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University of Lethbridge explores family dynamics in Sam Shepard’s A Lie of the Mind

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The University of Lethbridge opens their season in University Theatre, Oct. 8 with  Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Sam Shepard’s intense family drama “ A Lie of the Mind.”
“It’s about two families, one from  California and the other from Montana, who come together through abuse that happens before the play starts. It takes place in the ’80s,” summarized director Doug MacArthur. The story surrounds the  Jake, who abuses his wife Beth.Jake Rose and Daylin Chase rehearse a scene from Lie of the Mind. Photo By Richard Amery It features a cast of students plus community members Gail Hanrahan, Jory Kohn and Eric Low plus local musicians Megan Brown and Corduroy Brown (James  Swinney),  performing on two sets — one in California and the other in Montana.


 The play runs Oct. 8-12 in University Theatre.
“It’s a big piece. It’s a three act play. There‘s a lot to dig into in this play,” said MacArthur.
“It is a big play, but it is shared equally among all eight actors. There are no minor characters. And these are all wonderful actors who are exposed to this dialogue,” continued MacArthur, who was moved when  he saw a production of  Shepard’s “ Curse of the Starving Class,” back in 1988.


 Shepard won a Pulitzer prize for his 1979 play  “the Buried Child.”
“ He’s a Pulitzer Prize award winning playwright for a reason,” MacArthur continued, adding while it is a drama, there are lighter moments as well.
“There are a lot of genuinely funny moments,” he continued.
The play was inspired by Sam Shepard’s early life.
“ There are a lot of Montana references like abut hunting and living outside the mainstream,” MacArthur said.
“Shepard paints a beautiful picture of the landscape in his dialogue,” he continued.

“It is an exciting opportunity for the actors as well as the community to see a Sam Shepard play in Lethbridge,” he continued.
The cast started rehearsing Aug. 26,  before university started.

Daylin Chase, plays Jake’s sister Sally.Jake Rose and Daylin Chase rehearse a scene from A Lie of the Mind. Photo By Richard Amery
“She’s from California. She’s always covering up for Jake,”  said Chase, who  is excited to be in her second  mainstage production  at the University of Lethbridge. She was also part of “Dada Does Not Mean Anything” in March.
 “ This one is very  different than Dada,” she said.


“It‘s a really wonderful play. It‘s strangely funny as it finds humour in these terrible situations,” Chase continued.
 Jake Rose, who plays Sally’s brother Jake and  Beth’s abuser Jake, was also in Dada as well as  last February’s reimagining of Alice in Wonderland.


“ I don’t do a lot of scripted works or works that aren’t  devised theatre I’m also a playwright, so I found this play to be really interesting. It’s been a really phenomenal experience,” Rose said.


“ There’s a lot of very pertinent dialogue. It’s a really dramatic play. We’ve been really able to dig into the text,” he said.


“I’m nervous about opening night. But we’ve put a lot of work into it,” he said.
 The University of Lethbridge’s production of Sam Shepard’s “ A Lie of the Mind’ runs in university theatre at 7 p.m., Oct. 8-12 in University Theatre.
 Tickets  are available through ulethbridge.ca/tickets, or by calling  403-329-2616 or at the University Box Office.

 

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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