Buried Child
Press Contact: Samantha Mighdoll - 561.514.4042 x109 - SMighdoll@palmbeachdramaworks.org

Palm Beach Dramaworks
Buried Child
Sam Shepard

Pulitzer Prize-winning play opens March 27
at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre

March 3, 2015 -  The past has a stranglehold on the present in Sam Shepard's Buried Child, a funny and frightening, surrealistic drama about a dysfunctional Midwestern family. Palm Beach Dramaworks presents the Pulitzer Prize-winning play at the Don & Ann Brown Theatre from March 27 through April 26, with specially priced previews on March 25 and 26.


In Buried Child, Shepard addresses themes that have preoccupied him throughout his brilliant career: the breakdown of the American family, the dark side of the American Dream, and the necessity to face and come to terms with the past in order to move forward. The play takes place on a farm that is as barren as the family to whom it belongs. Dodge, the septuagenarian head of the clan, is a bitter alcoholic. His wife, Halie, cloaks herself in the mantle of piety but is, in fact, a hypocrite. Their sons, Tilden and Bradley, are broken and disturbed. When Tilden's son, Vince, pays a surprise visit after an absence of six years, no one knows who he is. And then there's the buried child, whose death is the play's underlying mystery. 

Buried Child is directed by J. Barry Lewis and features Rob Donohoe, Angie Radosh, Paul Tei, David Nail, Cliff Burgess, and Olivia Gilliatt. Scenic design is by Jeff Modereger, costume design is by Leslye Menshouse, lighting design is by Kirk Bookman, and sound design is by Richard Szczublewski.   

The play was first produced in 1978 at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, where it was directed by Robert Woodruff, who also directed the first off-Broadway production later that year with a different cast. Buried Child had its Broadway premiere in 1996, when Gary Sinise directed an acclaimed production that originated at Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. Despite winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979, Shepard had been unhappy with numerous aspects of the play and, in a 1983 interview, called the piece "verbose and overblown." So he went back to work on Buried Child for the Steppenwolf production, re-examining every aspect of the piece. His most notable changes included bringing Vince more into focus and adding much more humor to the play. It is the revised version that is being performed by PBD.


Sam Shepard is one of America's most lauded playwrights. He has written almost 50 plays, including Curse of the Starving Class, True West, Fool for Love, and A Lie of the Mind. The son of an army officer and a teacher, Shepard was born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois, in 1943. He had a peripatetic childhood, as the family moved from base to base. His father was an alcoholic, and his volatile early life is reflected in the themes that recur in his work. Shepard is also a noted actor, whose many films include Days of Heaven, Raggedy Man, Crimes of the Heart, The Pelican Brief, The Notebook, and The Right Stuff, for which he received an Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of astronaut Chuck Yaeger.  

Palm  Beach Dramaworks is a non-profit, professional theatre and is a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the South Florida Theatre League, Florida Professional Theatres Association, and the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County.


The performance schedule is as follows: Evening performances are Wednesday through Saturday at 8PM, and select Sundays at 7PM. Matinee performances are on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2PM. Wednesday matinees and Sunday evenings include a post-performance discussion. Individual tickets are $62, with specially priced preview tickets at $55 and Opening Night tickets at $77. Student tickets are available for $10; tickets for educators are half price with proper ID (other restrictions apply). Group rates for 20 or more and discounted season subscriptions are also available.


The Don & Ann Brown Theatre is located in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach, at 201 Clematis Street. For ticket information contact the box office at (561) 514-4042, or visit www.palmbeachdramaworks.org. Box office hours are  10AM to 5PM Monday through Saturday, and 11AM to 5PM on Sunday. On performance dates, the box office stays open through intermission.
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J. Barry
Rob Donohoe
Angie Radosh
Paul Tei
David Nail
Cliff Burgess
Olivia Gilliatt

Buried Child

 artwork by Fraver




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Palm Beach Dramaworks - 201 Clematis Street West Palm Beach FL 33401 - 561.514.4042