Myth and Gender: Reflection on Sam Shepard's "True West"

Fri, 02/14/2014

Post-Performance Lecture
By Andrew Repasky McElhinney
Thursday, February 20, 2014

Join feature film director and author Andrew Repasky McElhinney as he unpacks what is the “true west” of Sam Shepard’s True West. Creativity struggles with commerce and explores how the Western genre almost always features an intersection of national myth, personal legacy, and gender construction sculpted from truth as much as illusion. Westerns actively present the character and politics of space as they reflect upon the domestication/exploitation of the wild and the very nature of the American home. With Shepard and True West, the genre is taken to a modern, or perhaps postmodern multiplicity—finally ruminating on violence as theater and theater as violence—all in keeping with the West’s bloody mythos and its constant promise of eternal return and rebirth.

Andrew Repasky McElhinney, PhD is the director of the feature films Magdalen (1998), A Chronicle of Corpses (2000), Georges Bataille’s Story of the Eye (2003) and Animal Husbandry (2009). He currently teaches at Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey and is the author of the scholarly work, Second Takes: Remaking Film, Remaking America, published by McFarland and Company. McElhinney’s newest feature film, Christmas Dreams, will be released during the holiday season of 2014. For more information, please visit: