Sam Squared

Two One Act Plays by Sam Shepard

"Fourteen Hundred Thousand"

Synopsis: The play takes place in an urban apartment where Ed and Tom are constructing a set of bookshelves. After Tom and his wife quarrel and splatter each other with paint, Mom and Pop arrive, declaring that fourteen hundred thousand books wait outside ready to be walked up the apartment's eight flights of stairs. Farcical behaviors and absurdist exchanges carry the first half of the play. The work however concludes with an enigmatic discussion on civic planning and social engineering: Mom and Pop hypothesize about "Elevated cities suspended under vacuum air" and "vertical cities stretching north through Canada and south through Mexico." At its end, the play essentially asks: Is "community" possible?

 

Cast

Tom Jarrett Darr
Ed James Thoma
Donna Dian Eakes
Mom Robi Olmstead
Pop David Bryan

 

"Icarus's Mother"

Synopsis: "Icarus's Mother" finds five spoiled, idle kids lazing around a beach after a Fourth of July picnic, waiting for night to fall and the fireworks to begin. Two boys, Howard and Bill, initiate a series of vicious psychological games, which operate on a system of reward and punishment, where the only stakes are belonging. A small airplane flying overhead prompts Howard to create a fantasy in which the pilot is waving to his adulterous wife - whose role he insists his girlfriend Pat take despite her discomfort. When Pat expresses a desire to take a walk alone for a while, Howard leads Bill and the others - Bill's girlfriend Jill and the nerdy hanger-on Frank - in a ritual of ostracism so brutal that it reduces Pat to tears; then Howard's aim shifts as he guides the rest of the group in mocking Frank's wish to go off by himself to pee in the woods. A later game brings the focus back to the airplane, which Howard pretends has crashed into the ocean; when that fantasy turns into horrifying reality, it's as if Howard and Bill's make-believe machinations can come true by sheer force of their viciousness.

 

Cast

Bill James Thoma
Jill Margi Ezell
Pat Carol Smith
Howard Lee Munn
Frank Clayton Millner

 

Creative Team

 

Director Robert Cowan
Costume Designer Jeri Davis
Property Manager Bruce De Felix
Lighting Technician Ken Baum
Stage Carpenter Dave Briggs
Makeup Artist Laurie Solum
House Manager Constance Metos
Hostess Jo Anne Graham
Publicity Coordinator Dolores McCord