True West was the first play of the year in the UCC-BSS co-curricular program. From the stellar performances, to the excellent stage design and overall production, it was an impressive night of theatre by any measure.
Sam Shepard is one of the most important American playwrights of the twentieth century, and True West is the playwright’s/actor’s masterwork. The play appeared in 1981, soon after the Reagan years began in the United States, and not long after Richard Nixon resigned as President in the wake of Watergate. The play takes place in southern California, still a mythic location: the Gold Rush, Hollywood, the American Dream; the play includes humour and culminates in confrontation. And there are also more toasters in True West than in any other American play.
True West examines a clash of ideas and values between brothers Austin, a screenwriter (Theo Iordache, IB2), and Lee, a drifter (Devin Lee, IB1). Finding his way into the mix is Saul Kimmer, a Hollywood producer (Charlie Hughes, IB1); and eventually “mom,” (Naomi Chen, grade 11), mother of Austin and Lee, appears on the scene as well. The intimate lecture theatre space placed the audience in the middle of the maelstrom.