Oregon's Oldest Continuous Community Theatre

Barnstormers Theatre creates and performs quality collaborative inspiring theater art that is accessible and affordable, with a special focus on encouraging and developing new talent from our community.


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Or call 541-479-3557, Extension 2, to leave a message. One of our box officers will contact you, usually within 24 hours.

Regular admission: $15
Groups of 10 or more: $12 each; one payment only


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To see Dylan O’Hara play Austin and Stewart Towle play Lee, attend performances on these dates:
March 13th, 15th, 20th, 22nd, 26th, and 28th.

To see Stewart Towle as Austin and Dylan O’Hara as Lee, attend the following dates:
March 12th, 14th, 19th, 22nd, 27th, and 29th.

Directers Notes:

Emily Zellner-Gisler

I’ve been doing 3-4 shows a year ever since I turned 14. I’m now 20 and directing my first full length production and I can’t describe how much it means to me to be working with such a seriously awesome and talented cast and crew. I would like to thank them for their endless memorizing, hard work, and laughter. Thank you Katie, Stew, Dylan, Davey, and Laura for being there each night and for committing yourself to making the show what it is. A special thank you to my family, the crew, and Barnstormers Theatre for their support, and lastly, my poster illustrator and father, Rob Gisler, for inspiring me to direct in the first place.

True West is a character study that examines the relationship between Austin, a screenwriter, and his older brother Lee. It is set in the kitchen of their mother's home 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Austin is house-sitting while their mother is in Alaska and it is there that he is confronted by his brother who bullies his way into staying at the house and using Austin's car. Lee and Austin are the result of a dysfunctional family ruled by a father who is now segregated and living a solemn, alcoholic life in the desert. Lee and Austin represent the two different products of the family: the settler and the drifter. You can also look at them as the indian and the cowboy, the artist and the survivalist. The screenplay which Austin is pitching to his connection in Hollywood, Saul Kimmer, somehow gets taken over by the tactics of Lee and the brothers find themselves forced to cooperate in the creation of a story that will make or break both their lives. In the process, the conflict between the brothers creates a heated situation in which their roles as successful family man and nomadic drifter are somehow reversed, and each man finds himself admitting that he had somehow always wished he were in the other's shoes.

There is something special about this production that is unlike many things that you will see on stage. The actors portraying Lee and Austin have been double-casted. Each night they will be switching roles, one night Lee, the next night Austin, and so forth. I did this for a few reasons. With the recent passing of one of my favorite actors and human beings, Philip Seymour Hoffman, I wanted to do both this play and the double casting as a tribute to his and John C. Reilly's performances in the early 2000's on Broadway, where they also starred in True West and switched the roles of Lee and Austin. Another reason this choice was made was because I believe that Austin and Lee are meant to portray two halves of the same whole. Austin is analysis, Lee is creativity. Austin is compassionate and understanding, Lee is aggressive and spontaneous. Both capable of the same actions, both displaying all sorts of qualities throughout their incredible character journey within this story. I feel the best way to demonstrate everything Sam Shepard has accomplished with this play is by letting the audience physically see the brothers switch roles performance to performance. The change is real. What is it like to be the other brother? There's no way not to ask yourself knowing the actors have memorized and performed both parts. To see Dylan O’Hara play Austin and Stewart Towle play Lee, attend performances on these dates: 13, 15, 20, 22, 26, and 28. To see Stewart Towle as Austin and Dylan O’Hara as Lee, attend the following dates: 12, 14, 19, 22, 27, and 29.

To wrap it up, I attended Oregon State University where I did theatre nonstop but I recently moved here to attend school at SOU. I love theatre, film, and baking, and my dream is to one day own my own theatre company/bakery. Some of my favorite past theatre productions have been Beyond Therapy, Little Shop of Horrors, A Streetcar Named Desire, and Three Sisters. I thank each and every one of you for being here to witness this story about family, art, and the west. Lastly, please watch


Katie Standish – Stage Manager
I am Katie Standish, the stage manager for True West. Although I am no stranger to performing arts, being in piano recitals and tambourine since I was little, this is my first time with the stage. It has been quite an experience, and one that I have thoroughly enjoyed! I am a full-time student at RCC with plans to major in Theater after I transfer. I spend my time studying, housesitting, and doing chores, as well as hanging out with friends, playing my piano and ukulele, riding my horse as often as possible, and now beginning to build my theater experience. Thank you so much, Emily, for giving me this opportunity!

Dylan O’Hara – Austin/Lee
Welcome to the show and thank you for choosing to spend your time today witnessing this powerful story! I am a multi-disciplinary artist raised in Alaska and cultured in the beach towns of San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties in California. I spent three years studying acting and dramaturgy at The Pacific Conservatory Theater in Santa Maria, CA. At PCPA Theatrefest my most memorable experience on stage was playing George Gibbs in “Our Town.” In addition to acting for stage and film, I love writing, music, painting, dancing and permaculture. I am grateful to live such a magnificent life devoted to the Bardic Tradition. If I could host a dinner party with any historical figures as guests, I would invite Joan of Arc, Jean-Michele Basquiat, Edith Piaf, Frida Kahlo and Tom Waits. Big thanks to Wayd, Emily and the Barnstormers community for this incredible opportunity. Abuelita, I love you!

Laura Erb- Mom
Laura is thrilled to be involved in “True West”, her second production with Barnstormers Theatre. Laura recently returned to the stage after a 20 year hiatus in last fall’s production of “Macbeth”. When the opportunity to do Sam Shepard came along she auditioned without hesitation. “I am a huge fan of Sam Shepard, and have always longed to be in one of his plays. Shepard is an actor’s playwright. His scripts and character explorations are insightful and in depth.” Laura has performed in musicals and stage productions throughout her youth and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Language Arts/Theatre Arts with a Dance minor. She attended both Western and Southern Oregon Universities. Laura has gone on to direct high school musicals and children’s productions, as well as acted in community theatre. She is now a substitute teacher, but never misses a chance to promote theater involvement for young people. “It’s my calling to promote the arts, especially theatre. I was one of those kids who weren’t an athlete or a cheerleader, and if I hadn’t had theater to throw myself into, I would’ve been lost.” When Laura worked at North Middle School last year as an Educational Assistant, she organized an ELT (Extra Learning Time) for Drama, and had over a hundred students signed up. The program was such a success it has become part of the regular ELT offerings. Laura looks forward to more theatre experiences at Barnstormers!

Stewart Towle – Lee/Austin
Whether playing Austin or Lee, I want to thank you and Barnstormers for this chance to perform Sam Shepherd's True West. You may recognize me as Banquo/Siward from Barnstormer's second show of the season, Macbeth. I returned to Oregon last year and to the theatrical stage after a two year hiatus as upright bass player and performance poet in California. Before running off to California to play music I received a bachelor's degree in theater from, ironically, Dartmouth College. I've wanted to act in a production of True West for years, and working with Emily, Katie, Laura, and Davie has been a one of kind experience! After spending two years in a band together, and having discussed doing this show so many times, engaging this text with Dylan defies explanation, but thank you buddy; you inspire me. And to you, the coyotes and the crickets, I hope you enjoy the show.

Davey Kashuba – Saul Kimmer
To be honest, I have never written a bio in the first person. So I'm just going to give you all a stream-of-consciousness kind of bio. Buckle up folks! Davey is 24 years old and he graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor's of Science in Theater and Speech Communication. Now that I'm back in Grants Pass, I'm working on paying off my absurd amount of debt! I have really enjoyed working on this show; Stew, Dylan, and Laura are some really talented actors. Not to mention the two ladies who ran this thing, the director, Emily, and Katie, the Stage Manager have made this process very smooth and relatively pain-free. Okay, I'm done sucking up now. Really, you're in for a treat if you are sitting down in a Barnstomer's seat right now waiting for this gem to start. Oh! I almost forgot to mention- If it gets too dark to read this, it means the show is starting, so put this down, because reading it during the show would be kind of lame. You don't wanna be lame do you?

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