Curse of the Starving Class: A Play in Three Acts

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Dramatists Play Service Inc, 1976 - Drama - 68 pages
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(Three acts) This Obie Award-winning play, a darkly comic exploration of the American family psyche, is an expository look at four family members of the Tate family who live on a Californian farm. As the four characters shift into adolescence, adulthood and old age, they face the loss of their farm to debt and developers. Weston is the alcoholic father who has driven his family deep into debt. Ella is the mother who is seeking solace outside of her marriage and dreams of escape to exotic locations. Daughter Emma plans to become a mechanic, and pursues her 4-H projects and horseback fantasies with an adolescent?s intensity. Son Wesley looks for a way to keep his family together while changing from a boy to a man. Various secondary characters are interspersed in the story, each trying to exploit the family and take over their land. The play examines the death of the American family as hardship clouds all interaction and any mutual understanding is lost.

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User Review  - AliceAnna - LibraryThing

I just thought this was a piece of crap. The characters were ridiculous. The play doesn't work as a drama or as a farce, yet seems to want to be both. I obviously missed the point, but I DON'T CARE!!!! Read full review

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About the author (1976)

Sam Shepard was born Samuel Shepard Rogers III on an army base in Illinois on November 5, 1943. He briefly studied agriculture at Mount San Antonio College, but dropped out to move to New York in 1962. He wrote more than 55 plays during his lifetime. His first play was produced off-off-Broadway when he was 19 years old and he won the first of his 8 Obie Awards when he was 23 years old. His plays included Chicago, The Tooth of Crime, True West, Fool for Love, A Lie of the Mind, The Late Henry Moss, Heartless, and A Particle of Dread. He received the Pulitzer Prize for drama for Buried Child in 1978. He was an actor for both film and television. His films included Days of Heaven, The Right Stuff, and Baby Boom. He also appeared in the Netflix series Bloodline. He wrote or co-wrote several screenplays including Far North and Renaldo and Clara with Bob Dylan. He also wrote songs with John Cale and Bob Dylan including Brownsville Girl. He wrote several books including Cruising Paradise and Motel Chronicles. He died from complications of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis on July 27, 2017 at the age of 73.

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