“In real life we don't know what's going to happen next. So how can you be that way on a stage? Being alive to the possibility of not knowing exactly how everything is going to happen next - if you can find places to have that happen onstage, it can resonate with an experience of living.” – Sam Shepard
Playwright, actor, and television and film director, the multi-dimensional and multi-talented Shepard is the only playwright to ever be nominated for an Academy Award – for his acting (portraying pilot Chuck Yeager in the movie The Right Stuff). Shepard also won a Pulitzer Prize for playwriting – for Buried Child – and has been nominated for or won every major award for his screenwriting and theatrical productions, including an incredible 10 Obies, the highest award for Broadway productions.
More than willing to share his time and expertise, Shepard has done a considerable amount of teaching on how to do playwriting and other aspects of theatre. His classes and seminars have occurred at various theatre workshops, festivals, and universities. He’s been honored for his work with election to The American Academy of Arts and Letters, and as a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation named him forSam Shepard
its Master American Dramatist Award in 2009.
A “November child,” Shepard turned 72 a couple days back and shows no signs of slowing down, not only continuing his writing, directing and acting, but also authoring short stories, essays and memoirs. But, he says, a novel probably isn’t on the agenda.
“To sing a song is quite different than to write a poem,” he said. “I'm not and never will be a novelist, but to write a novel is not the same thing as writing a play. There is a difference in form, but essentially what you're after is the same thing.”
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