The OSU Department of Theatre’s production of True West will hit the stage in its opening night Thursday at 7:30 in 203 Gundersen with more showings on Friday and Saturday. More performances will be hosted on Feb. 21-23.
Sam Shepherd's “True West” is a play following two brothers, one a successful film writer, the other a deviant drifter, who are fundamentally opposite. When they find themselves together at their mother’s home while she is out of town, they engage in a battle of wits as they begin to find some unexpected commonalities between the two of them.
Carly Conklin, the director of the production, said the play is about more than just sibling rivalry; it's about power and deep-rooted issues in America.
“'True West' is a play about identity and what happens when power shifts,” Conklin said. “Sam Shepard, the playwright, sets up a very clear power-dynamic at the beginning of the play that gets completely turned on its head throughout the play. It’s a really tough play. Sam Sheppard was writing about this idea of what the American dream actually is. His characters explore the brutality of what it is to be human.”
Conklin said that this production goes beyond just a form of entertainment, and it can also be an educational and insightful experience for the audience.
“There are wide reaching implications from what you see on stage in this play,” Conklin said. “This play shows the dangers of what happens when you are not expressing yourself, and the needs you have or your anger in a way that is not violent or destructive.”
The play’s characters portray the problems that underlie the power-dynamic in this American family to show the issues and struggles that Sam Shepard hoped to bring to light involving life in America. Conklin said the characters represent the struggle to achieve the idea of the American dream that has been engraved into the lives of Americans from an early age.
In addition to this weekend’s shows, additional showtimes for this play can be found on the OSU Department of Theatre’s website under Current Season.
General admission is $12 and student tickets are $7.