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Susan's City Scene
May 31, 2014, 05:00 AM By Susan Cohn Daily Journal

Mark Leialoha
Word for Word at Z Space in San Francisco joins in the yearlong celebration of playwright Sam Shepard's 70th birthday with ‘36 Stories by Sam Shepard,' drawn from his writings about the denizens of motels and diners along lonely stretches of American Southwest highways. Here, a driver (JoAnne Winter) comes upon an injured hawk (Carl Lumbly) on the highway.

WORD FOR WORD WEAVES A RICH TAPESTRY OF SAM SHEPARD STORIES. Word for Word, which has been creating theater out of short stories for more than 20 years, presents 36 Stories by Sam Shepard, an original adaptation of Shepard’s fiction and poetry by Word for Word company member Amy Kossow. Five actors are deployed in a stream of consciousness depiction of extraordinary characters (a talking severed head, a dangerous female mercenary, a man-size hawk) who collectively orbit around the writer who creates them. 90 minutes without intermission. Arranged for the stage and directed by Amy Kossow. Through June 22.

CAST: Rod Gnapp — The Writer; Delia MacDougall — The Mercenary/Dead Mother/Sally; JoAnne Winter — The Waitress/Driver/Writer’s Mother; Patrick Alparone — The Musician/The Walking Man/Dicky; Carl Lumbly — The Head/The Hawk.

STAGE DIRECTIONS AND TICKETS. Word for Word at Z Below. 470 Florida St. (between 17th and Mariposa streets). San Francisco. Go early, stay after. The surrounding neighborhood is punctuated with trendy galleries and restaurants. Tickets $30-50 at zspace.org or (866) 811-4111. Join in a Talkback with Director Amy Kossow and members of the cast immediately following the June 12 and June 19 shows.

GO TO THE SOURCE: THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL. 36 Stories by Sam Shepard was adapted from Day Out of Days (2011); Great Dream of Heaven: Stories by Sam Shepard (2002); Cruising Paradise (1997); Motel Chronicles (1992); and Hawk Moon (1981).

AN ASIDE: Director Amy Kossow, who adapted Shepard’s stories for this production, said: “Shepard’s prose is of the instant moment. He plucks characters out of this roadside diner or that nameless motel, and makes us care about them within a few very short paragraphs, before allowing them to vanish. And yet them seem to exist in an etched and permanent manner, and we may encounter echoes of them just around the next bend. His words — often simple and unadorned — provoke instinctive, visceral feelings colored with wild unexpected humor.”

MORE ABOUT SAM SHEPARD. Born Nov. 5, 1943, Sam Shepard (born Samuel Shepard Rogers III) received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983), portrayed General William F. Garrison in the box office hit movie Black Hawk Down (2001), received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009 and starred in the 2011 film Blackthorn, as an aged Butch Cassidy.

COMING ATTRACTIONS AT Z SPACE. There’s always something interesting at Z Space. Aug. 1-3 is City Council Meeting, a live performance about democracy, empathy and power. The script is made up of surprising moments from local government meetings across the country, along with original writing by playwright Aaron Landsman. The set consists of folding tables, office chairs, video cameras and monitors. And here is what sets City Council Meeting apart from other theater: the actors are the audience. This means you. You perform the piece each night, with the help of a local group of trained staffers. More information at zspace.org or (866) 811-4111.

***

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER? San Francisco Playhouse concludes its eleventh season with Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and James Lapine (book). This tongue-in-cheek musical puts a contemporary edge on classic fairytales as it tells stories of wishes granted and “the price” paid. June 24 - Sept. 6. 450 Post St. (second floor of KensBy Susan Cohn

Daily Journal Senior Correspondent

WORD FOR WORD WEAVES A RICH TAPESTRY OF SAM SHEPARD STORIES. Word for Word, which has been creating theater out of short stories for more than 20 years, presents 36 Stories by Sam Shepard, an original adaptation of Shepard’s fiction and poetry by Word for Word company member Amy Kossow. Five actors are deployed in a stream of consciousness depiction of extraordinary characters (a talking severed head, a dangerous female mercenary, a man-size hawk) who collectively orbit around the writer who creates them. 90 minutes without intermission. Arranged for the stage and directed by Amy Kossow. Through June 22.

CAST: Rod Gnapp — The Writer; Delia MacDougall — The Mercenary/Dead Mother/Sally; JoAnne Winter — The Waitress/Driver/Writer’s Mother; Patrick Alparone — The Musician/The Walking Man/Dicky; Carl Lumbly — The Head/The Hawk.

STAGE DIRECTIONS AND TICKETS. Word for Word at Z Below. 470 Florida St. (between 17th and Mariposa streets). San Francisco. Go early, stay after. The surrounding neighborhood is punctuated with trendy galleries and restaurants. Tickets $30-50 at zspace.org or (866) 811-4111. Join in a Talkback with Director Amy Kossow and members of the cast immediately following the June 12 and June 19 shows.

GO TO THE SOURCE: THE ORIGINAL MATERIAL. 36 Stories by Sam Shepard was adapted from Day Out of Days (2011); Great Dream of Heaven: Stories by Sam Shepard (2002); Cruising Paradise (1997); Motel Chronicles (1992); and Hawk Moon (1981).

AN ASIDE: Director Amy Kossow, who adapted Shepard’s stories for this production, said: “Shepard’s prose is of the instant moment. He plucks characters out of this roadside diner or that nameless motel, and makes us care about them within a few very short paragraphs, before allowing them to vanish. And yet them seem to exist in an etched and permanent manner, and we may encounter echoes of them just around the next bend. His words — often simple and unadorned — provoke instinctive, visceral feelings colored with wild unexpected humor.”

MORE ABOUT SAM SHEPARD. Born Nov. 5, 1943, Sam Shepard (born Samuel Shepard Rogers III) received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for his play Buried Child, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983), portrayed General William F. Garrison in the box office hit movie Black Hawk Down (2001), received the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009 and starred in the 2011 film Blackthorn, as an aged Butch Cassidy.

COMING ATTRACTIONS AT Z SPACE. There’s always something interesting at Z Space. Aug. 1-3 is City Council Meeting, a live performance about democracy, empathy and power. The script is made up of surprising moments from local government meetings across the country, along with original writing by playwright Aaron Landsman. The set consists of folding tables, office chairs, video cameras and monitors. And here is what sets City Council Meeting apart from other theater: the actors are the audience. This means you. You perform the piece each night, with the help of a local group of trained staffers. More information at zspace.org or (866) 811-4111.

***

WHAT HAPPENS AFTER HAPPILY EVER AFTER? San Francisco Playhouse concludes its eleventh season with Into the Woods by Stephen Sondheim (music and lyrics) and James Lapine (book). This tongue-in-cheek musical puts a contemporary edge on classic fairytales as it tells stories of wishes granted and “the price” paid. June 24 - Sept. 6. 450 Post St. (second floor of Kensington Park Hotel) just off Union Square in Downtown San Francisco. Tickets $20-$120. (415) 677-9596, or www.sfplayhouse.org.

***

SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS DAZZLES WITH PRIDE. In celebration of Gay Pride month, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus stages DAZZLE: Broadway ... Our Way! This musical extravaganza features songs from current and classic Broadway shows, including Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon. Laura Benanti, award-winning star of stage and screen (Tony Award winner for Gypsy, Most Happy Fella, Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” and CBS’s “The Good Wife”) shares the stage with the men of the chorus. 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25; Thursday, June 26; and Friday, June 27. Nourse Theatre. 275 Hayes St. San Francisco. Tickets $25-$60 at www.SFGMC.org or City Box Office at (415) 392- 4400.

Susan Cohn is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association. She may be reached at susan@smdailyjournal.com.ngton Park Hotel) just off Union Square in Downtown San Francisco. Tickets $20-$120. (415) 677-9596, or www.sfplayhouse.org.

***

SAN FRANCISCO GAY MEN’S CHORUS DAZZLES WITH PRIDE. In celebration of Gay Pride month, San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus stages DAZZLE: Broadway ... Our Way! This musical extravaganza features songs from current and classic Broadway shows, including Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, Kinky Boots and The Book of Mormon. Laura Benanti, award-winning star of stage and screen (Tony Award winner for Gypsy, Most Happy Fella, Showtime’s “Nurse Jackie,” and CBS’s “The Good Wife”) shares the stage with the men of the chorus. 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 25; Thursday, June 26; and Friday, June 27. Nourse Theatre. 275 Hayes St. San Francisco. Tickets $25-$60 at www.SFGMC.org or City Box Office at (415) 392- 4400.

Susan Cohn is a member of the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and the American Theatre Critics Association. She may be reached at susan@smdailyjournal.com.

 

 

Tags: shepard, francisco, mdash, stories, award,


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