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When the World was Green (A Chef's Fable)

Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard
Full Length, Drama
1 man, 1 woman
Total Cast: 2, Interior
ISBN-13: 978-0-8222-2065-7

FEE: $105 per performance.
THE STORY: A hauntingly lyrical memory play, WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN is steeped in the elliptical, poetic style for which Shepard is justly celebrated. Sketched out in just a handful of scenes is a world of sensual delight, of great journeys to distant lands, and exotic food “piled as high as a mountain, glistening in the sun.” But as always, the beauty of Shepard’s landscape is only skin-deep. Under the surface lies a family vendetta that has lasted for seven generations. The play has only two characters, an old man who was once a superb chef and a young reporter who comes to interview him in the prison where he as been locked up for many years after poisoning a man he mistook for his cousin. Their eight conversations are interspersed with a sequence of monologues in which both characters recall incidents from their childhood. These link together to form a tender narrative of regret and loss through which they transcend their memories and reach mutual forgiveness and love.
“Shepard has many imitators, but no one to match his cunning psychological expressionism and comedic ruthlessness.” —Village Voice. “Shepard’s work is a kind of verbal and visual jazz, which surprises you with its penetrating leaps of association and its startling voices.” —The New Yorker.