The Shadow Box
by Michael Cristofer
photos by Bob White
and Bernie Schuneman
|Directed by Clark Neher||
|Cast Members||Crew Members|
|Agnes||.....||Jennifer Jackson||Director||.....||Clark Neher|
|Beverly||.....||Paula Tsiagalis||Assistant Director
|Brian||.....||Tim Rezash||Set Design||.....||Sean Henson|
|Felicity||.....||Barb Andree||Lighting Design||.....||Bill Kator|
|Joe||.....||Bernie Schuneman||Property Master||.....||Mary Lou Kator|
|Maggie||.....||Darlene Hillman||.....||Kathy Schlieper|
|Mark||.....||Richard Thompson||Costumes||.....||Laurie Hunyard|
The first family we meet is the most conventional. Joe, a working class husband and father, is joined at the cottage by his wife Maggie, who, in denial of Joe's impending death is afraid to enter the cottage. Their son, Stephen, age 14, has not yet been told of his father's terminal condition. The second family consists of Brian, who is brutally forthright about his demise; Mark, his doting lover; and Beverly, Brian's wild ex-wife who comes to visit them. The third family is a feisty, blind, and wheelchair-bound mother, Felicity, and her dutiful daughter, Agnes. An off-stage character, "the interviewer," pops in and out of the scenes, offering insight into the various characters through questioning.
When all families appear on stage in a final dialogue, the audience realizes that even though death is a deeply personal struggle, all human beings are bound together by the same fear of death. It's how each character deals with that fear that separates them.
The Shadow Box, is not about dying. It is about people, about life, about living until you die rather than dying while you live...more specifically, it is about eight wonderfully different people and how they grow through the emotional and psychological stages that lead them, and those they love, to a gratitude for life and to the acceptance of its termination. Even in the face of the inevitable end of life, each character, both the living and dying, find joy and humor in the fact of their existence.
This show contains explicit language and adult themes