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Dark Sam Shepard Play Features Vivid Performances

Oct. 29, 2007 — Many of us jump at the chance to see serious theater when we visit London or New York City, but we fail to support it in our own backyard. Sam Shepard's play "Buried Child" is now being performed at Pistarckle Theater, with one more weekend to go before it closes.
The play is ironic and serious. The acting is superb, with all the characters clearly depicted in their craziness and confusion. The play is well staged: The music and the lighting add to the claustrophobic theme — though one not particularly welcome during our recent bout of confining weather.
Reviewers far more adept than I have difficulty explaining Sam Shepard's plays. "Buried Child" is one of the strangest, but the themes are common — dysfunctional family (are there any functional families?); angry characters who have good reason to be angry, but opt for all the wrong ways of expressing their angst (leaving the audience working hard to sort it out); and the next generation not burdened by the big secret, trying to bring a semblance of normality into the destroyed family.
Astounding fact: 11,000 children were murdered by parents and stepparents between 1976 and 1997, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. There are no accurate statistics of children born as a result of incest. There is no way to measure the degree of family and individual destruction through generations that results from these family secrets. "Buried Child" is a depiction of a family harboring such a secret.
At the risk of neglecting the terrific performances of every one in this play, Daniel Beck must be given high praise for his depiction of Dodge, the defeated father, who "fixed" the family secret and took up life as a raging couch potato. Nikki Emerich's performance as the sanctimonious wife after a drinking binge is not to be missed. We are blessed with a continuous flow of gifted actors who, for reasons I fail to understand, choose to land on our fair island and stick around long enough to find venues for their talents.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the passion and hard work of Emerich, who has developed Pistarckle into theater experiences worthy of her backers and supporters. If you choose not to see this play, please send a contribution to show your support for the continuation of serious theater on St. Thomas.
Don't miss the last shows: Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.
To reserve a ticket, call 775-7877. Mail donations to Pistarckle Theater, 4126 Anna’s Retreat, Tillett Gardens, St. Thomas, VI 00802.

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Oct. 29, 2007 -- Many of us jump at the chance to see serious theater when we visit London or New York City, but we fail to support it in our own backyard. Sam Shepard's play "Buried Child" is now being performed at Pistarckle Theater, with one more weekend to go before it closes.
The play is ironic and serious. The acting is superb, with all the characters clearly depicted in their craziness and confusion. The play is well staged: The music and the lighting add to the claustrophobic theme -- though one not particularly welcome during our recent bout of confining weather.
Reviewers far more adept than I have difficulty explaining Sam Shepard's plays. "Buried Child" is one of the strangest, but the themes are common -- dysfunctional family (are there any functional families?); angry characters who have good reason to be angry, but opt for all the wrong ways of expressing their angst (leaving the audience working hard to sort it out); and the next generation not burdened by the big secret, trying to bring a semblance of normality into the destroyed family.
Astounding fact: 11,000 children were murdered by parents and stepparents between 1976 and 1997, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. There are no accurate statistics of children born as a result of incest. There is no way to measure the degree of family and individual destruction through generations that results from these family secrets. "Buried Child" is a depiction of a family harboring such a secret.
At the risk of neglecting the terrific performances of every one in this play, Daniel Beck must be given high praise for his depiction of Dodge, the defeated father, who "fixed" the family secret and took up life as a raging couch potato. Nikki Emerich's performance as the sanctimonious wife after a drinking binge is not to be missed. We are blessed with a continuous flow of gifted actors who, for reasons I fail to understand, choose to land on our fair island and stick around long enough to find venues for their talents.
We owe a debt of gratitude to the passion and hard work of Emerich, who has developed Pistarckle into theater experiences worthy of her backers and supporters. If you choose not to see this play, please send a contribution to show your support for the continuation of serious theater on St. Thomas.
Don't miss the last shows: Friday at 8 p.m. and Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m.
To reserve a ticket, call 775-7877. Mail donations to Pistarckle Theater, 4126 Anna’s Retreat, Tillett Gardens, St. Thomas, VI 00802.