Tuesday, March 5, 2019

‘True West’ to be featured at Players by the Sea Theatre

“It's clear, funny, naturalistic. It's also opaque, terrifying, surrealistic.  If that sounds contradictory, you're on to one aspect of Shepard's winning genius; the ability to make you think you're watching one thing while at the same time he's presenting another,” so says the San Francisco Chronicle about True West”, the play that’s up next at Players by the Sea Theatre in Jacksonville Beach.

Sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer have chosen extremely different lives.  Their sibling rivalry violently erupts as they compete for the attention of a Hollywood producer, each trying to sell him a story for a new motion picture.  “True West” is unsettling and intense.  This American-Classic tackles identity, family and self-doubt.

Director Brian Niece says “The theatre should be a safe place to do the dangerous work of facing ourselves - what's true and what's real about ourselves - and this play, in particular, gives us an opportunity to do that.”  Niece’s process of working with the powerhouse four-actor cast revolves around uncovering that truth and pushing further into the words of Sam Shepard.

“With all material, what’s most important to me is the honesty of what you’re doing. I think as an audience member, that’s what is most important as well -- is really believing what’s happening in front of you and the fact that it’s happening for the first time in front of you. For me, being honest through the choices of the character and the given circumstances of the play -- that’s paramount to a spectacular performance, not just a mediocre one,” says Josh Andrews, playing Austin.

All four actors are making their Players by the Sea debuts in True West! The cast is Josh Andrews, Tyler Hammond, Tyrone Thornhill and Brooklyn Murphy. Each actor brings a diverse set of rich theatrical and film experience to the production. True West is directed by Brian Niece in his Players by the Sea debut, with stage management by Kristin Livingston.

The process of bringing this story to life further exemplifies Players by the Sea’s mission of enriching the community through excellence in theatre.  The Jacksonville Beach community theatre hopes to create and spark discussion and profound thought. Suzanne Hudson-Smith, Executive Director, says that “Let’s have a conversation!  Though the play written in the late 1970s, the conversation for generations has been about the mixed messages our culture sends to men, and the way these continue to shape male identity. Sam Shepard is a master in exposing relationships of rawness.”

True West

Fri., March 15, 2019 8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 16    8 p.m.
Thurs. Mar. 21    8 p.m.
Fri., Mar. 22    8 p.m.

Sat., Mar. 23    8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 24    2 p.m.
Thurs., Mar. 28   8 p.m.

Fri., Mar. 29    8 p.m.
Sat., Mar. 30    8 p.m.
Sun., Mar. 31    2 p.m.

TICKETS: Regular tickets are $28, with a discounted price of $25 for Senior/Student/Military.  Thursday night performances are special Student Nights, wherein students can receive half price tickets with a valid student I.D.  Showtimes are 8 p.m. from Thursday – Saturday; and at 2 p.m. on Sundays.  Advance ticket purchases are strongly encouraged.  Tickets are available online, or by calling the Box Office at 904.249.0289.

LOCATION: Players By The Sea Theatre
      106 6th Street North
      Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
      (904) 249-0289

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