Post-Show Talk Sat 16 November
|Sam Shepard - photo courtesy of the Magic Theatre, San Fransisco|
With a career that spans 40 years, Shepard has gained fame and critical regard for acting, television and film directing as well as his stage works. He has amassed numerous awards and prizes throughout his considerable career, including the Pulitzer prize for Drama for his play Buried Child (1979) and a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in Philip Kaufman’s The Right Stuff (1983). 11 of his plays have won Obie awards, as well as various critics’ awards. He has also received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1994.
Shepard has also written several books of short stories, essays and memoirs. Notions of the American cultural landscape, identity and the Western are strong themes throughout his works and it is clear from the success of his career that his plays have found a deep resonance in America’s cultural imagination. His writing was commonly populated with drifters, fading rock stars and others living on the edge, which can be traced back to his own self-styled rock ‘n’ roll aesthetic. Read more about the context in which he wrote True West on Phillip Breen's Director's Blog.
Shepard’s coming and goings in the media and artistic collaborations include a relationship with singer-poet Patti Smith in 1971 (who he recently shared the stage with in 2012 at the Abbey Theatre in Dublin) as well as joining Bob Dylan’s Rolling Thunder Revue in 1975 (Dylan’s travelling band of musicians who covered the northern hemisphere in the mid seventies).
|Sam Shepard and Patti Smith, date and photographer unknown|
Shepard was also a successful actor (being tall, brooding and handsome!) He began his acting career in 1978 in Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven (1978) with co-stars Richard Gere and Brooke Adams. Since then, he regularly landed acting roles and has appeared in over 50 films including the aforementioned The Right Stuff, Paris, Texas (1983, co-written by Shepard with Wim Wenders), Steel Magnolias (1989), Black Hawk Down (2001) and Don’t Come Knocking (2005, also co-written with Wim Wenders).
|Shepard as Chuck Yeager in The Right Stuff (1983)|
True West | Citizens Theatre 29 Oct - 16 Nov 2013