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Sam Shepard: Seven Plays

Sam Shepard: Seven Plays
Your Price: $23.00 CDN
Author: Sam Shepard
Introduction by: Richard Gilman
Publisher: The Dial Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 368
Pub. Date: 1984
ISBN-10: 0553346113
ISBN-13: 9780553346114

About the Play:

Sam Shepard became one of the most significant American playwrights of the 20th century. The collection Seven Plays contains many of his best plays, which span 1968-1981 and deal with such themes as family disturbances and the loss of American myths; including True West and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Buried Child. Also included in the collection are Curse of the Starving Class, The Tooth of Crime, La Turista, Tongues and Savage/Love (a popular choice for high school theatre productions).

The volume Sam Shepard: Seven Plays is introduced by the drama and literary critic Richard Gilman, who provides a fascinating profile of the author and places the plays in the context of contemporary American drama.

Buried Child: In this Pulitzer Prize-winning play, 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. (Cast: 2 female, 5 male)

Curse of the Starving Class: This Obie Award-winning play, a darkly comic exploration of the American family psyche, is an expository look at four family members of  the Tate family who live on a Californian farm. (Cast: 2 female, 7 male)

The Tooth of Crime: Hoss a rock star battles to protect his territory and the established values of his rock kingdom against the young gypsy marauder, Crow. The play combines elements of myth, Greek tragedy, Westerns, modern rock and roll and futuristic fantasy in a provocative and engrossing pastiche culminating in a sensational verbal duel to the death. (Cast: 1 female, 7 male)

La Turista: In his first full-length play, a man finds that neither a sinister witch doctor nor a crazy American doctor can cure his mysterious illness. (Cast: 1 female, 6 male)

In Tongues, a man's death is only the beginning of a mysterious journey wherein the voices of loved ones inhabit the soundscape of his passing. (Cast: 1 male)

Savage/Love: A collection of monologues that showcase the trials and tribulations of romantic love, loss and new beginnings. (Cast: 1 male)

True West: A moderately successful screenwriter and his drifter brother reunite to discuss their mother's recently abandoned house, leading to the airing of old resentments and some unexpected twists in the relationship. (Cast: 1 female, 3 male)

What people say:

"Along with the Big Three [True West, Buried Child, Curse of the Starving Class], there is the Seven Plays collection, which contains rock'n'roll nightmare The Tooth of Crime, the farce-like fever dream La Turista, the 'piece for voice and percussion' Tongues and the poetry cycle Savage/Love; surely the best-ever value for money a play collection could offer." — The Guardian

"My particular focus is [the play] True West. Students love the archetypal connections to Cain and Abel, the contemporary commentary on Hollywood hustles, and the psychological aspectsDual nature, addiction. In addition, I find Richard Gilman's introduction a helpful learning tool." — Wayne Cresser, Professor of English at Dean College

"One of the most original, prolific and gifted dramatists at work today." — New York Times

"The greatest American playwright of his generation … the most inventive in language and revolutionary in craft, [he] is the writer whose work most accurately maps the interior and exterior landscapes of his society." — New York Magazine

"If plays were put in time capsules, future generations would get a sharp-toothed profile of life in the U.S. in the past decade and a half from the works of Sam Shepard." — Time

"Sam Shepard is the most exciting presence in the movie world and one of the most gifted writers ever to work on the American stage." — Marsha Norman, Pulitzer prizewinning author of Night, Mother

"One of our best and most challenging playwrights … his plays are a form of exorcism: magical, sometimes surreal rituals that grapple with the demonic forces in the American landscape." — Newsweek

"His plays are stunning in their originality, defiant and inscrutable." — Esquire

"Sam Shepard is phenomenal … the best practicing American playwright." — The New Republic

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.