Director, Actor, and Sometimes Gardener
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Dead Man's Shoes by Joseph Zettelmaier

Williamston Theatre and Performance Network Theatre
Williamston, MI and Ann Arbor, MI
Jan/Feb 2012 and Mar/Apr 2012

World Premiere

 "Director  David Wolber  of Performance Network (which is co-producer and subsequent presenter of this fine show) gives shape to the show with his clever staging, right on the mark, giving his four actors room to shine. Surely this will be one of the best of the season, with performances that are equally memorable." -  Michael H. Margolin, Encoremichigan.com

"Director David Wolber of Performance Network (which is co-producer and subsequent presenter of this fine show) gives shape to the show with his clever staging, right on the mark, giving his four actors room to shine. Surely this will be one of the best of the season, with performances that are equally memorable." - Michael H. Margolin, Encoremichigan.com

 "Four out of Four Stars! The Western tale is a feast of set design and performance in service of a richly textured script.  In terms of storytelling, "Dead Man's Shoes" covers a lot of ground, which forces the show's designers (led by Performance Network artistic director  David Wolber ) to get creative in fashioning the varied settings.  Kirk Domer's backdrops are painted on a sheet of fabric that unreels from a huge spool standing upright on the stage.  Simple lighting cues create jail cells, while offstage actors become sound-effect artists when a metal-door clank is required." - John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press

"Four out of Four Stars! The Western tale is a feast of set design and performance in service of a richly textured script.  In terms of storytelling, "Dead Man's Shoes" covers a lot of ground, which forces the show's designers (led by Performance Network artistic director David Wolber) to get creative in fashioning the varied settings.  Kirk Domer's backdrops are painted on a sheet of fabric that unreels from a huge spool standing upright on the stage.  Simple lighting cues create jail cells, while offstage actors become sound-effect artists when a metal-door clank is required." - John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press

 "Visiting director  David Wolber  strikes the perfect balance of suspense and humor, reintroducing classic thriller elements as soon as you’ve let down your guard. Executed by a top-notch cast under precise direction, “Dead Man’s Shoes” stabs you in the sweet spot." - Paul Wozniak, Lansing City Pulse

"Visiting director David Wolber strikes the perfect balance of suspense and humor, reintroducing classic thriller elements as soon as you’ve let down your guard. Executed by a top-notch cast under precise direction, “Dead Man’s Shoes” stabs you in the sweet spot." -Paul Wozniak, Lansing City Pulse

 "' Dead Man’s Shoes ,' a unique Western-comedy hybrid with bawd and bite.  The world-premiere production, with direction by  David Wolber , marries component skill and tight cohesion into a masterpiece of workmanship with entertainment value to match.  Topping the long list of superlatives in this show is the complex partnership between Parker and Gribble, a relationship  Wolber  ensures is won, not just made.  A powerhouse combination of inventive script and skillful execution, " Dead Man’s Shoes"  isn’t a hilarious comedy as well as a thrilling and redemptive hero myth — it’s both in astounding symbiosis, perfectly inextricable." -  Carolyn Hayes, Rogue Critic    

"'Dead Man’s Shoes,' a unique Western-comedy hybrid with bawd and bite.  The world-premiere production, with direction by David Wolber, marries component skill and tight cohesion into a masterpiece of workmanship with entertainment value to match.  Topping the long list of superlatives in this show is the complex partnership between Parker and Gribble, a relationship Wolber ensures is won, not just made.  A powerhouse combination of inventive script and skillful execution, "Dead Man’s Shoes" isn’t a hilarious comedy as well as a thrilling and redemptive hero myth — it’s both in astounding symbiosis, perfectly inextricable." - Carolyn Hayes, Rogue Critic

 

 " Wolber  thrives at varying the tension, allowing Gribble to put air and humor back into the most spine-tingling scenes.  Wolber  especially masters the show’s multiple climaxes, finding ways to up the tension even when it feels like it can’t go any higher than what it already has done." - Bridgette Redman, Lansing State Journal

"Wolber thrives at varying the tension, allowing Gribble to put air and humor back into the most spine-tingling scenes. Wolber especially masters the show’s multiple climaxes, finding ways to up the tension even when it feels like it can’t go any higher than what it already has done." - Bridgette Redman, Lansing State Journal

 "This is the type of show where not only characters are constantly changing but the emotions the audience goes through as well. One moment you’re laughing in hysterics and the next you’re trying to hold back tears, which just showcases how well a job Zettelmaier did writing it and  Wolber  did directing it." -  Dana Casadei, Lansing Online News

"This is the type of show where not only characters are constantly changing but the emotions the audience goes through as well. One moment you’re laughing in hysterics and the next you’re trying to hold back tears, which just showcases how well a job Zettelmaier did writing it and Wolber did directing it." - Dana Casadei, Lansing Online News

 "There is so much to admire about this production.  The play is directed by Performance Network Artistic Director  David Wolber , who has premiered five of Zettelmaier’s works and is adept and finding all the humor and humanity in these remarkable stories." -  Patty Nolan, Examiner.com

"There is so much to admire about this production.  The play is directed by Performance Network Artistic Director David Wolber, who has premiered five of Zettelmaier’s works and is adept and finding all the humor and humanity in these remarkable stories." - Patty Nolan, Examiner.com

 "Like all good westerns, there's lots of meandering about the wide open spaces, accomplished on the limited space of the Williamston stage by an ingenious scrolling canvas that provides a backdrop representative of wherever the two crusaders find themselves at the time.  'Dead Man's Shoes' is directed by  David Wolber , who has cast wisely, with each of the four actors a standout in their own right while fitting seamlessly into the ensemble.  It's is an intelligent mix of story, character, and humor, and an old-time western with contemporary sensibilities and the journey that it recounts is well worth the taking." -  Daniel Skora, New Monitor

"Like all good westerns, there's lots of meandering about the wide open spaces, accomplished on the limited space of the Williamston stage by an ingenious scrolling canvas that provides a backdrop representative of wherever the two crusaders find themselves at the time.  'Dead Man's Shoes' is directed by David Wolber, who has cast wisely, with each of the four actors a standout in their own right while fitting seamlessly into the ensemble.  It's is an intelligent mix of story, character, and humor, and an old-time western with contemporary sensibilities and the journey that it recounts is well worth the taking." - Daniel Skora, New Monitor

 " Wolber  works till the last moment, continuing to tweak 'Dead Man's Shoes' through five previews and two additional rehearsals.  On opening night in Williamston, he feels he's finally seeing the show as he wanted it to be.  The spectators greet the production with a standing ovation." -  Davi Napoleon, Ann Arbor Observer   (from a "behind-the-scenes" article about the process of producing 'Dead Man's Shoes')

"Wolber works till the last moment, continuing to tweak 'Dead Man's Shoes' through five previews and two additional rehearsals.  On opening night in Williamston, he feels he's finally seeing the show as he wanted it to be.  The spectators greet the production with a standing ovation." - Davi Napoleon, Ann Arbor Observer  (from a "behind-the-scenes" article about the process of producing 'Dead Man's Shoes')

  Dead Man's Shoes  by  Joseph Zettelmaier  Director - David Wolber  Injun Bill Picote - Drew Parker* Froggy - Aral Basil Gribble II* Sheriff, Madame Flora, Abel , Death - Paul Hopper* Sister Bernadette, Belle, Bjarma, Martha - Maggie Meyer  Stage Manager - Rochelle Clark* Dramaturg - Carla Milarch Set design -  Kirk Domer  Light design - Daniel C. Walker Costume design - Amber Marisa Cook Sound design - Will Myers Props design - Stefanie Din   *member Actors Equity Association photos by Chris Purchis    "Dead Man's Shoes" won a Wilde Award for Best New Script 2012, as well as an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award 2011, and a Rogue Gallery Award for Best New Play or Adaptation.

Dead Man's Shoes
by Joseph Zettelmaier
Director - David Wolber

Injun Bill Picote - Drew Parker*
Froggy - Aral Basil Gribble II*
Sheriff, Madame Flora, Abel , Death - Paul Hopper*
Sister Bernadette, Belle, Bjarma, Martha - Maggie Meyer

Stage Manager - Rochelle Clark*
Dramaturg - Carla Milarch
Set design - Kirk Domer
Light design - Daniel C. Walker
Costume design - Amber Marisa Cook
Sound design - Will Myers
Props design - Stefanie Din

*member Actors Equity Association
photos by Chris Purchis

"Dead Man's Shoes" won a Wilde Award for Best New Script 2012,
as well as an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award 2011,
and a Rogue Gallery Award for Best New Play or Adaptation.