Go Long Big Softie – Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2013
“Every modern male has, lying at the bottom of his psyche, a large, primitive being covered with hair down to his feet. Making contact with this Wild Man is the step the Eighties male or Nineties male has yet to take. That bucketing-out process has yet to begin in our contemporary culture.” -Robert Bly
Barnaby Rosenblatt, former luminary of the mythopoetic men’s movement, has long ago hung up his ritual robes and forgotten the dance of his spirit animal. The glory days of his male bonding retreats and self-help cassette empire have given way to public humiliation and calumniation. Until one evening a lost man with no confidence or purpose in life makes a desperate pilgrimage to Barnaby’s South Philadelphia residence seeking enlightenment from his obscure hero. Thus begins a quest into the contemporary male psyche via the forgotten roads of poetry, myth, and inner-wildness. Go Long Big Softie leaves us with two boys struggling to escape a powerful fiction about what it takes to be a man.
Go Long Big Softie is an ensemble-based piece of site-specific theatre that premiered at the Torrent Collective. This South Philadelphia space was chosen because its history expressed an anxious and moribund search for identity and meaning. It existed through the past century as an architectural palimpsest changing from a 7UP bottling plant to Rocky’s Gym to a Vietnamese Cultural Center to a residence for flow artists and vagabonds. Weeks after the show closed, the space was demolished and cleared for the construction of condos. Go Long Big Softie, was co-created by Lightning Rod Special Co-Directors, Scott Sheppard and Mason Rosenthal, with Scott as the lead artist.
Lead Artist – Scott Sheppard
Co-Creators/Performers – Mason Rosenthal and Scott Sheppard
Director – Charlotte Ford
Assistant Director/Stage Manager – Ilse Zoerb
Scenic Design – Morgan FitzPatrick Andrews
Sound Design – Alex Bechtel
Costume Design – Rebecca Kanach
Lighting Design – Dom Chacon