Delusion of Darkness

Delusion of Darkness

By Steve Patterson

Directed by Shawn Paonessa

Aug. 6 – 22, 2004

Fri. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm

Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts

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What It's About

Imagine fog. Fog so thick the locals have to keep the windows closed to keep their rooms from fogging up. Imagine a seedy waterfront dive. Scarred bar-top. Cheap drinks. Wobbly stools. Now imagine Murphy, a secretive writer and master of conspiracy, holding court among psychotics and mutants in an ultra-dark comedy that weaves crazily along the lines between eccentricity and madness. Desire and depravity. Dreams and nightmares. Imagine what you can’t imagine. That, in a nutshell, is Jobsite’s final show of the 2003–04 season – Delusion of Darkness.

Delusion of Darkness is part Wild at Heart, part Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and part Barton Fink – all whipped up in a surrealistic blender by William S. Burroughs. In Delusion of Darkness, your host Murphy will introduce you to paramedics who collect human body parts, a detective so sleazy that he makes the vice squad nervous, a bishop who sells contraband off of the collection plate, a young chanteuse with fully-functional stigmata, and a blind woman who telepathically receives orgasms from… well, no one’s really sure where.

Delusion of Darkness is by Portland Oregon Playwright Steve Patterson. Patterson wrote the full-length Vietnam drama Waiting on Sean Flynn which Jobsite produced a few years ago. Mr. Patterson has also contributed pieces for Murder Ballads and The Nature of Fear and Its Effects. As to his subject matter, Patterson considers himself terminally unhip as it took him “three times to read William S. Burroughs’ notorious masterpiece Naked Lunch,” which Patterson admits Delusion of Darkness is inspired by.

You won’t necessarily need to have read Naked Lunch to understand Delusion of Darkness (it’s quite possible you may not understand it even if you’re a Burroughs scholar), but an open mind is crucial. Patterson stresses that there is “something here to offend almost anyone.” This play premiered in Portland by Pavement Productions to rave reviews and sold-out houses. Now Jobsite brings this weird, wild ride to Tampa in their August slot, which is always reserved for new, unpublished plays.


Delusion of Darkness contains uncomfortable sex, dangerous imaginary drugs, hideously weird violence, lurid insanity, grisly murder, gratuitous nudity, severed body parts, irresponsible gunplay, derogatory depictions of interdimensional aliens, Catholic jokes and jazz. This show is intended for ADULT AUDIENCES ONLY. Consider yourself warned.

Ami Sallee in Jobsite's Delusion of Darkness. (Photo: Brian Smallheer.)

Dark, dank and teetering right at the edge of insanity. The ultraviolet comedy lays waste to social taboos, tabloid culture and ordinary consciousness with all the grace and beauty of a bad drunk at a funeral. – Portland Oregonian


Cast & Crew

  • Shawn Paonessa – Director
  • Neil Gobioff – Stage Manager


  • Summer Bohnenkamp – Ensemble
  • Nevada Caldwell – Ensemble
  • Jason Evans – Ensemble
  • Chris Holcom – Ensemble
  • Leah LoSchiavo – Ensemble
  • Michael C. McGreevy – Ensemble
  • Ami Sallee – Murphy
  • Katrina Stevenson – Ensemble


  • Dickie Corley – Sound Designer
  • Neil Gobioff – Stage Manager
  • Brian M. Smallheer – Scenic and Lighting Designer
  • Katrina Stevenson – Costumer Designer

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