Buried Child, 40 Years Later by Gary Brame, Director
My experience with Sam Shepard’s play Buried Child now goes back 40 years. As a 19 year old theatre student I saw the production of the play in New York in 1979, the same year Sam Shepard won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Buried Child. I can still remember the impact the play had on me as a young student who had ambitions to direct one day.
About 5 years later I was working as an actor and director with an experimental theater in Tallahassee called Etcetera Theatre. I had directed a couple of successful productions for the company when I was approached by the members asking if I would care to direct Buried Child for Etcetera's upcoming season and I agreed to do it. This was October 1984. The production was a great success and I am very pleased to have two members of the 1984 cast returning to appear in the play here at Palaver Tree Theater.
This year marks the 40th anniversary of Buried Child winning the Pulitzer Prize and the 35th anniversary of its premier in Tallahassee. The production at Palaver Tree Theater will mark the first time I have agreed to direct a production I have already done. But Shepard’s work and the impact it has had on myself and so many theatre artists and audiences of my generation that I could not help but to revisit the play and see what might come at having another look at it decades down the road.
As I suspected, this production of Buried Child is turning out to be everything I could have hoped for when I started this mission. The play is a most remarkable work by one of our country’s most significant contemporary playwrights. It has lost none of its power to enthrall an audience and I am so pleased and honored to be a part of its return to the Big Bend area.