Today the Sassistas! are traveling to Shepherdstown, West Virginia to stay at our favorite B&B, but even better to see three plays in this year's Contemporary American Theater Festival. But EVEN BETTER THAN THAT to visit with our beloved sista, Bnbsista and her husband. Bnbsista generously gifted Flannista with a stay and a play in honor of Flann's 60th birthday in June. In fact, Bnbsista made most of the arrangements for our CATF experience, referring to herself as "The Cruise Director".
This afternoon, we will see "Heartless" by Sam Shepard (yes, THAT Sam Shepard). Here's a synopsis:
The heart has always been a vital metaphor in the plays of Sam Shepard; and never more so than in this poetic, enigmatic, and humorous exploration of the failure to connect. Opening with a piercing scream—a primal cry that cracks the dirty haze of the Hollywood canyons—Heartless is set in the home Sally shares with her sister, mother, and family nurse. When her new lover arrives, life is thrown out of whack as the scars of the past rise up. This new play is Shepard’s EKG on the human condition.
Then this evening, we will see the world premiere of "Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah" by Mark St. Germain (who has been staying at Bnbsista's):
F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway wrestle with the sparks of art and the perils of creativity— and the personal destruction they can reap—in this combative new play set amidst Hollywood’s glittery backdrop. Fueled by friendship and rivalry, two literary heavyweights reunite in 1937 for a final night at the Los Angeles resort villa, the Garden of Allah. From an American master of historical dramatic fiction, the men explore their mysterious bond and the genius that first brought them together (but was fated to tear them apart).
Early Thursday evening, we will see the play Flann is most looking forward to seeing, "H2O" by Jane Martin:
After arriving to the City of Angels, an aimless young man catapults to movie stardom and into Hollywood’s sleazy celebrity culture. Banking on his fame (and name), he is soon selected to appear on Broadway in Hamlet. Given full casting approval, he embarks to New York City to seek out his Ophelia and encounters his muse and his match —a young evangelical Christian woman set on getting the role…and saving his life. From the reclusive, madcap world of Jane Martin comes this drama/comedy/lovestory about self-destruction, notoriety, and the dark journey to purity and salvation.
Last winter, the Sassistas! had the opportunity to listen to readings from each of the five plays in this year's festival and are grateful to actually be able to see three of the plays. Over the next couple of days, we'll be reporting from CATF.
Dim the house lights!