Dead Man's Shoes

Dead Man's Shoes

By Joseph Zettelmaier

Directed by David Wolber

Originally produced at The Williamston Theatre, Williamston, MI.

January 26, 2012 through February 26, 2012

About the Premiere Production: The year is 1883. The place is the Wild West. The notorious outlaw Injun Bill Picote has escaped from prison, along with a hard-luck drunk named Froggy. The pair endures trials and bizarre misadventures as they hunt for the object of Injun Bill’s vengeance…a man who committed an unthinkable deed. Nothing will stop Injun Bill, not even a crazed nun, a philosophical sheriff, a one-eyed barkeep or a mysterious rider on a white horse. But as his past catches up with him, Injun Bill weighs his life spent as a cutthroat. As Froggy helps him discover his long-ignored conscience, Bill begins to learn that life can be lived without bloodshed. But is the hope of a better life stronger than the need to avenge the death of a friend? This dark comedy features lovable characters and smart dialogue, and explores the concept of vengeance, its worth and consequences.

Artistic Statement: Dead Man’s Shoes by Joseph Zettelmaier is a dark, comedic, tightly written piece that explores themes of conscience, vengeance, and hope for the future. Based on a bit of actual history from the late 1800’s,Dead Man’s Shoes is the story of one man’s personal journey that plays out on the vast canvas of the American Wild West. In today’s world, with everything from cyber-terrorism to hijacked airplanes, the definition of “the outlaw” has taken on a very different meaning – but how different is our sense of conscience, our desire for vengeance, and our need to connect with people on the most basic level? And where does a connection with a higher power fit in? This biting comedy takes us on a journey as ridiculous as it is profound, and draws deep parallels from our history to our present. The Williamston Theatre and Performance Network Theatre are thrilled to present this piece as a co-production, and are pleased to be able to continue presenting the work of Joseph Zettelmaier to a wider audience.

Grant Statement: 
The Edgerton Grant will be incredibly helpful in allowing Joseph Zettelmaier and the creative team the time and resources that they need to fully explore and develop this piece. With an advanced workshop months before the actual production, funded by the grant, there will be a stress-free process that encourages exploration, experimentation and collaboration to flesh out not only the script, but also every aspect of the production from performance to design, staging and marketing. Additional rehearsal time for the actual production, again funded by the grant, will provide a much greater opportunity for polishing and fine-tuning the script, the direction and the performances. The support that the Edgerton Foundation Grant provides will allow us to craft a new work that will have life beyond our stages and stands poised to become a substantial addition to the landscape of the contemporary American theatre.

Director: David Wolber

Set Design: Daniel C. Walker

Lighting Design: Daniel C. Walker

Sound Design: Will Meyers

Cast: Aral Gribble, Drew Parker, Maggie Meyer, Paul Hopper


Dead Man Walking: Dead Man's Shoes

Live Design

November 13, 2012


Zettlemaier's 'Shoes' walks away with an award

Lansing City Pulse

June 8, 2011

Williamston Theatre's DEAD MAN'S SHOES Receives Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award


June 6, 2011

Have knife, will travel

Lansing City Pulse

February 8, 2012