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When the World was Green (A Chef's Fable)

When the World was Green (A Chef's Fable)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 34
Pub. Date: 2007
ISBN-10: 0822220652
ISBN-13: 9780822220657
Cast Size: 1 female, 1 male

About the Play:

When the World was Green (A Chef's Fable) is a full-length drama by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard. An old man, once an excellent chef, is now in prison for poisoning a man. A young woman comes to visit him, apparently a local journalist with an interest in his case. As their conversations progress, both learn more about each others lives than they could possibly have imagined, or wanted to know. A sensual delight and tender narrative of mutual forgiveness and love.

When the World was Green (A Chef's Fable) is a hauntingly lyrical memory play about an older gentleman who was once a superb chef and a young female reporter who comes to interview him in the prison. She is determined to unearth why he has been locked up and find out what exactly was this mysterious act. When the World was Green is steeped in the elliptical, poetic style for which Sam Shepard is justly celebrated. Though it is sketched in a world of sensual delight, of great journeys to distant lands, and exotic food, the beauty of Shepard's work is that things are not always as they seem with layers to unfold. Under the surface lies a family vendetta that has lasted for seven generations. The play has only two characters, and old man who was once a superb chef, and a young reporter who comes to interview him in the prison where he as been locked up for many years after poisoning a man he mistook for his cousin. Their eight conversations are interspersed with a sequence of monologues in which both characters recall incidents from their childhood. These link together to form a tender narrative of regret and loss through which these two unique characters transcend their memories and reach mutual forgiveness and love.

When the World was Green premiered in 1996 at the 14th Street Playhouse Mainstage during the Olympics Arts Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, then moved to the Joseph Papp Public Theatre in New York. The play has been performed in regional, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 1 male

What people say:

"Shepard has many imitators, but no one to match his cunning psychological expressionism and comedic ruthlessness." — Village Voice

"Shepard's work is a kind of verbal and visual jazz, which surprises you with its penetrating leaps of association and its startling voices." — The New Yorker

"Spun from a web of meditations on everything from cooking to warfare, the play glimmers with Shepardesque themes: the falseness of memory, the gulf between men and women and, above all, the uncertainty of identity... Theatergoers who have lost touch with Mr. Shepard's work are unlikely to find a more solid means of reacquainting themselves with it." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Joseph Chaikin (1935-2003) was an actor and director who invigorated the American stage with his experimental Open Theater in the 1960's and early 1970's. He collaborated with Samuel Beckett and Sam Shepard and staged works in the Joseph Papp Public Theater, Yale Repertory, the Manhattan Theater Club, the Mark Taper Forum and many other theaters. He was the recipient of six OBIE Awards (including the first-ever for "Lifetime Achievement"), a Drama Desk Award, two Guggenheim Fellowships and the National Endowment of the Arts Distinguished Artist Fellowship Award.

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.