USD Theatre will present True West USD Theatre will present True West, a contemporary comedy by Sam Shepard, March 22-26 at 8 p.m. in the Arena Theatre of the Warren M. Lee Center for the Fine Arts.
Shepard, who is well known for his work in film as an actor, is even more accomplished as a playwright, having authored Buried Child, Fool for Love, A Lie of the Mind, Curse of the Starving Class, and The Tooth of Crime. These plays, along with True West, have garnered Shepard numerous awards including the Pulitzer Prize, an Obie Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, to name a few. A televised version of True West helped to launch the film careers of John Malkovic and Gary Sinise.
True West is set in the Hollywood suburbs. While Mom is away, her Harvard-educated son, Austin, house-sits and uses the opportunity to develop a romantic screenplay which he hopes to sell. His plans are interrupted, however, when his brother, Lee, a drifter from the desert, shows up and pressures Austin into helping him write a "true western." Their collaboration disintegrates into sibling warfare, leaving spectators with a darkly humorous examination of the American family and contemporary culture.
The cast includes Pat Pope, Sioux Falls, as Austin, Tom Simmons, Vermillion, as Lee, Pankaj Challa, Rajahmundry, A.P., Indian, as Saul, the Hollywood producer, and Kaye Hoyle, Vermillion, as the mother. The artistic team is comprised principally of graduate students: Cameron Ulrich directs the action, while Steve Hirsch, Melissa Vatter-Miller, and April Scott designed the set, costumes, and lights, respectively. Undergraduate student Jason Pierret serves as sound designer.
Tickets to True West are $5 for the general public, $3 for senior citizens and youth, and $1 for USD students with ID. As seating is limited, reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the theatre box office at (605) 677-5400.