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Care of Trees

Written by E. Hunter Spreen
Directed by Susannah Martin

Photos by Pak Han

Presented by Shotgun Players
May 18 – June 26, 2011

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE “Susannah Martin’s skillful stagings…[and] orchestration of their courtship, growing desire, consummation and deepening bond laces the familiar with smartly comic originality.” – Robert Hurwitt

HUFFINGTON POST “Ms. Martin has done a stunning job of pulling two extraordinary performances from her actors.” – George Heymont

SF WEEKLY “…Director Susannah Martin…delivers a conclusion that’s a total stunner.” – Chris Jensen

Director’s Note
I have fallen in artistic love twice. Both times I have been graced with theatrical collaborators who have allowed me to create work that engages the community in difficult questions about the world. The first collaborator is Elizabeth Spreen. Elizabeth and I met in the late 90’s and for five years, ran a theatre company together. In that five years, I learned more about who I was as an artist and what kind of work I needed to make than I learned in any institution of higher learning. The second is Shotgun Players. Every show I have worked on with this company has pushed me to be better at what I do. To bring these two artistic loves together is an incredible honor and joy. And to do so with a play that asks some tough questions about the nature of love and life in the face of cataclysmic change is a hard-core reminder of why I do theatre.

What is this play about? With it’s collage like structure, where time and space are fluid, several issues are touched upon as we swirl through the memories of one couple: the environment and our responsibility to it; illness and its effect on a relationship; language and its limitations in articulating what we feel (especially when our experience becomes so big that it is beyond words); our very contemporary obsession with cataloguing and generating artifacts (both real and virtual) of our relationships, and what happens to those memories as time passes and things change… In the midst of all of those themes, ultimately, this play asks: what happens when your partner embarks on a journey where you can’t follow? And concurrently: what happens when life forces you to choose a path that may mean the loss of your relationship? Life is about change. It’s about death. It’s about re-birth. This beautiful play demonstrates that process on both the most intimate and the most magical scale. I’m extremely grateful to both Elizabeth for writing it and Shotgun for having the gumption (20 years and counting!) to produce it.

Travis DeKalb / Patrick Russell*
Georgia Swift / Liz Sklar*

*Member of AEA

Founding Artistic Director / Patrick Dooley
Assistant Stage Manager / Eli Wirtschafter
Board Operator / Hannah Birch-Carl
Choreography Consultants / Jennifer Chien + Kimberly Dooley
Costume + Set Design / Nina Ball
Costume Assistant / Ashley Rogers
Graphic Artist / R. Black
Lighting Design / Lucas Krech
Makeup Consultant / Kevin Clarke
Master Electrician / Heather Gallagher
Producers / Les + Sue Polgar
Properties and Set Dressing / Mia Baxter + Seren Helday
Sound + Music / Jake Rodriguez
Stage Manager / Amanda Melton
Technical Director / Anne Kendall
Video Consultant / Torbin Xan Bullock
Video Creation + Design / Ian Winters