Fifteen One-Act Plays by Sam Shepard

By Sam Shepard

Full of wry, darkish humor, unheard of mind's eye, unforgettable characters, and exquisitely crafted storytelling, Sam Shepard's performs have earned him huge, immense acclaim over the last 5 many years. In those fifteen one-acts, we see him at his top, showing his trademark skill to painting human relationships, love, and lust with infrequent authenticity. those fifteen furiously full of life performs determine Shepard's prestige as our such a lot audacious residing playwright, unafraid to set genres and archetypes spinning with effects which are completely enchanting. incorporated during this volume:

Ages of the Moon
Evanescence; Shakespeare within the Alley
Short lifetime of Trouble
The Unseen Hand
The Rock Garden
Chicago
Icarus's Mother
4H Club
Fourteen Hundred Thousand
Red Cross
Cowboys #2
Forensic & The Navigators
The Holy Ghostly
Back bathroom Beast Bait
Killer's Head

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The second pair of hands—dainty and youthful—belongs to Viola (Marcia Manon), a “Painted Lady” who inveigles Charles Murdock into a brief, illicit relationship. She is on the opposite end of the spectrum from Sophy: She uses so much makeup and finery that her youthful beauty no longer appears natural. She is a consumer, but not a discriminating one. She leers and winks directly at the camera, suggesting her lower class, “vulgar” status. The third “Pair of Hands” is Juliet Raeburn (Florence Vidor), a fashionable New York dressmaker and the woman with whom Charles Murdock eventually falls in love when he meets her on a hunting trip.

On their arrival back at the London house, there is a shot of her sitting on the bed in the spare room of her son’s house, back to camera, foreshadowing sex scenes on this same bed later. The cool, fresh white in the shot echoes the soft colors in earlier sexless bed scenes with her husband, Toots, as if to remind us of what was lacking in that marriage. In his responses to May, on her return to her son’s house, Darren, parading a classic muscular manhood, shows from the start a sensitivity lacking in her children.

By extension, the film may provide an encouragement (or a warning) to “Victorian” mothers like Sophy: If they discipline their bodies with exercise programs and beauty products, they too can recuperate their youthful attractiveness. ” By the film’s conclusion, however, she has absorbed the precepts of modernity, finally recognizing not only that anyone can be younger and fresher (with the right products and effort), but also that everyone has a responsibility to cultivate youthfulness. When a system of physical culture and careful hygiene gradually allows her to recover a degree of her attractiveness and good humor, Sophy finally agrees to divorce Charles, who immediately marries Juliet.

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