East Falls’ historic Old Academy Players presents Buried Child by Sam Shepard

by Patricia Bradford

PHILADELPHIA, PA – East Falls’ historic Old Academy Players proudly continues its 97th season by presenting its 524rd production, Buried Child by American playwright, Sam Shepard. Directed by Nancy Ridgeway with set design by T. Mark Cole, the show dates are: February 28, 29, March 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15, 2020; Friday and Saturday at 8:00PM and Sunday at 2:00PM.

This drama takes a macabre look at one American Midwestern family with a very dark secret. When Vince brings his girlfriend, Shelly, home to meet his family, she is at first charmed by the “normal” looking farm house which she compares to a “Norman Rockwell cover or something” — that’s before she actually meets his crazy family — his ranting, alcoholic grandparents (Dodge and Halie) and their two sons: Tilden, a hulking semi-idiot, and Bradley, who has lost one leg to a chain saw. Strangely, no one seems to remember Vince at first, and they treat him as an intruder. Eventually, however, they seem to accept him as a part of their violently dysfunctional family.

Buried Child won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and launched Shepard to national fame as a playwright. In 1979, Shepard also won the Obie Award for Playwriting. The Broadway revival in 1996 received five Tony nominations, including Best Play.

Samuel Shepard Rogers III, known professionally as Sam Shepard, was an American actor, playwright, author, screenwriter, and director whose career spanned half a century. He won ten Obie Awards for writing and directing, the most won by any writer or director. He wrote 44 plays as well as several books of short stories, essays, and memoirs. Shepard was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of pilot Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film The Right Stuff. He received the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award as a master American dramatist in 2009. New York magazine described Shepard as “the greatest American playwright of his generation.”

Old Academy Players’ stellar cast includes: Charles Hoffmann as Father Dewis, Eric Rupp as Bradley, Kelsey Hébert as Shelly, Lee Stover as Vincent, Lorraine Barrett as Halie, Rob Rosiello as Tilden, and Tim Andersson as Dodge.

Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2 pm. Parking for all performances is free. Ticket price is $20 per adult; $10 per student with valid ID. Buy tickets online at www.OldAcademyPlayers.org. Old Academy welcomes groups! Take advantage of group discount pricing ($17 per person with 15 or more people in a group). Call 215-843-1109 for more information and tickets.

Old Academy Players, where Grace Kelly and Robert Prosky made their stage debuts, is a non-profit community theater located at 3544 Indian Queen Lane in East Falls (Philadelphia), the urban village on the Schuylkill River. Constructed in 1819, the Old Academy building has been the OAP home since 1932. Old Academy Players has provided continuous community theater since 1923 and is a member of the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance.

Theater/Organization: OLD ACADEMY PLAYERS
Theater Address: 3544 Indian Queen Lane Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19129 (Map It)
Theater Phone: (215) 843-1109

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