Theater: Achieving a Vision of Order a Lie of the Mind

by Sam Shepard

Many playwrights master technique, a fair number possess innate narrative gifts, but only a few achieve a genuine, persuasive voice. When plays are described as depicting reality, the statement cannot be taken literally: a set is recognizably a set, not a house or a tree, and speeches palpably differ from authentically aimless conversation. What makes a set seem real, what enables dialogue to stand for experience is the writer's capacity to create an alternative world, distinctively his own, and lure audiences into it. That talent is the true measure of voice, a blend of personality and vision.

Sam Shepard's voice has...

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