Dec 162009

This month’s Young Producers Organization’s Zing! Production “Fool for Love,” an incestuous account of two star-crossed and violent lovers, will premier tonight at 8 p.m. in the University Center for the Arts.

Directed by Allison “Al” Stafford, a graduate watershed science major, “Fool for Love,” features lovers Eddie and May, as well as a poor, mixed up boy named Martin and an old man in Eddie’s conscience who find themselves in a remarkably awkward situation in a hotel room when Eddie starts telling stories of his and May’s less than savory past.

“Fool for Love” was selected by Meghan Gray, a senior performing arts major, who was the Young Producers Organization pick for this month’s production.

Every couple of weeks, the YPO selects one lucky student who has applied to fashion their very own play from the ground up — actors, directors, lighting, sound, props, everything.

And it’s not exactly easy.

“The rehearsal process for Zing!, no matter who you chose, or when you chose them, or what you do, sucks,” said previous Zing! Director and actor Ben Wasser, a sophomore performing arts major, with a laugh at his experience.

The chosen producer gets a $50 budget from the YPO, a couple of weeks and free reign to create a vision, but not much else.

In addition to this, most of the time, the students in Zing! are also involved in other productions at the same time, limiting rehearsal time drastically.

With such limited time, the cast and crew have to be committed to their show. The cast of “Fool for Love” find time in their ridiculous schedules regularly, sometimes even minus Stafford or other cast members, to run lines and act.

“It makes everything much more collaborative this way,” said Luke Peckinpaugh, a junior performing arts major.

Peckinpaugh plays the role of Eddie, with Meghan Gray as May, Benjamin Bell as the Old Man and Kiernan Angley as Martin.

“Fool for Love,” written by Sam Shepard, was a fairly popular play which was turned into a movie in 1985 and exhibits what Stafford calls abstract, raw quality.

Stafford, however, is bringing it back down to the small stage.

“It is so great that we have YPO so we can do these smaller scale shows,” she said.

It also plays into her own preferences as an actor and a director. Stafford finds smaller scale acting to be much more intimate and believable, which is what she aims for with the audience of Friday’s Zing!.

“When I go to the theater, I want to be moved,” she said. “So in my play, I really want this audience to feel.”

Verve writer Savannah King can be reached at

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