Buried Child

by Karen Phillips Curran

The set for Buried Child, a Sam Shepard play, is finished except for the final touches. It lies in wait in the now quiet workshop; in the dim light, it has a spooky presence, and rightly so. It consists of high walls made of slats, that we wallpapered over then cut out all the slats, it resembles a skeleton of a home. A porch lies behind the walls. Large doors and windows stare like dead eyes towards the audience, action will occur behind them, in jagged, hard to see snippets. Stairs and a tower rise from stage left. All is grey, worn and nicotine stained.Wikipidia says: “Buried Child is a play by Sam Shepard that won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and launched Shepard to national fame as a playwrite. “Buried Child” is a piece of theatre which depicts the fragmentation of the American nucleic family in a context of disappointment and disillusionment with American Mythology and the American dream, the 1970s rural economic slowdown and the breakdown of traditional family structures and values.”Playing at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa Canada from Jan 7-24th.