Sam Shepard, 1943-2017. #Ham4All videos. Week in New York Theater

Sam Shepard, a playwright who explored the dark side of the American West in such brutal, elliptical works as “Buried Child” and “True West,” died last Thursday at the age of 73. The marquees of Broadway theaters in New York will be dimmed in his memory on Wednesday, August 2nd, at exactly 7:45pm for one minute.

Shepard was also a reluctant movie star, performing in more than 50 films, including his Oscar-nominated role in “The Right Stuff,” and more than a dozen roles on television.

Having grown up on an avocado farm in California, Shepard moved to New York in 1962, having discovered jazz and the plays of Samuel Beckett. He began his playwriting career at age 21 Off-Off Broadway in 1965. He was not just a rock n roll playwright. He was a rock n roller, writing songs with Bob Dylan, and playing drums with a group called the Holy Modal Rounders. Shepard went on to write more than 50 plays, the last, A Particle of Dread (Oedipus Variations), produced at the Signature in 2014.

“There are these territories inside all of us, like a child or a father or the whole man, and that’s what interests me more than anything: where those territories lie.”

“I’m not doing this in order to vent demons. I want to shake hands with them.”

“I’m a great believer in chaos. I don’t believe that you start with a formula and then you fulfill the formula. Chaos is a much better instigator, because we live in chaos – we don’t live in a rigorous form.”

Obituary New York Times

Remembering Sam Shepard, PBS Newshour

Q & A, American Theatre, 1984

An appreciation by Magic Theater founder John Lion in 1984: “Rock ’n’ Roll Jesus With a Cowboy Mouth. Sam Shepard, like Elvis, has found an infectious groove in the cracks of American mythology”

Week in NY Theater Reviews

To The End of the Land Review: An Israeli Love Triangle Defined By War

NYMF Review: The Goree All Girl String Band. Prisoners Fiddling Their Way to Freedom.

NYMF Review: A Wall Apart. Love and Rock N Roll vs. The Berlin Wall.

Bubbly Black Girl, Oak vs. Mandy, and the Continuing Relevance of Race on Broadway (and the World)

Midsummer Night’s Dream Review: Public Theater Upstaged and Upstaging

Week in NY Theater News

Soho Rep will return to its longtime home with a new season that includes new works from Aleshea Harris and Jackie Sibblies Drury.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s month long #Ham4all fundraising challenge to raise money for the Immigrants: We Get the Job Done Coalition, has concluded.

James Iglehart

Josh Groban

Phillipa Soo

Bobby Cannavale (and his baby peeing in the tub)

Alex Lacamoire (and familiar guest)


I just really love theater.
I love it the way most people love sports or food.
I love everything about it. I love reading it.
I love seeing it even when it’s bad.
I love teaching it. I especially like making it.,,,

I’m not sure it loves me back.

– Jessica R. Williams as a playwright in the Netflix film, The Incredible Jessica James

Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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