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Fifteen One-Act Plays    by Sam Shepard order for
Fifteen One-Act Plays
by Sam Shepard
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2012 (2012)
Softcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Sam Shepard is one of the foremost playwrights of the latter half of the twentieth century. His genius can be witnessed in Fifteen One-Act Plays, a re-publication of The Unseen Hand and Other Plays, with the addition of three new plays from this century.

Shepard has a knack for writing for a current audience, which is noticeable in the difference between the three additions to the original volume. Ages of the Moon and Evanescence, or Shakespeare in the Alley, both written within the last few years, have a very contemporary one-act feel to them with a more realistic dialogue or monologue pattern than the rest of the plays (Short Life of Trouble is actually the most realistic feeling of all fifteen plays as it should be, as it is based on an actual conversation between Shepard and Bob Dylan).

The original twelve plays, having been written in the 60s and 70s, definitely take on the feel of those decades, a coming into post-modernism by way of absurdism and show a side of Shepard not always obvious in his other, longer works. Even if The Unseen Hand and Other Plays is already part of your collection, Fifteen One-Act Plays is a must for any Sam Shepard fan the three previously uncollected plays are worth it.

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