By Sam Shepard
Directed by John Lennox
8:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday, Feb. 21-22, 28-29, 2020
(February 29th performance will be sign interpreted by students in the LCC Sign Language Interpreter Program.)
LCC Black Box Theatre
Room 1422 Gannon Building
411 N. Grand Avenue, Lansing 48933
This American classic tells the story of two brothers, sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer; as they clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee's trashy Western tale.
Cost $10 general admission, $5 students, at the door. Tickets available for purchase online at www.lcc.edu/showinfo.
A conversation with True West director – Dr. John Lennox
• What was it about this script that made you want to direct it?
It is a story of a dysfunctional relationship between siblings. While the aspects of this relationship may be a bit far-fetched for the rest of us to connect with, we can certainly feel the differences, jealousies, anger and resentment between these characters resonate in our own relationships.
• You were cast in this show years ago. Tell me about your experience.
My experience playing Lee in this production is what moved me from a High School Drama Club actor to a serious dramatic actor. It was this production that made me get serious about my craft.
• Why do think it’s important for audiences to see this production? What makes it relevant in today’s society? What do you want the audience to take away?
I think this production needs to be seen by audiences because we are in a time now where we are letting outside forces destroy our relationships with our families and friends. In this play, the outside force is a film script- Austin’s perceived attack by Lee on his life’s blood. Today, I feel it is politics. Regardless, we too easily today allow the world to drive a wedge between us and those we should be holding most dear. I no longer speak to my own brother because of outside forces he has allowed to tear us apart. I think we have forgotten what actually makes us strong these days- family: those you are born with and those you choose.
• Do you see any challenges in directing this script? If so, what are they?
I don’t really see many challenges. The biggest one could be the age of the actors playing the roles. They may not have necessarily lived through this type of strife. However, I was the same age- younger in fact, when I played the role and it did not seem to get in the way of understanding the message and objectives of the characters to myself or my fellow cast members. I feel these students, living in a vastly different and far more hate-filled world than I grew up in, will understand these elements all too well.
• What’s your favorite scene in the play and why?
The scene where Austin tells the story of his father to Lee. It is powerful. It reminds me of Quint’s monologue in Jaws about being on the USS Indianapolis.