Article Title

Understanding Sam Shepard's Realism


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Sam Shepard is a playwright who developed in the 1960's and in many ways is still a product of the 1960's~ His early work dearly reflects the experimentation and innovation of that turbulent era in American theater. But his more recent work has adopted a traditional bent that has often led critics to wonder if Shepard has lost the vitality of his early period. This turn to the traditional, however, is not the result of a loss of faith in the ideas and ideals of the Sixties but is the result of a maturing process that has allowed Shepard to drop the more sensational trappings of experimental theater and blend the distilled thought of the period into more traditional forms. The. clearest reflection of that revitalizing fusion is a surfacing in his works of realism, the dominant form in American theater for at least the last eighty years. Shepard's realism has given new life. to and demonstrated the flexibility of the realist form while at the same time making his own work more accessible to a wider audience and aligning it with a long tradition in American theater.

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