Curse of the Starving Class
THE STORY: The setting is a farmhouse in the American West, inhabited by a family who has enough to eat but not enough to satisfy the other hungers that bedevil them. The father is a drunk; the mother a frowzy slattern; the daughter precocious beyond her years; and the son a deranged idealist. As the family decides to sell the house to raise money, the mother talks of running off to Europe or Mexico; the father sobers up and tries to take control; the daughter is blown up in the family car; and the son is left brutalized and bloodied. In the end the characters become a metaphor for the underside of American life—benighted innocents pursuing a dream that remains beyond their reach.
Winner of the 1977 Obie Award for Best New American Play. A major work by one of our theatre’s most respected and celebrated writers, this award-winning examination of the dislocations of contemporary American society was produced with great success in both London and New York. “Shepard has fashioned a play of eloquent intensity, whirlwind farce and resonantly poignant insight.” —Time Magazine.