"Fool for Love" has romance, laughs

Geneseo's first theatre production of the year, Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love," promises to be exciting and provocative, twisting the story of troubled lovers into a disturbing murder scandal.

"Fool for Love," directed by professor David Munnell features a cast of five: juniors Jonathan Frederick and Kate Tubbs, sophomore Jake Roa, and 5th year student Gavin Price.

Taking place in a threadbare motel room in the desolate Mojave Desert, "Fool for Love" depicts the complex and ultimately hopeless relationship between Eddie, a traveling rodeo stuntman played by Frederick, and Tubb's character May, a bitter and cynical waitress.

As the play progresses, the characters' unusual connection to each other and the many disappointments of their long relationship are revealed through emotion-filled memories of exceedingly violent arguments.

Tubb's convincing performance shows May to be a complex woman who is exhausted by her failed relationship with Eddie, a man who seems to flit in and out of her life as he pleases. Her feelings of both intense hate and steadfast love for Eddie make May a very tragic but realistic character.

Director David Munnell said he finds the play easy to relate to.

"The relationships are very extreme, but grounded in a certain reality," said Munnell. "It expresses what romantic and obsessive love means. It seems to fill us and destroy us, to complete us and rip us apart."

This duality is easy to see within Eddie and May's relationship. It is clear from the start that their love for each other has damaged both of their lives, but they are unable to give up on it.

"Fool for Love," for its primarily melancholy tone, has a light-hearted side. Eddie and May manage to slip some humorous jokes into an otherwise morbid story. "Some of the most serious moments can be funny," Munnell said.

Munnell is optimistic about student reception of "Fool for Love." In addition to it being an entertaining show with serious shock value, the director expects the play to engage the audience. "I think an academic community would chew on these issues," he said.

Professor Munnell who, in addition to directing for the last 25 years has also written children's plays and a screenplay, said he has been, "Blessed with a really good cast. They just sunk into the roles."

"Fool for Love" will be playing in the Robert Sinclair Theatre in Brodie from Sept. 23 to Sept. 28. The Tuesday through Saturday performances will start at 8 p.m. and the Sunday show will be at 2 p.m. Tickets will be $7 and can be purchased at the Brodie Hall Fine Arts Box Office or online at bbo.geneseo.edu.