Stage Too presents Sam Shepherd's 'Fool for Love'

Paul Epoch is the director of Stage Too’s “Fool for Love.” (Jason Wheeler/Daily Courier)

Paul Epoch is the director of Stage Too’s “Fool for Love.” (Jason Wheeler/Daily Courier)

Sam Shepherd's "Fool for Love," a finalist for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, is coming to Prescott Center for the Arts as Stage Too's first show of the season.

Directed by Paul Epoch and starring Kelsey Claire, Tim Ward, Rob Milligan and Walton Mendelson, the show's run begins on Thursday, Oct. 1, at the black box theater behind the Prescott Center for the Arts, 208 N. Marina St., in the alley between East Willis Street and Sheldon Street.

Epoch said he became familiar with Shepherd's work in the 1980s and wanted to put on "Fool for Love ever since, noting that he has directed several works by the playwright.

"I was given the opportunity to direct here in my favorite little black box theater," Epoch said, speaking of Stage Too. "It's a different process in here - it's more like a workshop environment with ... the whole picture, simple special effects, really hones down actors."

Shepherd has an uncanny way of creating conflict, Epoch said. The playwright is able to pit concepts such as as realism against surrealism, truth against lies, and violence against nurturing as well as address themes such as family issues and relationships. Epoch said he enjoys how Shepherd develops characters by their inherent flaws and weaknesses while paying special attention to their inner workings.

Every production is expected to have challenges, but Epoch said he sees them as opportunities and that the challenges "Fool for Love" faced had to do with the play's physicality.

"It's a very physically demanding play; there's outright wrestling and fight scenes," he said. "That has to be choreographed. That has to be stage combatted. We look at that as an opportunity to rise to the occasion."

Epoch said he loves what Stage Too as a venue promotes in the way of acting. Where the main stage has lots of challenges, special effects and sounds, Stage Too is simple and basic, he said.

"That's what I hope people would want to see - good acting," Epoch said.

"Fool for Love" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Oct 1-3, 8-10 and 15-17 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 4, 11 and 18. Admission is $15 for all show times.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.pc-az.net.

Follow reporter Jason Wheeler on Twitter @PrescottWheels. Reach him at 298-445-3333 ext. 2037 or at 928-642-5277.