‘The Woolgatherer’ to begin Friday

Samantha Hill

Two people with very different personalities come together, deal with sarcasm and darkness during the performance of “The Woolgatherer” performing at the Blue Slipper Theatre this weekend.

“The Woolgatherer” written by William Mastrosimone, is about a truck driver, Cliff, played by Rich Valiant, who meets Rose, played by Michelle Zizan, who works at a candy counter, after Cliff’s truck breaks down. She invites him to her apartment where Cliff makes jokes and Rose reveals some of her neuroses and past trauma, both wanting to indulge in a deeper relationship.

Director Rebecca Ruhd said the Blue Slipper board members wanted to do a play with a strong female lead.

She said she really enjoys the play because there is a lot of give and take between the two characters on stage and how you deal with someone going through a hard time.

She describes Rose as having acute sensitivity and a strong sense of justice. Woolgatherer means someone who indulges in idol fantasies.

“Rose really deals with the world through these fantasies,” Ruhd said.

Zizan, who plays Rose, said she was interested in the role because it is both lovely and tragic.

She said other than all of the lines she had to memorize for the show, it was also difficult to go to such an emotional place as an actor.

Valient, who plays opposite Zizan, said he also struggled with so much emotion in the show. He said they are constantly going from anger to happiness to sadness without much of a transition.

Valient plays more of the sarcastic character in the show, which he thinks strikes a balance between him and Rose’s gloomier demeanor.

“It can go to that serious place, but it can also be funny and flirtatious,” he said.

Performances for “The Woolgatherer” will be on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Oct. 27 through Nov. 12. Friday and Saturdays it will begin at 8 p.m. and on Sundays at 3 p.m.

The tickets are $12 for seniors and students, and $15 for adults. Tickets are available by calling 222-7720 or through  https://www.brownpapertickets.com.