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Student Production in search of “True West”

February 18, 2002

WHAT: Student Production in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU presents “True West,” one of the seminal works of American playwright Sam Shepard. A play of brotherly love, jealousy and hatred, “True West” is directed by graduate student Michael Saar and features actors Shawn Murphy and J-T Hallet.

Student Production is a student driven organization within the department of Theatre that is dedicated to bringing student work to life on stage.

WHEN: February 24–26, 2002, at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: The Student Laboratory Theatre at the Prism, 851 E. Tyler Street in the Ritter Building on the ASU campus (northwest corner of Terrace and Rural, just south of University Drive).

TICKETS: $3 available at the door only.


Having earned renown several times over in the theater world, Sam Shepard’s work is known largely for it observations of human nature, with particular attention to the search for self-identity.

“True West” tells the story of Austin, a straight-laced screenwriter whose life is shattered when his estranged brother, Lee, shows up. The forced encounter leads both brothers to slowly lose themselves: Lee angles himself into the legitimate movie business, while Austin takes his brother’s life of crime by the reins.

Director Michael Saar is no stranger to Shepard’s style of psychologically complex stagecraft. Previous projects Saar has directed, such as Harold Pinter’s “Dumb Waiter,” John Guare’s “The Loveliest Afternoon of the Year,” and Samuel Beckett’s “Come and Go,” all deal with similar issues of duality in identity and the breakdown of human communication. “True West is a project that I’ve been wanting to do for a while,” explains Saar. “It’s the natural progression in my career as a director.”

“True West” is the second entry in a diverse Student Production season, including the student-written “Endless Deep and Closer Still” by AJ Morales on April 14-16, 2002, and Christopher Marlowe’s “The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus” on April 28-30, 2002.

Media Contact:
Megan Krause