Review Fix chats with director Pete McElligott, who discusses his latest production, Lone Star and its upcoming run at the in New York City.
LONE STAR will run from April 20-30 as part of the SPOTLIGHT-ON FESTIVAL at The Wild Project, 195 East 3rd Street, NYC. before moving to the Triad Theater on May 6th and May 13th for its limited run, Off-Broadway revival. This will be NINE Theatricals’ first contract production in NY.
About the Production:
NINE Theatricals in association with Genesis Repertory present a revival of James McClure’s LONE STAR, a powerful one-act comic piece about a macho-man trying to regain his life after serving in Vietnam.
Opening in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar. Roy, is back in town after a tour of duty in Vietnam hoping to re-establish his high school hero stature prior to his wartime stint. Roy drunkenly regales his young brother, Ray, in tales of war and sex. The arrival of Cletis, the son of the local hardware store owner, sets in motion the destruction of all that held Roy’s fragile macho image together.
LONE STAR – for all its humor – has now taken its place as a powerful exploration about the male image. Now in the 21st Century, the witty dialogue and situations serve as a deep parable about what makes a man, a man, and how that has changed… whether you like it or not.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Pete McElligott: Working on a show is like detective work. You get handed this result (the text), and the whole team gets to discover the inner life, the motives, the world, and the relationships that lead to this result. My creative process is typical, run-of-the-mill sleuthing.
Review Fix: What makes this [play] different or special?
McElligott: At the heart of Lonestar is the idea of simplicity trying to survive in the face of growing complication. I think it’s something that not a lot of plays tackle well let alone with as much comedy as Lonestar is able to mine. It’s at turns really quite tragic and then heartbreaklingly optimistic. Not many shows can do that in an hour.
Review Fix: What did you learn about yourself through this process?
McElligott: There’s a lot of masculinity in this play. It explores how men deal with insecurity, with newfound responsibility, and with pain. And it turns out… they don’t deal with any of it very well. Which is familiar.
Review Fix: How does it feel to be a part of something like this?
McElligott: It’s always a conversation. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable, other times it’s fun, other times you have no idea how you got onto the topic you got on, but you’re always happy to be in it and you always recognize what each person
Review Fix: What are your ultimate goals for this production and for the future?
McElligott: My goal for the show is to create a playground in which my actors and the audience can mingle, converse, and, of course, play. In terms of the future, I would like to someday own a big box filled with money, respect and bourbon lemonade. Also, I would prefer the bourbon lemonade be jarred rather than openly distributed, but that’s not a deal breaker.
Review Fix: What do you think your audiences will enjoy the most?
McElligott: The relationships. When actors are having fun with each other it’s hard not to get caught up in it.
Review Fix: What’s next?
McElligott: After Lonestar, I’ll be doing a Workshop with Radical Evolution of their new show, Loving & Loving, directing Macbeth at the Stella Adler Studio, and prepping a production of a show that I wrote for a premiere in September. Somewhere amongst all that, I’ll also be planning a honeymoon to Finland.