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The Sun is in the West
by Damon Falke

Square Top Repertory Theatre
Santa Fe Performing Arts
Spring 2010

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Production team:
Design – Rebekah Wilkins-Pepiton
Music – Dave Seaton

Cast:
The Groundskeeper – Sean Downing
The Photographer – Felicia Meyer
The Historian – Geoff Johnson
The Musician – Dave Seaton

Click to preview the script.

From the publisher’s description:

The Sun is in the West is a thought provoking play by Southern writer, Damon Falke, exploring the power of place and story in the span of each human life. Situated in a graveyard on the storm ravaged Gulf Coast of Texas, the characters grapple with their connection to the land, with family myths, and with their own histories. Falke’s rich storytelling and lush poetic language mark this play as a unique offering in the contemporary American theatre.

From the foreword to the play:

I’m not sure why, but lately, it seems like everywhere I turn I’m confronted with questions of memory. Maybe, I’m feeling time move a bit more quickly. I’m constantly mindful of the need to save those things that are important. I want to save the sound of my grandmother’s voice and the way Macon, Georgia, finds its way into every syllable; the crisp smell of May in Southwest Colorado; and all the stories—whether actual or contrived—that surround me.

Call it research or character study, but I eavesdrop relentlessly. This is the stuff that we are made of, and significantly, this is also the stuff that great theatre causes us to reconsider. A good play poses a question and we, the audience, struggle to reconcile that question with what we have constructed, with those things that we choose to keep.

However, I’m struck by how irony and sarcasm pervade our world—and as such, much of the contemporary theatre. Even as I consider this foreword, I fight the learned tendency to undermine my own comments and thoughts regarding myth, ritual, and memory—those things that make us definitively human. “Stop! You’re taking it all too seriously. Time to throw in a joke,” the voice whispers. It’s a defense mechanism. Perhaps, it’s just a stalling tactic. If one waits long enough, questions of memory cease to matter. Yet if not these things, just what are we supposed to take seriously?

The Sun is in the West sidesteps the whole pattern. This is a play that explores vital questions of memory, particularity, and heritage, and it does so without self-indulgence. Damon’s characters lean into language. Their stories are lush with poetry, yet they remain recognizable as people we may know, struggling to reclaim the sacredness of what’s around them. We would do well to listen to them. -Charlie Pepiton

From Adobe Airstream’s Review (5/4/10):

“An atmospheric play about the importance of place and the roots of history that bind us together throughout generations. Lush language, lovely acting, and simple staging provide a powerful and thought provoking way to experience theatre.” -Leanne Goebel

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