Lee and Austin will square off for the final time on July 5, when San Diego Sledgehammer Theatre close their production of the Sam Shepard classic.
Former artistic director Scott Feldsher returned to Sledgehammer Theatre to direct a playwright the company has been known for doing innovative productions of -- Sam Shepard. True West began performances June 13.
After creating signature productions of some of Shepard's lesser plays -- Action, Seduced, and Angel City -- Feldsher tackles arguably Shepard's most famous piece about two diametrically opposed brothers battling for survival in modern day California.
The production kicked off a new season for Sledgehammer, which recently named Kristen Brandt new Artistic Director. Last season, Brandt was officially named a resident director for the company, having staged such productions as The Frankenstein Project, Sweet Charity, and Kelly Stuart's Demonology. Brandt also created STEP -- the Sledgehammer Theater Education Program, an outreach program for elementary school children in the region. Brandt will direct a collaboration with Stuart titled, The Sites of Blood, later this season.
Sledgehammer's 1999-2000 season will include: Sept. 23 - Oct. 3, Sledgehammer will bring in their annual "Alternative Guest." Past years included alternative media programming, new solo performances and D.Film.
Phenomenal Acceleration by Tim West, conceived and directed by Ethan Feerst, will play Oct. 31 - Nov. 28. In Acceleration, Feerst welcomes the audience to the premiere SoCo end-of-the-century event -- including Bill Gates dancing to the choreography of Jean Isaacs, Slobodan Milosevic and Boris Yeltsin playing 8-ball, China Blues, The Utopia Panel (a rotating panel of live guest interviews), and "The Apocalypse Chow" -- all the domestic products you need to own.
Stuart, author of Interpreter of Horror, will collaborate with Brandt for the world premiere of her latest, The Sites of Blood, Feb. 6-27, 2000. Based on Aeschylus' The Oresteia, in Blood victory has a high price in the House of Atreus.
Sledgehammer Theater (which uses "sledgehammer" as a verb, as in "to sledgehammer theatre") was established in 1985 by Scott Feldsher, Ethan Feerst, and Robert Brill. Over the past twelve years, the company has gained a reputation for producing large shows on small budgets and for their intense dedication to new voices in American theater. They've introduced new works by such acclaimed playwrights as Erik Ehn, Kelly Stuart, Charles Mee and Mac Wellman.
For tickets or more information, call (619) 544-1484.
-- By Sean McGrath