Buried Child: A Play
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A newly revised edition of an American classic, Sam Shepard's Pulitzer Prize winning Buried Child is as fierce and unforgettable as it was when it was first produced more than twenty-five years ago.
A scene of madness greets Vince and his girlfriend as they arrive at the squalid farmhouse of Vince's hard-drinking grandparents, who seem to have no idea who he is. Nor does his father, Tilden, a hulking former All-American footballer, or his uncle, who has lost one of his legs to a chain saw. Only the memory of an unwanted child, buried in an undisclosed location, can hope to deliver this family.
things will come back to you. (Pause.) DODGE: You could get me a bottle, ya know. There's nothing stopping you from getting me a bottle. SHELLY: Why don't you get him a bottle, Vince? Maybe it would help everybody identify each other. DODGE: (Pointing to SHELLY.) There, see? She thinks you should get me a bottle. She's a smart cookie. Suddenly, she got smart, (VINCE crosses to SHELLY.) VINCE: Shelly, what're you doing with those carrots? SHELLY: I'm waiting for your father. DODGE: She
what's going on here. Something has fallen apart. This isn't how it used to be. Believe me. This is nothing like how it used to be … SHELLY: Look, you think you're bad off, what about me? Not only don't they recognize me but I've never seen them before in my life. I don't know who these guys are. They could be anybody! VINCE: They're not anybody! SHELLY: That's what you say. VINCE: They're my family for Christ's sake! I should know who my own family is! Now give me a break. It won't take that
Money's on the table. In the kitchen, (VINCE moves toward SHELLY.) VINCE: (To SHELLY.) You'll be all right, Shelly. I won't be too long. SHELLY: (Cutting carrots.) I'll just keep real busy while you're gone. I love vegetables, (VINCE exits, TILDEN keeps staring down at SHELLY‘s HANDS.) VINCE: (Reentering, to TILDEN.) YOU want anything, Dad? TILDEN: (Looks up at VINCE.) Me? VINCE: Yeah, you. “Dad.” That's you. From the store? I'm gonna get Grandpa a bottle. Do you want anything from the
stop to it. (He takes the bottle out again. Another swig. Returns the bottle.) It's not Christian, but it works. It's not necessarily Christian, that is. A pill. We don't know. We're not in a position to answer something like that. There's some things the ministers can't even answer. I, personally, can't see anything wrong with it. A pill. Pain is pain. Pure and simple. Suffering is a different matter. That's entirely different. A pill seems as good an answer as any. Dodge? (Pause.) Dodge, are
division of Random House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto. Originally published in the United States in the collection Buried Child, Seduced, & Suicide in Bb by Urizen Books, Inc., New York, in 1979. Revised in 1997 by Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York. CAUTION: This play is fully protected, in whole, in part, or in any form, under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Empire including the Dominion of Canada, and all