'Fool for Love' to open University Theatre Spring season


(Left to right) Mount Pleasant junior, Jeff Patton; Menominee senior, Noah Steffen; Macomb Township junior, Lainey Williams; Kalamazoo sophomore, Christian Heintzelman; and Grayling freshman, Seth Patterson pose during the Fool for Love production rehearsal in Moore Hall, Jan. 25. 

Four Central Michigan University students will soon bring Sam Shepard's "Fool for Love" to life, with the first showing at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1 in the Bush Theater.

Tickets are $7 for CMU students and $9 for the public. Tickets are currently on sale on Ticket Central's website.

"Fool for Love" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 1-3 and Feb. 8-10. There will also be two 2 p.m. showings on Feb. 4 and 11.

The play is directed by Steve Berglund, director of University Theatre, and will be the first show of the spring season.

Berglund was chosen as director because of the "directors rotation" system in the theater program. Theater directors at CMU propose shows they would like to direct and then use the suggestions to fill out a schedule for the whole season. 

Berglund said "Fool for Love" is about how people in relationships define themselves and their partnerships.

“Anyone who has been in love can identify with a character from the play,” Berglund said. 

"Fool for Love" was written by Shepard in 1983. Shepard, who died in July 2017, was a Pulitzer Prize-winner, Academy Award-nominated actor and author of more than 44 books.

The cast includes: Martin, played by Menominee senior Noah Steffen; the old man, played by Kalamazoo sophomore Christian Heintzelman; May, played by Macomb Township junior Lainey Williams; and Eddie, played by Grayling freshman Seth Patterson.

Main characters May and Eddie are constantly in and out of each other’s lives throughout the play. Conflict begins when May decides to live in a motel outside of the Mojave Desert in order to run away from Eddie, who later finds her. 

“The characters are two people who can’t live with or without each other,” Berglund said.

Steffen said he was surprised to discover he was chosen for the role of Martin. Going into the auditions, he thought he might be chosen for the role of the Old Man.

In the beginning, Steffen found it hard to find a rhythm in the show, considering his character is not in all the scenes. 

“In the play, Martin walks into a hornet’s nest,” Steffen said. “I had to learn to understand what Martin is going through."

Williams said it took a lot of emotional and physical strain to play May due to the emotional journey the character takes throughout the story, which led to some demanding scenes.

"The relationship between May and Eddie is complicated in the fact that she loves him, but she also hates him," Williams said. "She's constantly going back-and-forth between whether she wants him to stay or leave. 

"It puts a lot on her mentally, as well as physically — she's constantly worn out and sick."

Mount Pleasant junior Jeff Patton will provide music for the show on guitar.