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Buried Child

Buried Child
Your Price: $18.95 CDN
Biz Bestseller!
Author: Sam Shepard
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 75
Pub. Date: 1997
Edition: Revised
ISBN-10: 08222151110
ISBN-13: 9780822215110
Cast Size: 2 female, 5 male

About the Play:

Buried Child has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Female Monologues, Male Monologues, and Female/Male Scenes.

Buried Child is a full-length drama by Sam Shepard. Vince returns to his childhood farm with his girlfriend, only to find emotionally and physically crippled family members and a building that is falling apart and hiding secrets, rather than the idyllic place of his childhood. Buried Child is a Pulitzer Prize-winning play that probes deep into the disintegration of the American Dream.

Buried Child depicts the fragmentation of the American nuclear family in the context of the 1970s rural economic slowdown, the breakdown of traditional family structures and values, and the disillusionment of the American dream. The setting is a squalid farm home occupied by a family filled with suppressed violence and an unease born of deep-seated unhappiness. The characters are a ranting alcoholic grandfather; a sanctimonious grandmother who goes on drinking bouts with the local minister; and their sons, Tilden, an All-American football player now a hulking semi-idiot; and Bradley, who has lost one leg to a chain saw. Into their midst comes Vince, a grandson none of them recognizes or remembers, and his girlfriend, Shelly, who cannot comprehend the madness to which she is suddenly introduced. The family harbors a dark secret – years earlier the grandfather, Dodge, had buried an unwanted newborn baby in an undisclosed spot, creating a cloud of guilt which is dispelled only when Tilden unearths the child's mummified remains and carries it upstairs to his mother. His act purges the family, at last, of its infamy and suggests the perhaps slim possibility of a new beginning under Vince, whose estrangement from the others has spared him the taint of their sin. Buried Child is a powerful and brilliant play that is as fierce and unforgettable as it was when it was first produced.

Buried Child premiered in 1978 at the Magic Theatre, San Francisco's most important and longtime playwrights' theatre. Its New York premiere was in 1978 at Theater for the New City. It won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and launched Sam Shepard to national fame as a playwright. Buried Child was revised for the 1996 Broadway production. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and is regularly performed in repertory and college theatre productions.

Cast: 2 female, 5 male

What people say:

"Shepard is one of the most prolific of our playwrights, and, for that matter, certainly one of the most brilliant." — New York Post

"Mr. Shepard is an uncommon playwright and uncommonly gifted…." — New York Times

"…wildly poetic, full of stage images and utterances replete with insidious suggestiveness…." — New York Magazine

About the Playwright:

Sam Shepard (1943-2017) was an American playwright and actor. Born in Illinois and raised in Southern California, he worked as a farmhand and musician before moving to New York to begin his career as a playwright. The celebrated author – who New York Magazine called "the greatest American playwright of his generation" – wrote more than forty plays, eleven of which have won Obie Awards. His play Buried Child won the Pulitzer for drama. Two other plays True West and Fool for Love were nominated for the Pulitzers as well, and are frequently revived. As an actor he appeared in more than thirty films, including an Oscar nominated performance for his role as test pilot Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff.

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