Sam Shepard 1943-
Born Samuel Shepard Rogers.
Emerging from the off-off-Broadway theater community in the 1960s, Shepard has been acclaimed as the premier American dramatist of his generation, particularly for his explorations of American myths and archetypes. Shepard's works are marked by a highly theatrical presentation emphasizing forceful language and visual imagery, and they commonly possess enigmatic structures that can be interpreted on both mythic and realistic levels. Thematically, his work often confronts the cultural identity of the United States, utilizing cowboy trappings and Western locales to dramatize the influence and corruption of the American frontier. Shepard has also been concerned with the dynamics of the American family, portraying the irresistible yet sometimes destructive force that relatives wield over one another.