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The Black Box to present Sam Shepard plays, including U.S. Premiere of "Little Ocean"

originally published: 08/21/2023

The Black Box to present Sam Shepard plays, including U.S. Premiere of "Little Ocean"

Photo of Mr. Shepard by Brigitte Lacombe

(ENGLEWOOD, NJ) -- The Black Box - NJ's incubator for new and under-produced works by world-class artists - is proud to present Sam Shepard's groundbreaking plays ActionThe Unseen Hand, and the U.S. premiere of the unpublished Little Ocean, running from September 21 through October 8.  For this 2023-24 Season opening fundraiser, limited tickets for 10 shows only are now on sale for performances on the 2nd floor of 8 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how The Black Box brings Little Ocean to life. Sam wrote it for me and two of my actress friends when we were living in London in the 70's. And no one has tried it since," says O-Lan Jones, who has been in touch with the creative team from the West Coast.

The Black Box Repertory Company's stellar ensemble for this unique evening of must-see theater features regulars Michael Gardiner, Danielle MacMath (also Promotional Art Designer), Ilana Schimmel (also Production Designer), J Niles, Arthur Gregory Pugh, Daniel Yaiullo, and Sarah O'Sullivan. The Production Stage Manager is Eva Burke, Incidental Music is by Ben Shanblatt, and the Director is Matt Okin.

Sam Shepard’s first New York plays, Cowboys and The Rock Garden, were produced by Theatre Genesis in 1964. For several seasons, he worked with Off-Off-Broadway theatre groups including La MaMa and Caffe Cino. Eleven of his plays won Obie Awards, including ChicagoThe Tooth of the Crime, and Curse of the Starving Class. Other award-winning plays include Fool for LoveTrue WestA Lie of the Mind, and Buried Child, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize in 1979.  In 1986, Shepard was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the Gold Medal for Drama from the Academy in 1992. He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame two years later. As a writer and director, he filmed Far North and Silent Tongue. As an actor, he appeared in numerous films, including The Right StuffDays of Heaven and Resurrection. His final works of prose, The One Inside and Spy of the First Person, were published in 2017, the year of his death.

"Sam Shepard was a dreamer, a poet and a showman. How exciting that Black Box are giving us this chance to see some of his rarely seen early plays. Theatre magic." - Nancy Meckler, original director of select Shepard plays in London and NY

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Since Fall 2021, The Black Box has continued to incubate new and under-produced plays by world-class artists such as Eric Bogosian, Paul Schrader, Beth Henley, Craig Lucas, Neil Labute, and most recently John Patrick Shanley. Collaborations are now underway with The Estates of Edward Albee and IB Singer as well as with artists including Craig Lucas & Craig Carnelia, Migdalia Cruz, John Lahr, Daniel Handler, Ken Levine, Ishmael Reed, Halley Feiffer, and Billy Martin.

In addition to the Estate of Sam Shepard, Action and The Unseen Hand are presented in special arrangement with Concord Theatricals Inc. on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.




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