(Rock Springs, Wyoming, September 6, 2028) Actors’ Mission will present “Kicking a Dead Horse” by Sam Shepard this month; September 20, 21, and 22 and September 27 and 28 with a matinee on Sept. 30. Evening performances start at 7 p.m. and the matinee starts at 2 p.m.
The performances will take place at Actors’ Mission’s theater located in the Elks building on C Street in Rock Springs. As always, there is no charge for admission and a complimentary meal is served one hour prior to each performance.
“Kicking a Dead Horse” is directed by Dave Gutierrez assisted by Richard Jorgensen. Nina Tyler, who has written original music for many Actors’ Mission’s plays, has composed the score.
Rebecca Frost Mayer, WWCC dance instructor, is the choreographer for a dance sequence. Brad Russell designed the lighting, Erik Ham designed the master track and sound effects.
“Kicking a Dead Horse” is a one man show starring Jack J. Volsey cast as Hobart Struther, a Manhattan art dealer, who faces a life-or-death situation when he is stranded in the wild after his aged horse has died. The play includes adult language.
Jack Volsey was cast a year ago in order to have time to memorize a full-length play. Also featured in the play is WWCC dance major Rose Robertson who performs in a key dance sequence in the play.
The production of “Kicking a Dead Horse” involved some technical obstacles, not the least of which was the call for a full-size, realistic dead horse. Bob and Dave Gutierrez worked over weeks early in the summer to fabricate the horse.
Once in place on the stage, Gwendolyn Quitberg painted the horse to look real. A crew including Jeff Varley and Corey Brown “rigged” the horse so he could do his part for the performance.
A set designed by director Gutierrez is a stylized desert scene with the Salt Wells area as inspiration. The set decoration includes two stage murals of Salt Wells bluffs painted by Bob Gutierrez.
“Kicking a Dead Horse” was written by Sam Shepard, who died just over a year ago and who is regarded as one of the most innovative American playwrights of the 20th century. For those in the West, Shepard speaks directly to us about places we know and themes we live.
“Kicking a Dead Horse” is about a contemporary man lost in the Western wilds, but on another level, it’s an exploration of that man’s doubts, fears and anxieties.
“The West in the play is a reflection of Hobart’s internal landscape,” said director Gutierrez. “But, it’s our Western landscape alright and I was thinking of the Salt Wells area when I designed the set. It’s a landscape familiar to us as our own desert but transformed as a mythic place where life’s disillusionments are inevitably played out.”
Actor’s Mission is the local community theater and has been performing for 16 years. “Kicking a Dead Horse” is Actors’ Mission’s 62nd production.
Actors’ Mission is proud of it mission; “to feed the body and nourish the mind.”