by Sam Shepard
directed by Daniel Aukin
set design / Dane Laffrey
costume design / Anita Yavitch
lighting design / Justin Townsend
sound design / Ryan Rumery
Premiered July 23, 2014 // Williamstown Theatre Festival
Premiered on Broadway October 8, 2015 // MTC's Friedman Theatre
Photos © 2014 T. Charles Erickson, © 2015 Joan Marcus, © 2015 Dane Laffrey
"A breathtaking production...When I saw an earlier version at Williamstown, last year, I figured it couldn't get much better. I was wrong. Ms. Arianda and Mr. Rockwell provide plenty of injury-courting action as they bounce off the walls of Dane Laffrey's last-chance motel room set...This beautiful, taut production never slackens its hold."
-Ben Brantley / THE NEW YORK TIMES (*Critics Pick)
"Arianda vividly embodies the conflict between May's sensuality and shame as she bounces from the bed to the bathroom door of the shabby motel room, which in scenic designer Dane Laffrey's rendering looks like a cross between a trailer home and a prison cell."
-Charles McNulty / THE LOS ANGELES TIMES
"May has been hiding out in a ratty motel in the Mojave Desert. It's the kind of place where you go to blow your brains out. The kind of place where a wheezy ghost known only as The Old Man sits on the porch to watch."
-Marilyn Stasio / VARIETY
"Dane Laffrey, the set designer, has situated the action of the play in a shallow, low-ceilinged wooden box that forces Ms. Arianda and Mr. Rockwell to spend much of their time standing in profile to the audience. They look like a lanky pair of parentheses and act like two rabid dogs in heat"
-Terry Teachout / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Physically, it is just about perfect, especially the lighting design by Justin Townsend, which creates its poetic effects (as the play does) from the most concrete situations."
-Jesse Green / NEW YORK MAGAZINE
"Set designer Dane Laffrey fashions this forgotten motel room with cheap furniture and linoleum floors. The chairs are made of teal vinyl on metal, offering a slight refute from the oppressive yellowness dominating the stage. Justin Townsend bathes everything in a sickly incandescent light, giving the walls the jaundiced appearance of a book left open for decades. This depressing human terrarium is the habitat of May..."
-Zachary Stewart / THEATERMANIA
"...the seedy, barely furnished room -- a solid achievement by the designer Dane Laffrey -- is occupied by Eddie and May who are seen, as the lights go up, in a tableau of profound stillness. In addition to Laffrey's wide, low-ceilinged interior, Justin Townsend's lighting is a many-layered beauty, making use of the practical lamps on stage and the light from the parking lot outside the room to create a desolate, noirish landscape."
-David Barbour / LIGHTING AND SOUND AMERICA
"They are grounded in a solid reality within an excellently planned space from the amazing scenic designer, Dane Laffrey. The set evokes countless thoughts and feelings to analyze as its own entity, and then once again as part of the collaboration with the characters who are drinking and kissing and fighting there."
-Shoshana Roberts / THE EASY
"[A] knockout production...They're in one of those motel rooms that time forgot (Dane Laffrey did the set), on the edge of the Mojave dessert...Every technical aspect underscores a paradoxical sense of a fatal connectedness and isolation."
-Ben Brantley / NEW YORK TIMES
"Director Aukin conjures a bleakly claustrophobic atmosphere and adds small touches that escalate the tension and keep the audience on edge..."
-Don Aucoin / THE BOSTON GLOBE
"Dane Laffrey has fashioned an appropriately bland, neglected motel room with a bed, a table with a few chairs, some high small windows that look papered over, and a broad picture window that looks out onto the dark, inhospitable parking lot..."
-Andrew Beck / THE EXAMINER
"The scenic design by Dane Laffrey imprisons Eddie, May and May's hapless date Martin in a sordid shoe box of a motel room, positioned off kilter..."
-Gail M. Burns / BERKSHIRE ONSTAGE
*TOP 10 OF 2015, BEN BRANTLEY, THE NEW YORK TIMES