Shepard is one of my favorite playwrights.
His work is deceptively simple and I’ve seen his work done well, but his characters deserve such energy and life force that is sometimes missed in their portrayals. Preatorean Productions, however, have a knack for infusing a still, quiet fire in their productions. This play is a perfect excuse for exactly that kind of approach.
It’s a love story at its heart. Although a broken one by anyones measure. The two lovers are trying their best to stay apart from each other, and have done for some months but now something is drawing them back together. Maybe it’s fate, maybe it’s love, maybe it’s addiction, I doubt they even know themselves. But that is what’s so magical about this play. We discover them as they discover themselves.
The twist is that they are half brother and sister. There’s always a big twist in a Sam Shepard play. They fell in love before they knew and when their families found out everything fell apart. Their father, who appears as a kind of ghostly narrator speaking directly to each of them, lived two lives and hated himself for it.
What this play is about is how we tear at each other without understanding why.
How we need to love and then hate the need in us. It’s not really about the incest, that feels almost incidental really, like an excuse they both use to hurt each other. This play is about forgiveness and empathy and longing. And in all that darkness and tearing there is a lot of humor. The kind of humor that pops up when we least expect it…at a funeral, or during a break up or when disaster calls.
It’s a breathtaking piece. Done well it can be a revelation, moving, excruciatingly painful in the most wonderful way. This production is tender rather than violent, which some are. It’s gentle and sad and still, which is quite lovely. The performances are strong and defined, the character arcs interesting and unexpected. The direction simple and real and refined. It’s a one-hour version, which is enough to understand the impossible place these people find themselves and how none of us could ever truly judge them.
I urge you to see “A Fool For Love.” Never miss an opportunity to see a Sam Shepard play, especially when it is produced with such love and reverence as this one. Bravo!
Running June 29th through August 1st.
The Whitefire Theatre
Ryan de Quintal (Eddie)
Caitlin Lowerre (MAY)
Vincent Ramirez (Martin)
Fred Mancuso (Old Man)