Western Nebraska Community College’s Theatre Arts department will present “True West” by Sam Shepard on October 19, 20, and 21 in the lower bay area of the John N. Harms Center. Performances begin at 7:30 p.m. on October 19 and 20, with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on October 21.
The theater production, directed by WNCC Theatre Arts Instructor Robert Thompson Jr., revolves around two estranged brothers, Austin and Lee in their mother’s house 40 miles east of Los Angeles. Austin, a screenwriter, is house-sitting for their mom when Lee, a drifter, forces his way into staying at the house.
Eventually, the screenplay Austin is working on is taken over by Lee, which forces the brothers to work together to create a story for their film producer. Throughout the process, Austin and Lee find their roles reversed with Lee turning his focus on the play and Austin longing to vanish into the desert. Their relationship takes a series of twists and turns until it ultimately reaches a breaking point and they each confess of being envious of each other’s lives.
The role reversal theme within “True West” demonstrates the universal message that joy cannot be created by success alone, Thompson said, which is a prevalent lesson for anybody.
“‘True West’ does a fantastic job showing that professional success and happiness do not always go hand-in-hand,” Thompson said. “Through ‘True West,’ we hope people will understand success by modern society’s standards is not a one-size-fits-all concept, which is a lesson, I think, that can speak to almost anybody.”
The cast for “True West” includes James Buxbaum (Lee), Joseph C. Orozoco (Austin), Graham C. Judd (Saul), and Chastity Zoe Maria Brown (Mom). WNCC students, faculty, and staff will be admitted free with an ID. Otherwise, tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door one hour prior to curtain. Or tickets can be purchased in advance by calling the WNCC Foundation Office at 308-630-6550.