Julius Lowe and Anna Convery
Flour looks like smoke as actors Julius Lowe and Anna Convery rehearse "Fourteen Hundred Thousand" for tonight's opening. Photos by Ralphs Stewart

A slice of Shepard

By Anna Marie D'Addarie - November 16, 2006

Four one-act plays by Sam Shepard will open tonight at the Performing Arts Center (PAC) at the regional high school. In a production called "Shepard's Pie," drama teacher Kate Murray stages the plays in the round, with actors and audience occupying the large PAC stage together.

Marlan Sigelman
Marlan Sigelman plays a character role as an old woman in "Fourteen Hundred Thousand."

For students used to performing on a proscenium arch stage, the shift to acting in the round may be difficult at first. Ultimately, actors find it much freer to perform with the audience surrounding them. In any case, it will be a learning experience for all involved.

Sam Shepard is the Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright who has also been nominated for an Oscar and an Emmy as an actor. An accomplished director, his plays present unique characters, vivid stories, and the opportunity for actors to spread their creative wings.

Ms. Murray and her students are up to the challenge.

"Shepard's Pie" runs Thursday, Nov. 16, Friday, Nov. 17, and Sunday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 pm, at the Performing Arts Center, high school, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Tickets are $10 or $7 for seniors and students, available at the door. The production is not appropriate for children under 13 due to language and content.