I am not sure what Shepard is doing in Shepherdstown. The Contemporary American Theater Festival held there is dedicated to performing ‘new American plays.’ There’s nothing new to me about Sam Shepard’s play Heartless; it seems distinctly old hat. I went back to a review I wrote of one of his plays for my college newspaper in 1970, and a number of the things I wrote about that play (The Holy Ghostly) could be said about Heartless. I commented how characters migrate into each other, how they become composites of various characters, how there is no predictable logic to their interactions, and how the drama loses the sense of being story-telling about distinct persons. I compared what Shepard did to abstract painting. And, on the evidence of Heartless, it’s still true.
Posts Tagged ‘Contemporary American Theater Festival’
‘Every good story’s a war story,’ says a character in Scott and Hem in the Garden of Allah, premiering at the Contemporary American Theater Festival. That certainly seems to be playwright Mark St. Germain’s approach in imagining a 1937 encounter between writers F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway.
All of them, then, have one foot in Muslim culture and one in the Western culture Muslim terrorists affect to despise, and that is part of the point author Jon Kern is making about them. Whether they like it or not, they are dual citizens. What enrages them is also a part of them, and it means that in waging war on Americans, they are also waging war on themselves.
H2O will leave you dealing not only with your feelings about the characters, but also reconsidering art, life, and The Meaning of It All.
Satan from Within: A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World at Contemporary American Theater Festival
If George Bernard Shaw had taken it into his head to write a sequel to Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, with an assist from William Shakespeare, he might have come up with something much like Liz Duffy Adams’s A Discourse on the Wonders of the Invisible World.
Theater Reviews Page | Previous Theater Review | Next Theater Review Shepherdstown 2012 and the Rise of the Rolling Premiere Published in the Hopkins Review, Winter 2013, New Series 6.1 Take a healthy organism, deny it the environment in which it grows, and it may seek a new environment and new ways of propagating. Serious American theater […]