by Sam Shepard

Sam Shepards " Buried Child " im F40, english theatre berlin, Premiere 15. April 2010.A quirky, often frightening family of antagonists in a claustrophobic farmhouse somewhere in the American Midwest

Buried Child is a macabre look at an American Midwestern family with a dark, terrible secret. The father stopped planting crops in his fields and took to smoking, drinking and watching TV. His wife, apparently seeking salvation, turned to religion. Her son went insane with guilt and grief, spent time in jail and only recently returned to the farm, perhaps to set everything right. With the arrival of the estranged grandson and his girlfriend, Shelly, the secret is drawn out into the light of day, and the family curse apparently lifted…

With its lower-class, sometimes humorous, recognizable characters and dialogue, Buried Child resembles the mid-century American realism and grotesquerie of Arthur Miller or Tennessee Williams. However, its roots in ritual and its approach to monumental, timeless themes of human suffering – incest, murder, deceit and rebirth – resemble the destruction wreaked by the heroes of Greek tragedy. The play contains many of Shepard’s favorite motifs: a quirky, often frightening family of antagonists in a claustrophobic farmhouse somewhere in the American Midwest.

“We don´t know each other in America. It starts on the family level, and there are certain areas in the country like in the west and in the south where `family´ is very strong, and there are other areas where it doesn´t even exist! People don´t have any connection whatsoever to each other, to their siblings, or know who their father is or their mother, they´re just wild.

I´m haunted by that character. The American character is more about that than anything else, more than success, more than power and strength and all the other things that we present ourselves to be. It´s more about the strange, strange lack of identity. We don´t really know who we are, we never have known who we are. We’ve invented it! We don´t have a clue! We´re like wandering vagabonds!” Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard is one of America’s most prolific playwrights and actors of our time. Famous for his acting roles in such movies as The Right Stuff, Homo Faber, Black Hawk Down and The Assassination of Jesse James, he made a name for himself very early as a writer of plays such as True West and Fool for Love. For Buried Child he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Best Drama in 1979. He also wrote numerous movie scripts, two of them for German director Wim Wenders (Paris Texas and Don´t Come Knocking). In his plays Shepard dissects the rituals, the vernacular and the moral codes of the American lower class with a crude mixture of action, sarcastic humour and bone-dry realism.

Veronika Nowag-Jones has directed numerous plays by Brecht, Tabori, Shepard, Euripides and others for theatres in Berlin, New York City (NY), Louisville (KY), Philadelphia (PA), and Atlanta (GA).

English Theatre Berlin presents Buried Child as a Germany premiere in collaboration wth 7 Stages Theatre Atlanta.

  • Thurs, April 15, 2010 | 8pmMain Stage

with 14 additional performances until May 2, 2010

A co-production of ENGLISH THEATRE BERLIN and 7 STAGES THEATER, Atlanta (Georgia)

with Del Hamilton, Faye Allen, Tomas Spencer, Jeffrey Mittleman, Harvey Friedman, April Small, Errol  T. Harewood

directed by Veronika Nowag-Jones

Musical Direction by Errol T. Harewood

Set and Costumes by Tomas Fitzpatrick

Lighting by Katri Kuusimäki

Text auf deutsch

Sam Shepard gilt als einer der wichtigsten US-amerikanischen Bühnenautoren unserer Zeit. Berühmt wurde er als Schauspieler in Filmen wie The Right Stuff, Homo Faber oder Black Hawk Down, zuletzt in The Assassination of Jesse James sowie als Drehbuchautor für die Wim Wenders-Filme Paris Texas und Don´t Come Knocking. Für Buried Child erhielt er 1979 den Pulitzer-Preis, einen der bedeutendsten Literaturpreise der USA. In seinen Stücken seziert er die Rituale, das Vokabular und das moralische Korsett der amerikanischen Lower Class mit einer kruden Mischung aus Witz, Action und knochentrockenem Realismus.

Das ENGLISH THEATRE BERLIN präsentiert Buried Child zum ersten Mal in Deutschland, als Co-Produktion mit dem Theater 7 Stages.

Regisseurin Veronika Nowag-Jones hat Stücke von Brecht, Tabori, Euripides, Shepard und anderen an Theatern in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta, Louisville und Berlin inszeniert.

Buried Child wirft einen makabren Blick auf eine Familie im amerikanischen Mittelwesten, die ein schreckliches Geheimnis hegt: Dieser Akt der Gewalt hat die Familie zerstört. Der Vater wurde zum Säufer, die Mutter fand Trost in der Religion, ihr Sohn Tilden drehte von Schuldgefühlen geplagt durch und kam in den Knast. Jetzt, da endlich alle da sind – die beiden Söhne, der Enkel Vince mit seiner Freundin Shelly – geht es ans Eingemachte….

Ein genauso komischer wie schmerzhafter Blick auf die Geheimnisse und Gewohnheiten einer Lower Class-Family aus Amerikas Mittlerem Westen.