2019 Viola Award Finalist for Excellence in Performing Arts

Gavin Buckley and Dawn Tucker are finalists in the Excellence in Performing Arts category for their performances with FlagShakes in Sam Sheppard’s Fool for Love.

Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love is a relentless, no-holds-barred, doomed-from-the-start story of feuding lovers. Set in a dingy motel deep in the American Southwest during the 80s, the drama between May and Eddie unfolds, leading them down an inevitable path of sorrow and heartbreak. The lovers are as desperate as their Mojave Desert setting as they wrestle with inescapable familial patterns of misplaced hope in the face of self-destruction. Throughout their struggles with destiny, the subtly surreal commentary provides a glimpse into the tragic pasts and aimless futures of the two protagonists. Incredibly tender and fraught with consequence, the dualistic and conflicted relationships explored in Fool for Love are as universal and familiar as the cowboy boots that tread the stage.

Gavin Buckley’s acting debut was in a staged reading of a new play with the Northern Arizona Playwriting Showcase. He next appeared in the Theatrikos production of John Logan’s Red.Buckley’sfirst performance with FlagShakes was Sam Sheppard’s Fool for Love, where he played one of the leads, Eddie. Gavin also acted in the FlagShakes production of Titus Andronicus and in Theatrikos’ The Trip to Bountiful.

In 2018 Buckley returned to Theatrikos to appear as protagonist and narrator, Nick Carraway, in their rendition of The GreatGatsby. Buckley’s portrayal of the character was described by The Arizona Daily Sun as “shining performance”.

Dawn Tucker is the founder and Executive Director of the Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival. For each of the past four summers, FlagShakes has presented professional Shakespearean theater in a variety of venues in Flagstaff and toured to Jerome, Sedona, and Winslow. In 2018, Dawn directed FlagShakes’ Merry Wives of Windsor for which she was a Viola finalist.  Dawn has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin and a Master of Letters in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance from Mary Baldwin University in partnership with The American Shakespeare Center. Playing May in Shepard’s Fool for Love was the challenge of a lifetime for Dawn. She is very grateful to Gavin Buckley, Cameron Scully, and Bill Chameides for creating the kind of supportive ensemble that made it possible to portray the character of May with complete vulnerability. Dawn is also grateful
to Fool for Love’s director Garrison Garcia for fostering trust, honesty, and dedication in the rehearsal room.

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Raves from the community:

“Fool for Love was amazing! The performances were simply stunning, and the intimacy and interactivity of the play and the actors made me feel like I was standing alongside them. Amazing play, amazing performance … local theatre doesn’t get any better than this!”

“The intensity of the script and the actors meld into one hot night.”

“It was risky staging this intimate actor-driven play in a town that is more accustomed to bigger productions and musicals, but the performances, direction, and staging of Fool for Love were so strong that the risk paid off.  

“It was one of the best acted and directed plays I’ve ever seen in Flagstaff and I am hoping there will be more like this to come.”