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The God of Hell

The God of Hell
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Sam Shepard
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 45
Pub. Date: 2005
ISBN-10: 0822220644
ISBN-13: 9780822220640
Cast Size: 1 female, 3 male

About the Play:

The God of Hell is a full-length drama by Sam Shepard. Emma and Frank live a quiet life with their cows in the heart of Wisconsin. They don't expect anything exciting to come from taking in their friend Haynes, but when a mysterious stranger comes looking for him, this slice of American heartland is turned into a place of paranoia and fear.

The God of Hell focuses on a quiet, respectable couple, Frank and Emma, who raise cows on their rural Wisconsin dairy farm, where nothing ever happens. Soon after they agree to put up Frank's old friend Haynes, who is on the lam from a secret government project involving plutonium, they're visited by Welch, a smooth-talking government bureaucrat from hell. His new brand of brutally coercive patriotism puts Frank, Emma, and Haynes on the defensive, transforming a heartland American household into a political plot involving military secrets, torture, and mysterious blue sparks. The God of Hell is a scathing indictment of the invasion of a cruel new America.

The God of Hell premiered in 2004 at the Actors Studio Drama School Theatre (formerly the Westbeth Theatre Center) in New York's Greenwich Village. Its European premiere was in 2005 at the Donmar Warehouse in London. The play has been performed in regional repertory, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 3 male

What people say:

"Startling … apocalyptic … a confident and unsettling scenario of surreal doom." — The New Yorker

"A robust new farce [that] shows Mr. Shepard's gift for finding deadpan surrealism in bucolic speech…as hilarious as it is sobering." — The New York Times

"Deliriously entertaining and deeply scary…a shivering work of existential mystery." — New York Newsday

"Pungent and poignant … darkly comic … masterfully acerbic." — USA Today

"A funny and furious stab at the Bush Administration." — The Times (London)

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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