The Shadow Box
by Michael Cristofer
photos by Bob White
and Bernie Schuneman
Directed by Clark Neher
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
      Sep 9
8 pm
Sep 10
8 pm
Sep 11
8 pm
Sep 12
2 pm
        Sep 17
8 pm
Sep 18
8 pm
Sep 19
2 pm
Cast Members Crew Members
Agnes ..... Jennifer Jackson Director ..... Clark Neher
Beverly ..... Paula Tsiagalis Assistant Director
Stage Manager
..... Todd Toles
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
Steve ..... Ryan Reed      
Interviewer ..... Bob Cain      

The Shadow Box (which won both a Tony and a Pulitzer Prize in 1977) is a taut, poetic meditation on life, love, and the ultimate journey. The play's focus is three groups of people in cottages on the grounds of a hospice somewhere in northern California. Here, three tales unfold, at first serially, and then towards the end of each of the play's two acts, simultaneously. One of the characters in each group is terminally ill, and the play is an investigation into the way the dying and those who love them come to terms with their mortality. Each person is surrounded by loved ones. All are trying to face and make sense of death. Despite these heavy themes Cristofer's well-drawn characters are constantly surprising with their wit and humor.

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