SUNY-New Paltz stages Sam Shepard’s Buried Child

The drama that in 1978 firmly established Sam Shepard’s name among the pantheon of great modern playwrights, Buried Child, is a strange and challenging piece of work. By turns grim, darkly comedic and mystifyingly symbolic, the Pulitzer Prizewinning play examines the crumbling of the American Dream through the breakdown of one rural family with some serious skeletons in its closet.

Set against a 1970s landscape of drought, recession and the decline of the family farm, Buried Child has reclaimed its sociopolitical relevance in these times of economic paralysis and disastrous climate change. That makes it an apt vehicle for revival by the Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY-New Paltz, in the intimate proscenium setting of the Parker Theatre. The Gala that will open the production’s run on Wednesday, February 26 is already sold out, but you can still get tickets to performances Thursdays through Sundays from February 27 through March 9.

The SUNY-New Paltz Mainstage production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, directed by Frank Trezza, has curtain times of 8 p.m. on Thursdays through Saturdays, plus 2 p.m. Sunday matinées. The February 27 performance will include a pre-show talk about the play at 6:30 p.m., and the February 28 show will feature a post-show talkback with the cast, crew and creative staff.

Tickets cost $18 for general admission, $16 for seniors, faculty/staff and non-SUNY-New Paltz students and $10 for SUNY-New Paltz students. They can be purchased in person at the Parker Theatre box office Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or one hour prior to the performance; by calling (845) 257-3880; or online at

Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, Thursday-Saturday, February 27-March 1, March 6-8, 8 p.m., Sunday, March 2 & 9, 2 p.m., $18/$16/$10, Parker Theatre, SUNY-New Paltz, 1 Hawk Drive, New Paltz; (845) 257-3880,

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