In Caryl Churchills A Number, a young man discovers that he is one of a number of clones produced by his father. Despite this rather fascinating premise, the play, which debuted a few years ago in New York, is remembered chiefly for its lead performance by Sam Shepard, who hadnt worked onstage as an actor in 30 years.
Depending on who you talk to, Shepard was either great or horrible, says Stray Cat Theatres Ron May with a laugh. May directed the Stray Cat production of A Number, which has, as May says, an X-Files feeling to it. But Churchills 70-minute drama is less about the science of cloning than it is about parental responsibility and father-son relationships.
This play is so off-the-charts weird that Ive been afraid to do it here in Phoenix, May says. But I love Churchill, and this is her most accessible piece. I think its time to do it.
A Number isnt just Stray Cats first show of the season, its the companys first-ever Equity show. Its exciting, May says. We couldnt afford to hire an Equity actor before this, but it looks like were finally able to do experimental theater that doesnt lose money. Its a great thing.