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David Cale Presents ‘A One-Woman Thrill Ride’
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Jenny Emery Davidson held a public conversation with David Cale during a reception launching his residency earlier this month.
   
Thursday, October 28, 2021
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

New York Playwright David Cale has found his prose changed by his time at the Hemingway House in Ketchum.

It’s a place where magpies have gotten comfortable enough with him that one is taking food from his hand. A place where the elk often come right up to the house, which sits above the Big Wood River. A place where sheep run down Main Street.

“It’s inspired me,” said Cale, who has won a 2020 Obie Award and many more awards. “The magpie are very beautiful in flight and very striking when you photograph them in black and white against the sky. I  didn’t know anything about elk and one morning I heard this noise outside the window and found 20 elk right outside the window.

“And I went to Trailing of the Sheep, which I didn’t know about. And that was a whole new experience,” he continued. “I’ve been completely changed by being here. I didn’t anticipate the kind of beauty I found here. I knew it was going to be beautiful. But seeing it in person--how magnificent and spectacular it is.”

In appreciation of his time spent here, Cale will read a work-in-progress preview of his newest solo play “Sandra” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 29, at The Argyros in Ketchum. Tickets are free, available at  https://theargyros.org

The play is a one-woman thriller about a café owner in Brooklyn who flies to Puerto Vallarta to look for a friend who goes missing. Her search for clues leads her into a highly charged love affair and increasingly dangerous territory.

Cale got permission from The Vineyard Theatre in New York City, where the play will have its World Premiere in Spring 2022, to hold the reading. And, no, he will not cut his beard to more nearly resemble a woman, as he had quipped he might during a reception at The Community Library.

“It’s a one-woman thrill ride, upwards of 90 minutes long,” said Cale. “Since I’ve written it, I’m pretty familiar with the parts. So, my face won’t be buried in the script. I hope to be animated.”

Cale has spent the past month at the Hemingway house in the newly established Sun Valley Playwrights Residency. The idea is to give playwrights a creative outpost to explore new terrain in their work, according to Library Director Jenny Emery Davidson.

Cale doesn’t drive so he accompanied Jon Kane to Stanley to get an overview of the Sawtooths. He’s explored town and the bike path via a bicycle stationed at the house.

“Being alone in the solitude of such a historic place with no television is wonderful,” he said. “I’ve been able to work because there is no distraction here. The view from the house is incredible, and it keeps changing with the light and the weather. It doesn’t look the same two days running. And, with the fall colors, it’s so gorgeous--it’s just very stimulating to be here.”

Cale has been working on a piece about a woman who comes from New York to visit an artist who lives here. He’s also contemplating a trio of short pieces in monologue and other forms that could run together.

All would take place in Idaho, touching on the landscape.

“I didn’t think I would be writing about what I’m writing about. It’s still evolving.”

“I wouldn’t have had these ideas if I had not had the opportunity to know first-hand what it’s like here and see some of the things I’ve seen,” he said. “My time here has made me look into things I normally would never have written about.”

Jon Kane, who heads up Sawtooth Productions, says he’s delighted with how the residency has progressed:

“It’s having the effect we had hoped—a really wonderful artist experiencing and being influenced by Idaho.”

 

 

 

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