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Ages of the Moon

a Drama
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Sam Shepard

COMPANY : Onion Man Productions [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Onion Man [WEBSITE]
ID# 5057

SHOWING : May 05, 2017 - May 21, 2017

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Ages of the Moon, by Sam Shepard
May 5th to 21st
Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (no Thursday show the first weekend)
Sunday at 3:00 p.m.
Byron and Ames are old friends, re-united by mutual desperation. Over whiskey on a hot summer’s night, they sit, reflect and bicker until fifty years of love, friendship and rivalry are put to the test at the


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Joanie McElroy
Byron John Courtney
Ames Rial Ellsworth
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REVIEWS

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The Dark of the Moon
by playgoer
Sunday, May 21, 2017
4.0
Sam Shepard’s hour-long "Ages of the Moon" suggests a storyline rather than presenting one. Ames (Rial Ellsworth) is hiding out in a remote location after a sexual indiscretion his wife has found out about; he has summoned his friend Byron (John Courtney) for emotional support, not knowing that Byron has unpleasant news of his own marriage. Or at least we assume these are marriages; a lot is left unsaid.

The time is specifically August, 2007, as the two friends await a total lunar eclipse. The timeline is a bit compressed, though; a point is made early in the script that Ames is unlikely to wake up at 5 AM to view the eclipse, yet the action ends less than an hour later with no apparent time lapses, and the eclipse in full force.

In a two-character play like this with no driving plot, you’d expect the biggest impact to come from the performances of the two men essaying the roles. In the Onion Man production, however, these performances are given a good run for the money by the technical aspects. Morgan McCrary Brooks’ set makes perfect use of the small stage, with scenic painting adding just the right amount of grime to the porch and screen door and metal patio furniture. James Beck’s lighting design illuminates the porch with interesting shadows and transitions nicely to the ending eclipse. Rial Ellsworth’s sound design establishes the rural setting and even manages to suggest the sound of a (sometimes) working ceiling fan. There’s a special effect involving the fan that is undoubtedly something very special.

Rial Ellsworth invests Ames with tons of energy and bile, driving most of the action. John Courtney is basically an amiable sounding board in the first part of the show, but does some very nice solo work later on. Both men succeed at suggesting increasing inebriation as they drink the night away.

Director Joanie McElroy has created a production equally impressive for its physical production and for its performances. The script is evocative rather than clear-cut, so a director’s touch is needed to bring it to life. Ms. McElroy does a fine job of this, providing shape for Shepard’s spare night of boozy reminiscences and recriminations. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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