The Prolific Career of Sam Shepard

The Prolific Career of Sam Shepard Sam Shepard, whose work is getting a season-long exploration by Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company, is one of America's most prolific, wide-ranging and most frequently produced playwrights.

Sam Shepard, whose work is getting a season-long exploration by Off-Broadway's Signature Theatre Company, is one of America's most prolific, wide-ranging and most frequently produced playwrights.

Though the spring 1996 Broadway production of his Buried Child was billed as Shepard's Broadway debut, Shepard technically made that debut in 1970, with the transfer of Oh! Calcutta!, which has one skit by him. Buried Child which debuted at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in 1979, was indeed his first full-length drama on Broadway.

Shepard's first plays were produced off-off-Broadway in 1964, and he's debuted most of his important work at Magic Theatre, the Open Theatre, the American Place Theatre and the New York Shakespeare Festival. In addition, the plays -- more than four dozen of them -- have been produced around the world.

Most ran only and handful of performances, but Fool for Love ran an even 1000 off-Broadway performances (his longest-running full-length play) and was made into a movie with Kim Basinger and Shepard himself as the two central characters.

Shepard's plays often deal with family relationships, and with the disparity between American myths and reality. Shepard used to say that his true dream was to be a rock musician or a movie star, and he indeed fulfilled the latter dream, sustaining a successful film acting career in movies including Country, Raggedy Man, Fool for Love and The Right Stuff. For the record, here's a selection of plays written by Sam Shepard:

Cowboys(1964)
Rock Garden (1964)
Up to Thursday (1965)
Dog (1965)
Rocking Chair (1965)
Chicago (1965)
Icarus' Mother (1965)
4-H Club (1965)
Fourteen Hundred Thousand (1966)
La Turista (1967)
Melodrama Play (1967)
Cowboys #2 (1967)
Forensic and the Navigators (1968)
Red Cross (1968)
Skit from Oh! Calcutta! (1969)
Holy Ghostly (1969)
Operation Sidewinder (1970)
The Unseen Hand (1970)
Shaved Splits (1970)
Mad Dog Blues (1971)
Cowboy Mouth (With Patti Smith) (1971)
Back Bog Beast Bait (1971)
The Tooth of Crime (1972)
Blue Bitch (1973)
Geography of a Horse Dreamer (1974)
Little Ocean (1974)
Action (1975)
Killer's Head (1975)
Angel City (1976)
Suicide in B Flat (1976)
Inacoma (1977)
The Sad Lament of Pecos Bill on the Eve of Killing His Wife (1978)
The Curse of the Starving Class (1978)
Tongues (With Joseph Chaikin) (1978)
Buried Child Won 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1978)
Savage /Love (With Joseph Chaikin) (1979)
Seduced (1979)
True West (1980)
Fool for Love (1983)
A Lie of the Mind (1986)
States of Shock (1991)
Simpatico (1994)
Buried Child on Broadway (1996)
When the World Was Green (A Chef's Fable) (1996)

-- By Robert Viagas