Damon C. Mentzer as Eddie and Holly Cliford as May in the play Fool for Love. Phtotos courtesy of The Playhouse Theater

“Fool for Love,” by Sam Shepard, is the story of an on-again-off-again couple who try to run from their destructive and scandalous past; it is the latest play to run at The Playhouse Theater.

“It’s a really harsh look at an incredibly dysfunctional relationship,” said Damon C. Mentzer who plays Eddie, the leading male character.

“And that’s all we’re telling you,” chimed in Holly Clifford who plays May, the female protagonist of the show.

Mentzer said his role as Eddie and the play itself are intense. The play is an hour long and does not break for an intermission.

Mentzer lives in Minneapolis and Clifford resides in San Antonio, and because the play requires the two leading actors to be angry toward each other, the pair had to make their introductions brief. 

“It’s like ‘Hi!’ Okay, now we’re yelling at each other,” said Clifford. She has years of acting experience; May is not her first leading role. Although Sam Shepard’s play is a contemporary piece, most of Clifford’s training has dealt with classical theater. “But I love this show. And when I read for the character at the audition and when I did research for it, I fell in love,” she said.

“This is my first Shepard show, but I’ve seen a couple of other (plays) of his,” said Mentzer. “They are raw. He is an aggressive, raw playwright.”

Before director George Green became involved in the business and directing aspect of theater, both Green and Mentzer had competed as actors in Mentzer’s hometown of Spokane, Wash.

Mentzer has been involved with many different theaters and has seen them shut down due to inadequate staffing (but is confident with Green as his director).

“I would not trust anyone with a theater more than I trust George Green,” said Mentzer. “The man’s driven, dedicated, and good at what he does.”

Although Clifford has not worked with Green before, she likes him as a director. She feels that Green pushes her just enough, and she trusts his direction.

Clifford plans to audition for other shows while the play is running. She plans to stay in San Antonio because of her passion for teaching students. She is also in the process of running her own theater company.

After the play closes, Mentzer plans to return to Minneapolis to make his way into the local theater scene and has auditions lined up when he goes back home.

“Fool for Love” will run at The Playhouse Theater from Jan. 13 to Feb. 5. For tickets and more information visit www.theplayhousesa.org.

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