AUGUST 13 - 22, 2015
My Life in Sports
By Bill Epstein
Directed by Sabian Trout
Featuring Bill Epstein
ABOUT THE PLAY
Written and performed by Tucson favorite Bill Epstein, this one-man show is a brilliantly written look at identity, masculinity, sports...and love. A nostalgic, comic and poignant coming-of-age story.
August 13 -22, 2015
Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nights at 7:30 PM
Sunday at 3:00 PM
Previews: August 13 and 14 at 7:30 PM
Opening Night : Saturday, August 15 at 7:30 PM
Closing Saturday Matinee: August 22 at 3:00 PM
Previews & Thursday Tickets: $14
General Admission: $20
Students, Seniors 62+, & Military: $18
MY LIFE IN SPORTS: A ONE-MAN PERFORMANCE PIECE is a dramatic memoir intersecting the discourses of identity, masculinity, and sports. Increasingly over the past seventy years or so, which is to say, about as long as I've been living, sports have become a privileged site for the enactment and representation of various social, economic, political, and cultural practices. Virtually the only live and unrehearsed programming still on network television, the subject being discussed, endlessly, on twenty-four-hour talk-radio stations across the country, the section of the newspaper most men turn to first, sports are a powerful and influential narrative formation, one of the crucial ways that American men construct identity. MY LIFE IN SPORTS is a title or subtitle usually reserved for the (often ghostwritten) memoirs of famous athletes; to appropriate it, as I have done here, is to attempt to play (in) the same games, but for somewhat different reasons and with somewhat different results. Acting as my own ghostwriter, I body forth the muscle memory of a mid- and late-twentieth-century American boyhood and manhood in which participating in sports leads not to that rarest and oddest of things, a celebrity career in the popular culture (from which, it seems to me, we have less and less to learn), but to the most common and instructive (and yet, in a world dominated by the mass media of global capitalism, perhaps the most elusive, certainly the most endangered) thing of all, the ordinary practice of everyday life.
This dramatic memoir has three parts: Act 1, Scene 1, "Tryouts," 1:2, "Home Plate," and Act 2, "Infinite Fatigue Factor." Each part is, in a sense, its own "memory play," Tennessee Williams' term for a narrated theater piece based on the playwright's own life that, appearing to move back and forth in time and place, in fact occurs primarily in memory, which, Williams' poignantly insisted, "is seated predominantly in the heart," and is therefore "dimly lighted" and "poetic" and "seems to happen to music." If this were (as our wonderful director, Sabian Trout, would say ) a 'magical' (that is, stuffed with expensive, multi-media special effects) production of MY LIFE IN SPORTS, you would be seeing props or pieces of props (a ball and a glove, handlebars, books and bookshelves, a chain-link fence, among other things) holographically 'floating in air,' moody spot lighting, shards of projected images flashing briefly on the floor and the back wall, and you would be hearing, beneath and around the narration, splintered passages of music and song—a rather elaborate visual and aural representation of the fragmented memories being recalled in and by the dramatic monologue. Of course, that show is not going to happen here today, and, indeed, it may never happen. But you might want to bear it in mind--the show you didn't see, couldn't see—for it is the thing, the very thing, this show is trying so hard not to be.
In fact, as Sabian insists, we don't need, don’t really want this kind of distracting, (media)ted magic, that everything which matters here is happening in the play's language and in the intimacy and honesty of live performance. I'm sure she's right (she almost always is)—and that, ultimately, the remembered fragments evoked by MY LIFE IN SPORTS will cohere for you, as they did for me, into a personal, emotionally honest, one-man performance piece about the romance of men and sports, about love and death and coming back to life, about how I became a man, and about how, as the sun's shadow creeps inexorably across the field, I am learning to live with myself.
- Bill Epstein, Playwright and Performer
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
A (soon-to-be-retired) Professor of English at the University of Arizona, BILL EPSTEIN (Himself and Playwright) has produced, directed, written, and acted in productions in the U.S. and Britain, on campuses and in community and commercial theaters. He has played leads in mummers' plays, commedia dell'arte, musicals (WEST SIDE STORY, BELLS ARE RINGING), comedies (notably, Simon's PLAZA SUITE, Shaw's MISALLIANCE, Hart’s LIGHT UP THE SKY, Rudnick’s I HATE HAMLET, and Chekhov’s THE FESTIVITIES), and dramas (notably, Pinter's OLD TIMES, Sophocles' ANTIGONE, Levin’s DEATHTRAP, Gilroy's THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES, Russell's EDUCATING RITA, Mamet's OLEANNA and GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, and Shakespeare's KING LEAR), as well as supporting roles in Shakespeare (HAMLET, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, MEASURE FOR MEASURE), Brecht, Chekhov, Fo, Genet, Giraudoux, Ruhl, Peter Shaffer, Shaw, Uhry, Wilde, Wilder, and others. In Tucson, he has acted with, among others, Arizona Repertory Theatre, Beowulf Alley Theatre, Borderlands Theatre, and The Rogue Theatre, and, of course, he has appeared frequently with Live Theatre Workshop. Bill has also published articles and books of literary and film scholarship and criticism as well as various works of fiction and creative non-fiction. MY LIFE IN SPORTS is his first full-length play.
Sabian Trout (Director) is thoroughly enjoying her tenth season as LTW’s Artistic Director. Previous LTW directing credits include BAD DATES, THE SAVANNAH DISPUTATION, 9 PARTS OF DESIRE, DOROTHY PARKER'S LAST CALL, PHOTOGRAPH 51, THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE, REGRETS ONLY, IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, MAURITIUS, RECKLESS, THREE VIEWINGS, HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE, TRYING, THE DINNER PARTY, THE SISTERS ROSENSWEIG, THE GIN GAME, WHAT THE BUTLER SAW, WIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, SHIRLEY VALENTINE, LOST IN YONKERS, FUNNY MONEY, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO, THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH, BELL BOOK AND CANDLE, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, ARSENIC AND OLD LACE, BROADWAY BOUND and BABY WITH THE BATHWATER. Sabian has over 30 years of experience as a director, actor, stage manager, producer, and theatre teacher. Professional credits include productions at the Stratford Festival of Canada, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Missouri Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Phoenix, The Phoenix Theatre in Indianapolis, Austin’s State Theatre, LA Theatre Works, and Arizona Theatre Company.