116th Annual Conference - Bellingham, Washington
Friday, November 9 - Sunday, November 11, 2018

Drama and Society II: Sam Shepard's Acting, Roles, and Stages

Session Chair: 
Kimberly Jew, University of Utah
Session 3: Saturday 8:15 am – 9:45 am
Miller Hall 115


  1. Katie Salzmann, Texas State University
    The Johnny Dark and Sam Shepard Collection, housed at the Wittliff Collections, Texas State University, documents the unique relationship between Shepard and his ex-step-father-in-law, Johnny Dark. The archive of letters, photographs, and other documents spans 1972-2011 and provides a deeply intimate look inside Shepard’s family life.  This presentation will provide an overview of the Sam Shepard and Johnny Dark Collection and will highlight how the archive reflects his most challenging roles – those of father, son, husband, and friend.
  2. Marlene Broemer, Finlandia University
    This paper will discuss three of Sam Shepard's acting roles as father, in August: Osage County, Snow Falling on Cedars and Don’t Come Knocking, and show how those sources re-appear in significant ways in the later Ages of the Moon. Film reviews and online interviews with actors and Shepard himself will augment this examination of a single topic, among many that Shepard addressed in his life’s work.
  3. Judith Saunders, Independent Scholar
    This paper focuses on Shepard’s interpretation of the mythical “American Dream” that is embedded in the country’s psyche. It discusses Shepard’s depiction of the violence that occurs when the dream fails to fulfill its promise. I will point to the play’s prescience in how the dream continued historically to fail others, and how it still retains its power as seen in today’s populist right-wing rhetoric that trumpets its unfeasible promises.  
Session Cancelled: