Sam Shepard on...himself


Our Production Dramaturg William Steinberger has pulled some key quotes from Sam Shepard. We will share Mr. Shepard's thoughts about his past, his family, and himself.

Sam Shepard on himself:

“I’ve heard writers talk about ‘discovering a voice,’ but for me that wasn’t a problem. There were so many voices that I didn’t know where to start. It was splendid, really; I felt kind of like a weird stenographer. I don’t mean to make it sound like hallucination, but there were definitely things there, and I was just putting them down. I was fascinated by how they structured themselves, and it seemed like the natural place to do it was on a stage. A lot of the time when writers talk about their voice they’re talking about a narrative voice. For some reason my attempts at narrative turned out really weird. I didn’t have that kind of voice, but I had a lot of other ones, so I thought, Well, I’ll follow those. – The Paris Review, 1997

I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing and endings are a disaster. … The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning. That’s genius. Somebody told me once that fugue means to flee, so that Bach’s melody lines are like he’s running away.  … To me there’s something false about an ending. I mean, because of the nature of a play, you have to end it. People have to go home.  – The Paris Review, 1997

“To me one of the strangest and most terrifying things about being human is the need to come up with an identity. It has always bewildered me, and I can say that even now it’s still mostly unresolved…’Who am I?’ – Forward to Mary Motley Kalergis’ Seen and Heard

“I honor those that came before me; if you don’t honor your ancestors, you commit a kind of suicide.” – The Almeida Theatre



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