FARMINGTON – Theatre UMF will stage the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Buried Child,” by Sam Shepard, March 6-9 at the University of Maine at Farmington’s Alumni Theater.

Directed by Peter Simmel, UMF associate professor of theater, “Buried Child” explores the lives of a Midwestern family, its long-buried secret and how that secret has caused family members to become alienated and isolated from each other and the world around them.

The setting is a rural Illinois farmhouse, home to an alcoholic grandfather and grandmother and their two tragic sons. The undercurrent of violence and unhappiness in the home is revealed when a long-lost grandson and his girlfriend arrive, only to be faced with the dysfunction of a family trapped by the guilt of their dark secret.

Shepard’s dark vision of a family in turmoil, central to many of his plays, explores family dynamics in the tradition of many of the great American playwrights and brings into question the very meaning of family. “Performing ‘Buried Child,’ requires strong, mature character performances. The seven-member student cast of this production provides a snapshot of the acting talent we have on the UMF campus,” said Simmel.

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1979, “Buried Child,” had its New York City premiere at Theater for the New City in October 1978. It launched Shepard to national fame as a playwright and was revived for a two-month run on Broadway in 1996.

Content is of an adult nature and suitable for mature audiences only.

Cast members are Fred Liebfried of Anson; Mary Ellms, Dexter; James Cummons, Lincolnville; Ryan Patstone, Waterboro; Micaela O’Shaughnessy, Caribou; Gavin Pickering, Lincoln; and Eric Zimmerman, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Crew members: Dan Bilodeau of Temple, UMF assistant professor of theater, production designer; Mandi McClelland of Farmington, stage manager; Grace Roy of Oakland, costume designer; Jared Hanna of Round Pond, lighting designer; and Maria Skillings of Cape Elizabeth, makeup designer.

“Buried Child” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. March 6, 7 and 8 and at 2 p.m. March 9. Tickets are $6 for adults, $5 for non-UMF students, $3.50 for seniors. Tickets may be reserved by calling 778-7465 or purchased at the door.

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