Next week OutLawArtists presents what might be one of the first productions of a Sam Shepard drama to open since the playwright’s recent death. The company’s Fool For Love is the second production of the acclaimed 20th century drama to open at the Alchemist Theatre in recent memory. It’s the story of a couple of lovers who meet again in a desert motel in 1983. The show’s producers/lead actors Evan Koepnick and Marissa Clayton recently answered a few questions about the show.
Beyond the relationship between the characters, Shepard delivers a lot of background on these characters to the script. There’s a hell of a lot of character work to crunch through on this show.
The role of producer is something very new for both us. Everyday we come home from work and have 3 hours to be producers. We have dinner and then drive straight to rehearsal to be actors for an additional 3 hours. After rehearsal we have to equally split our time between producer and actor going over business proposals, going over lines etc., before we retire to bed and start the routine all over again come morning. There are definitely challenges with each title, however it is something we are both passionate about and having a partner during this process helps with the motivation.
Thankfully you have a director like Ben Wilson (of the late Youngblood Theatre) to help frame it all. How have the rehearsals been going?
Rehearsals have been one of the best parts of this entire process. Everyone comes in ready to tackle whatever lies ahead. We all know when to joke and when to create. Ben has an eye for motivation behind characters and words. There is a continual open dialogue between the actors and Ben both individually and as an ensemble. Ben is a delight to be around. His intelligence is mesmerizing and aspiring.
The drama has been staged before at the Alchemist, so I’m familiar with how well the space works with this particular drama. It’s one of the smallest stages in town. What’s it like working with a show set in a small hotel room that’s being staged on a space smaller than the hotel room?
In our minds, The Alchemist was the only place to do this show. If we would not have gotten The Alchemist, we wouldn't have done this show. This space is so intimate and doesn't hide anything from the audience much like our production.
You’re also working with Ron Scot Fry and Thorin Ketelsen. What’s it been like working with them?
Ron Scot Fry is a gem. He has a vast wealth of knowledge for all things theatre not to mention his humor is contagious. We thought "The Old Man" would be a wonderful challenge for Ron, a character that in past might not have fit his "type". Thorin Ketelsen does not show any signs of a "recent graduate", his maturity and dedication can fool even the greatest of veterans. He is able to delve deep into the work and is not afraid to ask questions.
My understanding is that this is OutLaw Artists’ first show. Are you planning on doing regular indie shows under that name in the future?
We would like to stress that OutLawArtists is not a theatre company. We are a production company and artist collective. In the future there is a possibility of producing more plays as well as other art forms such as film and fine arts.
OutLawArtists’ production of Fool For Love runs Aug. 10 - 19 at the Alchemist Theatre on 2569 S. KK Avenue. For ticket reservations and further information, visit Alchemist online.