Born in Fort Sheridan, Illinois in 1943, Sam Shepard was the son of an Air Force pilot and schoolteacher. The family was stationed in Guam before moving to Southern California, where Sam grew up. The people and landscapes he knew on the edge of the desert run through Sam’s plays and prose, alongside the mysterious and unresolved relationships between lovers, fathers and sons, memory and trauma. As influenced by the Off-Off Broadway scene of the 1960s as he was by 1950s California and Samuel Beckett’s Ireland, Shepard’s writing pulls from many sides of the human experience. He had life-long relationships with theaters across the country, including Steppenwolf and The Magic, where he was playwright-in-residence for a decade. The author of nearly 60 plays, numerous works of prose, and a long career in film, Shepard’s influence on American theater, cinema and literature runs deep.


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