Love in Pine by Gary Jaffe - Last Act Theatre, 2012 - Photos & Lighting Design by Lauren Bremen    
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View the LOVE IN PINE gallery.
Photos & Lighting Design by Lauren Bremen
a new play written & directed by Gary Jaffe

16 FEBRUARY – 3 MARCH 2012
at the Broken Neck (an alternative venue)
presented by Last Act Theatre Company

Love was in the air on prom night in the town of Pine, TX, but Boy and Girl didn’t make it to the dance – a fatal head-on collision with a pine tree trapped their souls inside the tree itself.  Two years later, the lonely town Teacher and Girl’s guilt-racked Sister try to give their prom night a different ending, but how exactly does one change the past? And how can they stop the wildfire scorching its way through the county? And why does the Tree herself want to keep them there? A heartbreaking, supernatural twist on the traditional American prom night story, Love in Pine is a bold, poetic new play set in the pine woods of central Texas, where trees talk, prom lasts forever, and love, for better or worse, is love.

Inspired by the ritual placating of spirits in the Japanese Noh drama, I wrote and directed Love in Pine to grant closure to a friend who died young when he crashed his car into a tree. I imagined the spirits of a young couple lingering in a tree they struck on prom night. Guided by their survivors, they must repeat the iconic steps of prom – photos, dinner, car ride, dance – until they can give the night a new ending and continue on toward peace.

Featuring: Karen Alvarado, Bridget Farr, Chris Hejl, Doug Mackie, and Emily Madden. Scenic Design by Christina Barboza; Costume Design by the Cast; Sound Design by Brett Hamann; Lighting Design & Electrics by Lauren Bremen.


“There’s an affecting intensity in these scenes that allows both dead and living some measure of understanding – as all the while, the flames approach to consume all of these realities. When summarized in this way Love in Pine may seem overly clever in its structure. But the action moves steadily forward and the cast of young adults makes evident their acceptance and respect for the concepts. Karen Alvarado as Sister portrays her with dark-eyed, thoughtful depth.  Chris Hejl delivers the self-deluded, grieving teacher with convincing investment in the character.  Bridget Farr as Girl and Douglas Mackie as Boy are entirely believable, both in their youthful exhilaration and in their post-mortem confusion."

Michael Meigs,

"The kernel of brilliance at the heart of “Love in Pine” is that the celebration of Prom is a central event in the lives of everyone surviving into their late teens, whether they graduate from high school or not.  Love, sex and the future, my future, spiral into this turning point, and we have to take our temperature constantly in order to scry any future for ourselves.  Such a delicate yet raging fear, and playwright Gary Jaffe put his thumb on it with great sensitivity, and, ultimately, compassion. Mr. Jaffe and everyone at Last Act Theatre Co. are young, not long past their own proms, and the commitment with which they staged Love in Pine makes the production look like their collective love letter to the world.”

Dr. David Robinson, Theatre Night with Dr. Dave

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