Confronting our Own Phases in “Ages of the Moon” Now at Liberty Exhibition Hall

By Liz Eichler–

Sam Shepherd’s “Ages of the Moon” depicts two men wrestling with their past. Literally.  Well, the wrestling bit at least. Clifton Players at Liberty Exhibition Hall, Cincinnati Artists Theatre and Creative Asylum are all behind this engaging 1-hour presentation, now through August 27.

The play is about Amos (Michael Shooner), who in a midnight fit of despair, calls life-long friend Byron (Daniel Britt) to come visit him in a remote cabin to provide moral support as he faces the sad reality of his life’s choices–all while they wait for and watch a total eclipse of the moon. 

The two men both both welcome and resist re-visiting the past–which they each recall differently. Drinking, cussing, and violence against an equally old and unreliable ceiling fan ensue. We hear a few interesting stories which sketch an ambiguous time and place, rooted in regret for philandering. Shooner’s Amos chugs down the Woodford Reserve, numbing pain. He’s a raging wave of emotion, and then quietly ebbs back. Britt’s Byron tastes and savors the whiskey (what little bit Amos shares with him) and tries to connect with Amos, but is harshly pushed away.

Directed by Cincinnati’s Michael Burnham and Kevin Crowley, the show has been two years in the making. It is one of the last works by Shepherd, a playwright (Buried Child, True West, A Fool for Love), actor (The Right Stuff), musician, and the son of an army man. Cincinnati Foundation is supporting a series of talk backs after the show, which may help you unravel this semi-autobiographical piece of a complicated man. You may want to see the show twice–as you contemplate if you are seeing the full man, or a compelling shadow on the moon.

For tickets CLICK HERE.

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