True West

by  Sam Shepard

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  3m, 1f

Finalist! 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

This American classic explores alternatives that might spring from the demented terrain of the California landscape.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    3m, 1f
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Pulitzer, From Broadway, From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Senior

Additional Info

This American classic explores alternatives that might spring from the demented terrain of the California landscape. Sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee's trashy Western tale.

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Accolades

  • Finalist! 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Reviews

"True West has [...] arguably become Shepard's signature piece, the leanest, most pointed of his full-length works." - David Krasner, A Companion to Twentieth Century American Drama.

"Shepard's masterwork [...] It tells us a truth, as glimpsed by a 37-year-old genius." - New York Post

"It's clear, funny, naturalistic. It's also opaque, terrifying, surrealistic. If that sounds contradictory, you're on to one aspect of Shepard's winning genius; the ability to make you think you're watching one thing while at the same time he's presenting another." - San Francisco Chronicle

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, 1980s
  • Setting: A kitchen and adjoining alcove in a suburb forty miles outside of Los Angeles.

Casting

3m, 1f

AUSTIN

LEE

SAUL KIMMER

MOM

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Authors

Sam Shepard

Sam Shepard

True West premiered at the Magic Theatre in San Franciso on July 10, 1980.

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