Shawn Inlow has done theater and music for some time, but has never been able to combine them the way he has dreamed of.
His original art-rock project, Stone Man, will debut at CAST on Saturday, March 23. The longtime CAST director and actor looks to realize a dream that is years in the making.
“I’ve been after this for a long time,” said Inlow. “I directed a one-man show called “Vincent” back in the 80’s where we used a novel way of projecting imagery. That show never left my mind and I’ve been experimenting ever since with how to get that look into an original rock show.
It had immense challenges.
“First, you have to find musicians who believe in doing an original project,” said Inlow.
The band includes pianist Steve Dixon, who is from Curwensville, and is a co-writer with Inlow on a song cycle called “Heartbreaks and Promises” that will be featured in the performance.
The rest of the band includes Jason Sopic, also of Curwensville, on drums, Rich “Doc” Horton, of Clearfield, on keyboards and Nick Miller, of Huntingdon, on guitars.
“It’s a hell of a bunch of pros,” says Inlow, who typefies the band’s style as ‘piano driven rock’, but “Maybe of a style all our own.
The next hurde is to make believers of the audience after having written the material and finding the musicians that were willing to go there.
“CAST’s audiences are open to new experiences. It is wonderful to have the support of such an arts center in our town,” said Inlow, who has been a big part of recent CAST successes. He hopes to carry over the technical style of his shows like “The Buddy Holly Story,” “Rock of Ages” and “Nevermore” to Stone Man.
“Most bands today don’t care what they look like,” said Inlow. “What the lighting is. What the story is. My goal, when an audience leaves a Stone Man performance, is to hear the audience telling their friends, ‘Did you SEE that?’”
Now to get the right look, Inlow is enlisting the help of numerous professional artists to storyboard original songs and create the visuals that will help them stick to the imagination.
“I want to use original art as much as I can to create – not necessarily music videos – but images that drive home the ideas behind the songs. Maybe the songs will give the visuals impact and the visuals will make the songs impactful,” said Inlow.
Inlow says that he is working with friends April Ward and Nip Rogers and hopes to draw in more graphic artists to the project.
“I can’t pay them right now, so everything they do I’m just so grateful for,” said Inlow. “But once they hear the demos, the songs seem to set off a lot of images for them and I get these really cool pieces of original work back from these massively talented people.”
“We’re doing a lot more than just playing music here,” says Inlow. “We’re showing you some real original thought and design. Some original art. And we hope to make you think and laugh and feel.”
Stone Man is using Wise Choice Video to do a live recording of the show, so Inlow hopes to fill the house.
“You can be in a Stone Man video. Just think that through,” says Inlow with a big smile.
Tickets are $8 and can be ordered online at www.clearfieldarts.org or purchased at the door on the night of the event. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.
The Clearfield Arts Studio Theatre, Inc. (CAST) is located at 112 E Locust Street in the heart of Downtown Clearfield, PA.