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UPSTAGE SPOTLIGHT TRUE WEST


By Sam Shepard Directed by James Macdonald


Opposites attack in Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about two brothers with more in common than they think. Holed up in their mother’s California house, lowlife Lee (Ethan Hawke) and screenwriter Austin (Paul Dano) wrestle with big issues—and each other. Order vs. chaos. Art vs. commerce. Typewriter vs. toaster...Shepard’s rip-roaring classic returns to Broadway, gleefully detonating our misguided myths of family, identity and the American Dream.


A NOTE FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR TODD HAIMES


True West (originally produced in 1980) deconstructs every concept it touches: brotherhood, talent, creativity, integrity, perseverance. In their feverish battle to sell a screenplay to a Hollywood producer, Austin and Lee dismantle these all-American values one after another and reshape them into a distorted caricature of the rags-to-riches success story. Nothing works as it is supposed to in the dark and twisted world of True West, and this mesmerizing descent into mayhem is what has drawn me back again and again to Sam Shepard’s play throughout the years. True West reminds us that order is just a human invention, as fallible as anything else. As Shepard explodes our agreed-upon definitions of achievement, purpose, and failure, we watch order fall away—and what lies beneath is just as spellbindingly surreal as it is eerily recognizable.


WHERE


The kitchen and adjoining alcove of an older home in a Southern California suburb, about 40 miles east of Los Angeles


WHO Austin: A screenwriter in his early thirties Lee: His older brother, a small-time criminal in his early forties Saul Kimmer: A Hollywood producer in his late forties Mom: Austin and Lee’s mother, in her early sixties


2 ROUNDABOUT THEATRE COMPANY


Cover- Ethan Hawke Photo: Richard Phibbs, Paul Dano Photo: Amanda Demme


Mojave Road Photo: Jim Chaote


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