Oh! Calcutta!, 1969
Shepard contributed sketches to this watershed 1969 Off-Broadway revue, which featured nude actors and an in-your-face exploration of sex. A Broadway revival ran from 1976 until 1989, making it the longest-running revue in the history of the Great White Way.
Cowboy Mouth, 1971
Shepard and his then-lover Patti Smith collaborated on a play about a woman (played by Smith in the American premiere) who kidnaps a man (Shepard) at gunpoint in order to turn him into a rockstar. The two fall in love and fight, eat, and occasionally sing their way through this avant-garde one act.
This black comedy revolves around the four members of the Tate family as they struggle with poverty on a California farm. First produced in London, it had its American premiere at the Public Theater in New York. James Woods and Kathy Bates starred in the 1994 film version.
Buried Child, 1978
Buried Child won the 1979 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. A surrealistic family drama, the plot focuses on the return of Vince to his grandparents’ farmhouse, and the secrets buried there by his deteriorating family members. Originally produced at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in 1978, Buried Child was revived at Steppenwolf in Chicago in 1996. That production transferred to Broadway and was nominated for five Tony Awards.
Fool for Love, 1983
Fool for Love, set in a motel room in the desert, is about half-siblings who began a relationship before knowing about their blood ties. It opened at the Magic Theatre and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist. The production, directed by Shepard and starring Ed Harris and Kathy Baker, opened off-Broadway that year and ran for 1000 performances. Shepard himself starred in the 1985 film adaptation. It was revived on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club in 2015.
A Lie of the Mind, 1985
Shepard’s longest play, A Lie of the Mind clocks in at nearly four hours. The plot revolves around two families brought together by domestic abuse: the son of one has nearly killed his wife. The original off-Broadway production starred Harvey Keitel. In 2010, Ethan Hawke directed a revival at The New Group.