Flagler College will host a three-day festival honoring playwright, actor and director Sam Shepard.

ShepardFest Honoring Playwright Sam Shepard

Friday, Aug. 13 – Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021 at Lewis Auditorium

Three-day festival honors American playwright, actor and director Sam Shepard.

14 Granada Street, St. Augustine, FL, 32084
(904) 826-8600
  • Flagler College will host a three-day festival honoring the late playwright, actor and director Sam Shepard, from Friday, August 13, through Sunday, August 15, 2021.

    Named “the greatest American playwright of his generation” by New York magazine, Shepard wrote more than 40 plays and appeared in more than 50 films.

    In a career that spanned more than 50 years, he won 10 Obie Awards (more than any other writer or director). He also won the PEN/Laura Pels Theater Award for American Dramatist in 2009 and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979 for Buried Child.

    The festival will include two nights of The Late Henry Moss, which premiered in the Magic Theatre in San Francisco with Sean Penn and Nick Nolte.

    Staged readings will include Cowboy Mouth, a play written and performed with Patti Smith, and selections of Hawk Moon, Shepard’s first published collection of monologues, short stories and poems.

    Shepard’s final work Spy of the 1st Person will be featured as well as screenings of Blackthorn, a 2011 western film with Shepard as Butch Cassidy and Fool for Love, a 1985 film, which Shepard wrote and starred in.

    The Wild Shiners will perform at 8 p.m. on Aug. 15, 2021. A quintet composed of instrumentally diverse musicians who play everything from banjo and fiddle to flat-pick guitar, upright bass and drums, the Wild Shiners are known for their Southern roots sound, including country, blues, jazz, soul, bluegrass and outlaw country styles.

    Admission: $85 for three-day package covering all events; $15 for the play The Late Henry Moss, and $10 for other events: speakers, films and readings.

    When: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 13 through Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021

    Where: Lewis Auditorium is located at 14 Granada St. in historic downtown.

    Schedule for the Weekend

    Tickets are $85 for the All-Festival package, including all listed events, the opening and closing reception, and the concert. All-Festival tickets are available online here. Tickets for individual events will be on sale online, beginning in July, and at the door.

    Friday, Aug. 13, 2021

    After an opening reception, the festival will start off with the first of two performances of Shepard's play The Late Henry Moss, featuring a professional cast. The Late Henry Moss tells the story of two brothers immediately after the death of their violent and alcoholic father. As with other Shepard plays, this one offers both comedic moments and physic pain, as the characters work through their histories and the moments that changed their family. After the performance, the audience is invited to remain and participate in a discussion with the actors and director. Tickets for the play and discussion are $15.

    Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021

    The day begins at 9:20 a.m. with a discussion about Sam Shepard, the poet, "Sam Shepard — America's Poet Lariat," with panelist, Dr. Steven Burch, Professor of Theater History and Playwrighting at the University of Alabama. Tickets for the Academic Panel are $10.

    At 1:30 p.m., there will be a staged reading of Shepard's one-act play, Cowboy Mouth, about two aspiring rock stars and how their lives have not worked out as they would have liked. Tickets for the staged reading are $10.

    At 3 p.m., there will be a reading of Sam Shepard's final play, Spy of the First Person, as the central character contemplates his life and his imminent death. Tickets for the reading are $10.

    At 4:30 p.m., there will be a screening of the 2011 film, Blackthorn, in which Sam Shepard starred as Jim Blackthorn, the alias taken by Butch Cassidy when he was living in Bolivia. After 20 years of living in exile, Cassidy decides to return to the U.S. In addition to flashbacks of Blackthorn's life as Butch Cassidy, the plot includes stolen money, pursuit by a posse, and a beautiful woman. The film received positive reviews, with the website Rotten Tomatoes where the site's critical consensus reads: "Blackthorn invites comparisons to a classic Western — and survives, thanks largely to a charismatic performance by a well-chosen Sam Shepard." Tickets for the film are $10.

    At 8 p.m., a professional cast brought to St. Augustine for the festival will deliver the second performance of The Late Henry Moss. Tickets for the play are $15.

    Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021

    At 10 a.m., a discussion, "How Can Women Like Shepard?: An exploration of Approaches to Sam Shepard's Work," will feature three panelists from Chipola College: Constance R. Smith, MFA, Director of Technical Theatre; Dr. Pam Rentz, Vice President of Instruction, and Dr. Rachel West, Professor of English. Tickets for the Academic Panel are $10.

    At 11:15 a.m., a discussion, "Acting in Shepard: The Physical Marrying of the Textual and Vernacular in his Works," will be led by Chelsea Nicholson, Assistant Professor of Musical Theater at the Samford School of the Arts. Tickets for the Academic Panel are $10.

    At 2:30 p.m., the 1985 film Fool for Love will be screened. Directed by Robert Altman, and starring Kim Basssinger, Harry Dean Stanton and Dennis Quaid in addition to Sam Shepard — who wrote the original play and the adaptation for film, the plot of Fool for Love revolves around the relationship of former lovers, May (Bassinger) and Eddie (Shepard).Tickets for the film are $10.

    At 7:30 p.m., The Wild Shiners, a local quintet known for their southern roots sound, will perform a concert. Tickets for the concert are $20.

    ShepardFest is supported by a grant from the St. Johns County Tourism Development Council.

    For more information about ShepardFest, visit here.

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