Buried Child at TheatreWorks 

What if everything you believe about you, your family, your country, and everything else is just a half-buried memory and lies? It's a recurring theme in plays by the actor, cowboy poet, filmmaker, and sometimes drummer Sam Shepard, who died earlier this year. It's one that winds in and out of his Pulitzer-winning Buried Child, opening at TheatreWorks this week.

With an ear for vernacular, taste for the absurd, and a gift for penning intense dialogue that plays out at the edge of slapstick, Shepard's work ranges from bizarre Twilight Zone scenarios to epic American tragedies about broken homes, broken people, endless war, and a primal urge for new frontiers. This week, New Moon, an ambitious company that's delivered jarring productions of Tracy Letts' Bug and Killer Joe, turns its attention to Shepard. Buried Child is about a dysfunctional, dishonest, and partially dismembered family whose secrets come crawling out of the ground when grandson Vince brings his girlfriend Shelly home to meet the folks.

click to enlarge Buried Child
  • Buried Child

"You know New Moon has done the zombie plays, and we did Frankenstein," Buried Child director Gene Elliott says, describing his company's dedication to great scripts and Halloween-season thrills. "But unless you want to do the same stuff over and over, there's only so much of that available. But when you start looking at plays that are just really creepy, there's a whole lot more to choose from. And a lot of that stuff is really good.

"Buried Child's got a little something to make everybody uncomfortable," Elliott says. "And it's so funny."

Elliott directs a top-shelf cast that includes Stephen Garret, Emily Peckham, Mersadies Burch, and James Dale Green as the sickly, couch-bound patriarch Dodge.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.


Favorite

Tags:

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Blogs

We Saw You

Stumbling Santa, Crosstown Concourse, Red Boa Ball and more!

Intermission Impossible

Family Business: A Capote Christmas From Voices of the South

Hungry Memphis

PETA At It Again

News Blog

Report: Memphis Internet Slowest in the Country

Beyond the Arc

Bah Humbug! Memphis Should Have Seen Joakim Noah Coming

Hungry Memphis

The Vault Unlocks New Menu

News Blog

Memphis Man Gets Eight Years for Selling Heroin

ADVERTISEMENT

More by Chris Davis

Readers also liked…

ADVERTISEMENT
© 1996-2018

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation