Red Earth Theatre presents “Morley,” a new full-length play by Sedona resident Irmgard Lake, arriving on stage after a five-month workshop process with the playwright, director Kate Hawkes and the cast.
Performances will be Friday and Saturday, Nov. 10 and 11, at 7.30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 12, at 2 p.m. at the Sedona Hub, 525B Posse Ground Road.
This is a play for modern times, confronting the dangers of charismatic power and visionary fanaticism while also exploring the courage it takes to face personal truth. Morley is a professor in the late 1970s, a young woman is missing, and Detective Pierce is sure Morley is involved. Melanie is the woman who stands by Morley, understanding his tormented mind, and Mimi is a student who finds herself deep in his seductive world of paranoid brilliance.
Ultimately, she must face the truth of his world and find her personal strength. The mystery of what happened to Heather continues to unfold.
Lake first encountered theater as a child in Wuerzburg, Germany, at a makeshift theater before the city’s reconstruction after World War II. She remembers strange figures, screaming, swords, beautiful women, actors rehearsing and relaxing outside, talking with actors and being allowed to watch rehearsals. She was fascinated and has been hooked since then.
After moving to the United States from Germany in the 1970s, Lake came to Sedona from Los Angeles in 2002 when her husband retired. She was a longtime volunteer at Canyon Moon Theatre, as production assistant, assistant director, seamstress, painter and in other roles.
Lake has had three one-act plays produced in Los Angeles, a reading of “Trials and Errors, Comedy” at Moving Arts, and has several full-length plays near completion.
When Hawkes, Red Earth’s producing artistic director, first read the play in April, she immediately organized a reading with actors and few outside ears. The company decided to work with Lake on a workshop process to produce it in the November slot.
Lake was drawn to this story after learning about Ira Samuel Einhorn, an American environmental activist convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend Holly Maddux in the 1970s. From that germ of an idea, she set out to explore the idea of self-creation, the megalomania associated with it, the seduction of total freedom, and the utopian belief in technology and how to recognize and withstand it.
The cast includes Dylan Reece Marshall as Morley, Cathy Ransom as Melanie, Ashlee Threlkeld as Mimi and Kevin MacDormott as Pierce. Also working on the production are Taylor Hellman on set, Paul Amato on sound and Connie Patrick on props. Others have stepped up to create the 1970s costumes, load in the stage, hang lights and support the production and performers.
This new play is an expression of Red Earth Theatre’s mission to provide opportunity for many voices in the community and to encourage and support new work. As a nonprofit, tax-deductible contributions are a main support for their work. Thrivent Financial is a sponsor of this production.
“In drama, as in life, people choose and thereby create consequences,” Lake said. “That is at the core of all drama. Our time is much about choice, and drama’s intense focus on the nexus of choice and effect is today as relevant as it was in ancient times. There is a connection between choice and fate .... And nothing is more direct, going to the heart, as live performance.”
Tickets are $15 in in advance and $18 at the door. This is a full-length play and not suitable for children, with strong language and adult subject matter.
Online ticket sales are available at showtix4u.com or by calling (866) 967-8167. Hardcopy tickets are also available in advance at Weber’s in the Village of Oak Creek, Bashas’ in West Sedona, Mt. Hope Food in Cottonwood and through Red Earth Theatre. Group rates for six or more on the same night are $12 each in advance.
More information is available at redearththeatre.org or by emailing info@redearth<br< a=""> />theatre.org.