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Witness Interview: Sheila Love, Oxtales member

Wednesday, January 30, 2002 - 3:15 p.m.

The witness, identified as an actress in Oxtales Theatre, was interviewed at the Yoknapatawpha County Sheriff's Department. The interview was conducted by Det. Sam Murphy and Det. Ted Armstrong, and was recorded on a portable tape recorder with the witness's knowledge and consent.

TA = Detective T. Armstrong
SM = Detective S. Murphy
SL = Sheila Love

TA: Hi, Sheila. It's nice to meet you. Thank you for coming into the office this afternoon.

SL: Of course. I don't know that I can help you, but I'd certainly like to try.

SM: Can you please state your name and address, for the record?

SL: Sheila Love and I live at 2400 Anderson.

SM: And how did you know Andrea Stover?

SL: I worked with her in the Oxtales Theatre group.

SM: How long had you been a member of the group?

SL: For about three and a half years, I guess.

SM: Do you have any other jobs?

SL: I work for a real estate firm. Oxtales is only a night and on weekends.

SM: What was your opinion of Andrea and how she directed the group?

SL: Andrea was very determined and she had a very clear vision of what she thought the group should do. She and I didn't always see eye to eye on things, but we managed to work together well.

TA: Did you agree with her choice of material or the way she presented it?

SL: Are you asking if I agreed with all the shock value stuff? Not really. My taste in theater runs much more old fashioned and conservative. I just like to tell good stories and entertain. I don't think you have to yell at people, figuratively or literally.

TA: But you stuck with the group even though you disagreed?

SL: It's great experience. Plus, I have to admit that it's really been a confidence builder. I've done so many things under Andrea's direction that I didn't think I would do before. Like some of the nudity and stuff. I can't say that I want that to be the pinnacle of my acting career, but I don't think I would've taken off my clothes had I not appeared in an Andrea Stover production. I guess it's like a military guy going through basic training. I don't always like it, but I think it will make me a better actress in the end.

SM: Did you participate in the "Snopes" production?

SL: Yes, I had a small role.

TA: Were you prosecuted for the production?

SL: No. Luckily, I was never arrested for that or anything. I knew the play would be controversial, but I didn't think it would be that bad.

SM: How did you think Andrea handled the situation?

SL: I thought she took the whole tortured artist thing a little bit too far. I mean, it's important to have principles and all, but I wouldn't go to jail. She was a small town artist putting on small, albeit interesting plays. It's not like she was Salman Rushdie or anything. I would have plea-bargained or something, but she was bound and determined to stand up for her art.

TA: Sounds like you didn't much care for her.

SL: I told you that we didn't see eye to eye on a lot of things.

SM: Did you see eye to eye about Frank Tuttle?

SL: Well, uh, what do you mean?

TA: Are you involved in a romantic relationship with Frank?

SL: Yes.

SM: And had Frank been involved with Andrea at one time?

SL: Yes, they dated for a while before she went to jail. It wasn't anything serious. More a matter of convenience than anything else.

TA: But he did visit her in prison, didn't he?

SL: Every once in a while.

SM: Did you ever visit Andrea in prison?

SL: No.

SM: Did Frank and Andrea ever hook up once she was released from jail?

SL: No! Frank and I are very much in love.

SM: You sure about that?

SL: Of course I'm sure.

SM: Were any of the other members of the company romantically involved?

SL: Not that I'm aware of.

SM: When did you last see Andrea Stover alive?

SL: It was the last night we rehearsed.

TA: Tell us about the rehearsal.

SL: We had been working pretty hard. We stopped at dinnertime and ate the food everyone had brought. We had a good time with dinner. Then we started rehearsing again and it got ugly. No one could seem to get along. Ethan was mad about some rewrites and Dale and Andrea were fighting.

TA: How were you getting along with everyone?

SL: Well, I was just fine. Why would you ask that?

TA: Just trying to get the whole picture.

SL: Anyway, finally Andrea got frustrated and said we should just stop. I thought we could work through it, but when she made her mind up, there was no talking her out of anything. So we all left.

SM: What did you do then?

SL: Frank, Dale and I went to Murff's for some beer. We stayed there for a while and then Frank and I went back to my place and I guess Dale went home.

TA: What time did rehearsal end?

SL: Around 9:30 or 9:45.

SM: Did anyone join rehearsal while you were working?

SL: Yeah, Owen came by towards the end.

SM: Did anyone leave rehearsal before the entire group broke up? Anyone leave early?

SL: No.

SM: Did you have any idea what Andrea was going to do after rehearsal?

SL: No. As I said, she wanted to end rehearsal so we ended it. I wasn't going to hang around and listen to her complain.

SM: Did you know that Andrea was afraid of heights?

SL: Yes. Frank told me about that, although I never saw it for myself.

SM: Were you surprised that Andrea would be up on the catwalk at Oxford Centre given her phobia?

SL: Not really. She had mentioned staging a play there so I knew she was interested in the location. As I said, she was really determined about her art. If she's willing to go to prison for her work, I think she would be able to handle her fears if she thought there was artistic value to it.

SM: Can you think of anyone who might want to see Andrea dead?

SL: I don't think so. A bunch of us were talking one night and it seemed like everyone thought that some of the religious nuts were possibilities. Or the parents of those kids. But I don't have any evidence or anything. I just saw the hatred they had for her during the trial with all those protests and demonstrations and things. I guess some of them might have been fanatical enough to do something.

SM: Did Andrea ever mention being afraid for her safety?

SL: Not to me.

SM: Okay, I think that's about it for now. Thanks for your time.

End interview 4:01 p.m.

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