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Before terrorizing readers and moviegoers with the likes of The Books of Blood and Hellraiser, Clive Barker worked in theater. During the 1970s and early 1980s, Barker cut his teeth as a performer and playwright in his native Liverpool. Shadow Horse Theatre Company tackles one of the most complex of these pieces with Crazyface. "Crazyface has 50 speaking parts, which was cast with 20 different actors playing numerous roles," says director Paul Von Stoetzel. "Also, we have full fight choreography for almost an hour of violence mixed within the play, as well as a variety of special-effects moments. Besides that, there are numerous ridiculous period-piece props and costumes woven among fast-paced moments where multiple actors are onstage doing a multitude of physical comedy and stage violence. If that wasn't enough, we are working with complex makeup and mask work for multiple actors for various scenes while still attempting to maintain a strong, stylized foundation. Yeah, this has been a hell of a ride." The director has long loved Barker's work, reading his numerous short stories and novels along with watching the films. "His worlds of horror were incredibly creative and imaginative places that inspired me to mold a universe by its own rules and use those elements to adhere to an unusual yet plausible world unlike the pedestrian realms of Stephen King and Robert Lumley," he says. This particular world takes us to the 16th century, where the titular fool of the title (played by Andy Schnabel) is entrusted with a mysterious box containing a secret that could shake nations and start wars. Though Von Stoetzel has worked in local theater for a decade, most of the company of 20 are new to him. "I have been revitalized by the cast," he says. "I'm grateful to work with a new group who have allowed me to take them and run with their various talents." And the chance to play in Barker's world has been a thrill for the director. "Honestly, this is an epic play about fools and clowns on a very base level, which appeals to me in so many ways that I can't possibly express."