FOOL FOR LOVE by Sam Shepherd is a Weird Play

I was a Theater Major, so of course reading play scripts is not a new task for me. But I still don’t really like reading them. A script, by its very nature is incomplete. It is a blueprint. It is a plan. A director can use this plan or he can make up his own plan (of course depending upon the restrictions laid out by the playwright if they are still alive).

So. That is my disclaimer. I don’t like reading scripts.

I have directed a few productions in the past. Only after reading a script at least three or four times, do ideas concerning the action even come to mind. Hence, why I don’t like reading scripts. They are a lot of work in terms of seeing the whole picture.

Some scripts are better than others, of course. I just need to get into a different mindset – different from the mindset I have when I read a novel, in other words.

I am attempting to read a variety of different genres, including scripts, in this venture of continuing my life-long learning and reaching my Goodreads goal of 35 new books in the year 2016 (I only have seven books to go by the way, and I’m 5 books ahead of schedule – huzzah!). So this is one of the two scripts I have read so far this year. And boy, do I know how to pick them.

Any time a play dabbles with incest, it’s got my attention. 

In this play, we encounter Eddie and May, caught in the throes of an unhealthy, tumultuous relationship. But the biggest problem with this is that they are half-siblings – a fact we don’t find out until later. May has retreated to a hotel in the middle of the Mojave Desert and is about to go on a date with another man when Eddie arrives at her front door, asking her to run away with him. The action is looked upon by an Old Man, who exists only in the minds of Eddie and May.

Well, turns out that the Old Man is their father. He was leading a double life their entire childhood – spending some time with Eddie’s mom, and some time with May’s. But perhaps the weirdest part about this whole backstory is that both Eddie and May knew that they were half-siblings.

One of my favorite plays of all time, August: Osage County, also dabbles in incest. However, the characters participating do not know that they are brother and sister. They think they are only cousins (like that’s much better). So Fool for Love is like that, but without that whole deception thing. And the whole thing is just worse when they know the truth, right? Like, sure, Oedipus married his mom, but it’s not like he knew. And that’s why he was considered a tragic hero instead of a total creep.

Can’t say that for Eddie and May.

Perhaps I can see how this would be a good play. It’s got plenty of intrigue. I can’t identify with either of the main characters, or the deceptive Old Man who completely ruined the happiness of both of his families. Rather, I identify with Martin, the poor guy that just wanted to take May out on a date, and instead found himself caught up in the middle of an incestuous clusterfuck of creepiness.

Poor Martin. What did we get ourselves into?

My overall rating: ★ ★ ★

Up Next: Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim by David Sedaris

Image found here.

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One thought on “FOOL FOR LOVE by Sam Shepherd is a Weird Play

  1. Pingback: THE TIGER’S WIFE is proof that Téa Obreht is better than me in every possible way. | TERI.SCHAFER

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