資料彙整   /   作家  /  Sam  Shepard  山姆•薛普
Sam  Shepard
山姆•薛普
圖片來源:http://www.departments.bucknell.edu/theatre_dance/shepard/shepard.html
主要文類:Drama
資料提供者:May Su/蘇子惠
關鍵字詞:

Sam Shepard
美國劇作家、作家及演員
May Su/蘇子惠
 
家庭背景
 
  一九四三年十一月五日,本名山謬•謝普•羅傑斯(Samuel Shepard Rogers)的山姆•謝普在美國伊利諾州 薜瑞登堡(Fort Sheridan)出生,由於父親是職業軍人 ,他自小便習於遷徙軍隊基地之間,甚至曾遠赴西太平洋關島(Guam)。他的母親伊蓮•史庫克•羅傑斯(Elaine Schook Rogers)是芝加哥人,跟隨從軍的丈夫山姆•羅傑斯(Sam Rogers)駐紮各基地,直到他退役為止。後來羅傑斯一家定居加州,在杜瓦蒂市(Duarte)落腳,靠種植 鱷梨和放羊維生。在這段期間, 謝普深深愛上了牧場生活,樂於與馬匹以及其他動物為伍。

就讀高中後的謝普對課業興趣缺缺,反而培養了讀詩和打鼓的嗜好,其中 愛爾蘭作家山謬•貝克特(Samuel Beckett,1906 ∼ 1989年)的劇作《等待果陀》(Waiting for Godot)更開啟他早年對文學的愛好,荒謬主義也深深影響了他早期的劇作。 謝普 的父親沉迷於 狄西蘭爵士樂(Dixieland jazz),有父若此,謝普也開始學習打鼓,奠定終生對搖滾樂不渝的熱愛。一九六○年謝普自薜瑞登高中畢業,進入聖安東尼奧專科學校(San Antonio Junior College)念農業系,一年後因父親酗酒導致家庭失和,謝普旋即加入「畢夏普劇團」(Bishop's Company)巡迴演出,儘管正式登台只有短短數月,他十九歲那年仍決定赴紐約闖天下。

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紐約生涯
 
  一九六三年謝普抵達紐約,揚棄本名「史蒂夫•羅傑斯」(Steve Rogers),改成眾所熟知的「山姆•謝普」(Sam Shepard)。他和著名黑人爵士樂手之子 ── 小 查爾斯•明格斯 (Charlie Mingus Jr.)同為室友,後者是謝普高中同窗,替他謀得一份「村門」(The Village Gate)俱樂部差事。謝普在俱樂部打工時,結識 外外百老匯「創世紀」劇團(Off-Off-Broadway's Theatre Genesis)負責人 拉爾夫•庫克(Ralph Cook),庫克鼓勵他棄詩寫劇本,謝普因而完成二齣獨幕劇(one-act play):《牛仔們》(Cowboys,1964年)和《岩石花園》(The Rock Garden,1964年),均由 「創世紀」劇團 在聖馬克教堂(Saint Mark Church)公演。《牛仔們》是謝普的處女自傳劇作,深獲《鄉村之聲》(The Village Voice)雜誌好評,謝普受此激勵後開始大量創作獨幕劇,皆由非主流 劇團擔綱演出,加上他對爵士與搖滾樂的熱情不減,在作品對白中也揉合了音樂節拍和即興爵士樂。

一九六五年至一九六六年間,謝普以《芝加哥》(Chicago,1965年)、《伊卡魯斯之母》(Icarus's Mother,1965年)及《紅十字》(Red Cross,1966年)等劇陸續獲頒《鄉村之聲》雜誌的歐比獎(Obie award)。他的第一齣全幕劇(full-length play)《觀光客》(La Turista,1967年)敘述一對夫婦在前往墨西哥的旅途中,深為腸病所苦。謝普在這段期間結識了作家暨導演約瑟夫•查金(Joseph Chaikin),他倆在七○和八○年代合作無間,搖滾歌手派蒂•史密斯(Patti Smith)也是謝普另一名共事的對象,二人譜寫的搖滾歌劇《牛仔的嘴巴》(Cowboy Mouth,1971年)在蘇格蘭愛丁堡(Edinburgh)首演,儘管同年上演的《瘋狗藍調》(The Mad Dog Blues,1971年)深獲好評,謝普仍決意遠離紐約,舉家遷至英國定居迄一九七四年為止。

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搖滾精神
 
  在謝普的劇作中,搖滾樂不僅扮演了重要角色,也影響了他的美學觀。雖然謝普後來成為劇作家,但在一九七○年初期,他的夢想是當一名搖滾樂手。謝普一九六○年代在搖滾實驗樂團「 Holy Modal Rounders 」擔任鼓手,結合傳統鄉村藍調如查理•卜爾(Charlie Poole)等人的音樂,創作出強調即興演奏和迷幻情境的前衛搖滾樂,這項藝術嘗試在謝普早期作品中屢見不鮮,其中亦不乏搖滾樂團登台表演的情節,這種揉合傳統鄉村音樂和迷幻城市搖滾樂的雛型,演變成謝普後期寫作生涯慣用的手法。

一九七五年,謝普接受來自美國知名民謠/搖滾藝人鮑伯•狄倫(Bob Dylan)策畫的《搖滾時事諷刺劇》(Rolling Thunder Revue)巡演邀請,結識了一干民謠/搖滾明星瓊妮•蜜雪兒(Joni Mitchell)、瓊•拜雅(Joan Baez)、詩人艾倫•金斯堡(Allen Ginsberg)以及小說家威廉•布洛斯(William Burroughs)等人,原本預定謝普寫作此一行程的電影腳本,可惜影片鎩羽未拍成。謝普是鮑伯•狄倫的資深樂迷,能夠側寫這位群眾魅力十足的搖滾巨星,在他而言是難能可貴的經驗。一九八七年謝普出版《搖滾日誌》(Rolling Thunder Logbook),其中可窺見作者對鮑伯•狄倫的迷戀,以及這位搖滾明星白手起家的神話。

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「影像焦慮」
 
  自七○年代初期起,謝普除了寫劇本,還專事表演工作、導戲以及撰寫電影腳本,彷彿缺少其中一項,便無法滿足他無窮無盡的創作欲。一九七八年,謝普在 泰倫斯•馬力克(Terrence Malick)執導的《天堂之日》(Days of Heaven)飾演有錢地主一角而 嶄露頭角,更以 菲力普•考夫曼(Philip Kaufman)的電影《太空先鋒》(The Right Stuff,1983年)的太空人查克•葉格(Chuck Yeager)獲奧斯卡 最佳男配角提名,他的名字開始家喻戶曉。謝普後來專演遊民、牛仔、騙徒等邊緣角色,僅一次擔綱演出男主角,其中知名的有由他編寫、 文.溫德斯(Wim Wenders)執導的經典公路電影《巴黎德州》(Paris, Texas,1984年)。 他 還參與勞勃•阿特曼(Robert Altman)的《愛情傻子》(Fool For Love,1985年)演出,也是改編自他的同名作品。謝普一九八八年執導的《迢迢歸鄉路》(Far North),是獻給現實生活中的明星愛人潔西卡•蘭芝(Jessica Lange),二人合作的電影有《法蘭西絲》(Frances,1982年)、《家園》(Country,1984年)以及《芳心之罪》(Crimes of the Heart,1986年)等。

一九九九年謝普在電影《愛在冰雪紛飛時》(Snow Falling on Cedars)和電視電影《達許和莉莉》(Dash and Lilly)中亮相演出,以達許.漢密特(Dashiell Hammett)一角入圍艾美獎提名。儘管對於上鏡頭感到焦慮不安,這一役卻奠定了謝普不容置疑的偶像地位,但他不喜以名人自居,對電影工作既愛且恨,身為大眾目光焦點,他不得不隱遁於人群中。謝普受訪時曾表示:「拍電影最怕消耗殆盡,演戲很容易太過投入,到某個境界就會迷失自我。影像生產實際上就是從事電影表演,和角色塑造是兩碼事,有時甚至不是真的。」

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婚姻與情史
 
  謝普與女演員歐蘭•強森(O-Lan Johnson)於一九六九年至一九八四年有過一段婚姻,生下一子傑西•莫佐(Jessie Mojo)。後來他拍攝電影《法蘭西絲》,遇見合演對手戲的奧斯卡影后 潔西卡•蘭芝,他倆合作直到一九七○年代末期。一九八二年謝普與第一任妻子 強森分居,翌年和 潔西卡•蘭芝同住曼哈頓,二人生活迄今, 育有一女一子漢娜•珍(Hannah Jane)和山謬•沃克(Samuel Walker)。

搖滾歌手派蒂•史密斯(Patti Smith)在「村門」俱樂部初遇當時在「 Holy Modal Rounders 」樂團擔任鼓手的謝普,他年僅二十六歲,已寫出二十部劇本如《觀光客》及《無影手》(The Unseen Hand,1971年),拿下《鄉村之聲》雜誌頒發的六座歐比獎。謝普鼓吹史密斯替《瘋狗藍調》寫歌,史密斯則慫恿謝普創作散文詩,收錄在劇作《鷹月》(Hawk Moon,1972年)中。可惜史密斯還來不及體會成功的滋味,她和謝普之間緊張的關係已經攀高,他們花了二個晚上合寫的《牛仔的嘴巴》一劇忠實呈現出彼此對峙的過程,史密斯在劇中化身一名女瘋子卡維兒(Cavale),從史利姆(Slim)妻小身邊劫走他,試圖改造他成為「長著一張牛仔的嘴、堅持搖滾精神的救世主」,史利姆反過來指責卡維兒不斷給他灌輸明星夢,同時毀了他的生活。《牛仔的嘴巴》在紐約 American Place Theater 公演,由謝普和史密斯擔任男女主角,但是走馬燈一般忙碌的戲劇生涯,卻也壓得謝普喘不過氣,他演出幾場後決定辭演,跟隨「 Holy Modal Rounders 」赴美國佛蒙特州,不久後更舉家遷至倫敦,徹底遠離毒品和紐約喧囂混亂的生活。

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倫敦生活
 
  謝普在倫敦定居迄一九七四年,這段期間他嘗試創作多幕劇,《罪之牙》(The Tooth of Crime,1972年)和《馬賽夢測者的地理》(Geography of a Horse Dreamer,1974年) 在大西洋兩岸均獲得迴響。《罪之牙》主角是搖滾樂手霍斯(Hoss)和克羅(Crow),他倆在音樂上互較長短的厲害程度,可用西部拓荒時期的神槍手對決來形容。謝普在此劇充分運用語言作為重要手段,例如城市俚語、搖滾樂歌詞以及另類流行語,取代傳統主角的唇槍舌劍。

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主要作品
 
  謝普任職美國舊金山魔幻劇院(Magic Theatre)的駐院作家期間,開啟了他另一個事業的里程碑。他這時期的劇作特色是:追尋身分認同所經歷的自我掙扎以及創作自由,例如一位爵士樂手在《降 B 調自裁》(Suicide in B-Flat,1976年)中,畢生飽受令人窒息的創作欲所苦,《天使之城》(Angel City,1976年)則諷刺電影工業和年輕作家的自甘墮落。自一九七○年代末期至八○年代,謝普以家庭劇(domestic drama)為創作主力,闡述工人階段家庭淪為暴力和犯罪受害者,以《烈火家園》(Curse of the Starving Class,1976年)為例,一個位於美國南加州家庭的崩解,象徵了西部拓荒和美國社會瀰漫的終結氛圍。謝普一九七九年的劇作《被埋葬的孩子》(Buried Child)更榮獲普立茲獎,主角文斯(Vince)返回美國中西部老家,被迫與一群各懷通姦和謀殺鬼胎、並且嚴重精神錯亂的親戚打交道;《真實的西部》(True West,1980年)以性格迥異的兄弟奧斯丁(Austin)和李(Lee)的手足衝突為主軸;《心靈謊言》(A Lie of the Mind,1986年)則延續了作者一貫探討的主題:美國家庭普遍性的情感壓抑。

一九九○年至二○○○年間,謝普在劇作中持續探討美國家庭問題、父子關係本質、對愛情的追尋以及自我身分認同。在《驚悚國度》(States of Shock,1991年)中,隱姓埋名的美軍上校和被截肢的士兵相約在一家餐廳,共度上校之子忌辰;《暗夜驚狂》(Simpatico,1994年)描述曾在一次賽馬作弊贏錢的前合夥人文尼(Vinnie)和卡特(Carter)所衍生的衝突。值得一提的是,謝普中斷二十年後再執導演筒,他的舞台劇《已故的亨利•摩斯》(The Late Henry Moss,2000年)在舊金山魔幻劇院公演,由演技派男星尼克•諾特(Nick Nolte)、西恩•潘(Sean Penn)和詹姆斯•甘蒙(James Gammon)擔綱,劇情敘述一對兄弟接獲父親突如其來的死訊,返家後不得不面對手足衝突以及充滿暴力的童年過往。除了數量可觀的劇作外,謝普也出版了不少散文和詩集。

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Sam Shepard
1943-
American playwright, writer and actor
May Su/蘇子惠
 
 
Family Background
 
  Sam Shepard was born under the name Samuel Shepard Rogers on November 5, 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. As the son of a career army officer, Shepard spent his childhood moving from base to base in the United States and even in Guam. Shepard's mother, Elaine Schook Rogers, was born in Chicago. When Sam Rogers, Sr. was still in the army, Elaine moved around between various army bases, until he retired from the service. The family eventually settled in California, where they grew avocados and raised sheep in Duarte. Shepard liked the atmosphere of the ranch and enjoyed working with horses and other animals.

At high school, Shepard took little interest in his classes, but read poetry and played drums instead. Samuel Beckett's play Waiting for Godot, which he read as a teenager, was a revelation for him. Shepard's early plays especially showed absurdist influence. Also, influenced by his father's interest in Dixieland jazz, Shepard began to play drums and started his lifelong involvement with rock-and-roll music. He graduated from Duarte High School in 1960 and spent one year studying agriculture at San Antonio Junior College, but his family situation deteriorated as his father descended into alcoholism. Shepard fled by joining a touring repertory group called the Bishop's Company. At age nineteen, he determined to seek his fortune in New York with only a few months of professional acting experience.

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New York Career
 
  In 1963, Shepard arrived in New York, where he changed his name from Steve Rogers to Sam Shepard. Shepard lived with the son of the renowned jazz musician, Charlie Mingus Jr., who had also grown up in Duarte. Mingus found Shepard a job at the jazz club, The Village Gate. While working at the club, Shepard met Ralph Cook, founder of Off-Off-Broadway's Theatre Genesis. Cook encouraged Shepard to write plays instead of poetry, and Shepard produced two one-act plays Cowboys (1964) and The Rock Garden (1964) staged in Theatre Genesis at Saint Mark Church in-the-Bowery. His first autobiographical play Cowboys received good review in The Village Voice. Shepard began to rapidly turn out one-act pieces which were performed in Off-Off-Broadway theatres. He also continued his association with jazz and rock music, incorporating the rhythms into his dialogue and including musical riffs in the scripts.

From 1965 to 1966, Shepard won The Village Voice newspaper's Obie awards for his plays Chicago (1965), Icarus's Mother (1965) and Red Cross (1966). His first full-length play, La Turista (1967), is a comedy about a couple who fall prey to intestinal illness while vacationing in Mexico. During these years Shepard met the writer-director Joseph Chaikin, with whom he would collaborate in the seventies and eighties. And with the rock singer Patti Smith, Shepard collaborated on the rock opera Cowboy Mouth (1971), which was premiered in Edinburgh, Scotland. Despite the critical acclaim of Mad Dog Blues (1971), Shepard left New York and moved with his wife and son to England, where he lived until 1974.

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The Spirit of Rock
 
  Rock music plays an important role in Shepard's plays as well as in his general sense of aesthetics. He is a playwright, but he preferred to be a rock and roll star in the early 1970's. Shepard played drums for the experimental band, the Holy Modal Rounders, in the 1960's. The Rounders took traditional country blues music, such as the work of Charlie Poole, and performed it in an improvisational, often psychedelic avant-garde manner. This spirit of artistic daring was rife with Shepard's early plays, which frequently made use of rock bands on stage. The very act of mixing traditional, rural music with psychedelic, urban rock-and-roll appears to be a kind of template for the playwright's later approach to his career and to his art.

In 1975, Shepard was invited to tour with Bob Dylan and his Rolling Thunder Revue, a large band that included Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs. Shepard was appointed to write a screenplay along the way, though the film was never produced. The opportunity provided Shepard, a long-time fan of the cult of Dylan, the rare and bizarre experience of writing the charismatic rock star. In 1987, Shepard published a book titled Rolling Thunder Logbook gives us a clear indication of Shepard's fascination with the rock star and self-made myth of Bob Dylan.

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“Image-Making Anxiety”
 
  Since the early seventies, Shepard has not only written plays but split his time between acting in, directing and writing films, as if no one medium could satisfy his far-ranging creativity. In 1978, Shepard made a big impression playing a wealthy landowner in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven, but it was not until he received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination for playing astronaut Chuck Yeager in Philip Kaufman's The Right Stuff (1983) that he became a well-known actor. Following this success, Shepard went on to specialize in playing drifters, cowboys, con artists and eccentric characters with only the occasional leading role. Some of his more notable works included Wim Wenders's Paris, Texas (1984) which he also wrote. Robert Altman's Fool For Love (1985) was adapted from his play of the same name. Shepard has also directed: in 1988, he made his debut with Far North, a film he wrote especially for his off-screen leading lady, Jessica Lange, with whom he has acted in Frances (1982), Country (1984), and Crimes of the Heart (1986).

In 1999, Shepard appeared in Snow Falling on Cedars and Dash and Lilly, a made-for-TV movie for which he won an Emmy nomination in the role of the titular Dashiell Hammett. Despite of his discomfort with the image, Shepard is assumed in a certain idol status. He does not like to be considered a screen celebrity; his attitude toward film work is ambivalent, and public scrutiny has made him a recluse. He told the media, “There's a definite fear about being diminished through film. It's very easy to do too much of it, to a point where you're lost. Image-making is really what film acting is about. It's image-making, as opposed to character-making, and in some cases it's not true.”

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Shepard's Women
 
  Shepard was previously married to actress O-Lan Johnson from 1969 to 1984, by whom he has one son, Jessie Mojo. He met Oscar-winning actress Jessica Lange on the set of a movie they both starred in, Frances. Toward the end of the 1970s, Shepard began movie acting, often with Jessica Lange. He left O-Lan Johnson in 1982 and moved in with Jessica Lange in 1983, and currently lives with her and their two children, Hannah Jane and Samuel Walker, in Manhattan.

Patti Smith met Shepard at the Village Gate, where he was playing drums with the Holy Modal Rounders. Shepard was only twenty-six at that time, but he had already written twenty plays, including La Turista and The Unseen Hand (1971), and he had won six Obie awards from The Village Voice. He encouraged Smith to do lyrics for his play The Mad Dog Blues, while she urged him to write the prose poems that later appeared in Hawk Moon (1972). Smith had no time to savor her success, for the relationship with Shepard had reached new heights of hysteria. The most accurate picture of their relationship is Cowboy Mouth, a play they wrote together in two nights. Smith's character, Cavale, is a deranged woman who kidnaps Slim from his wife and baby and attempts to turn him into a “rock-n'-roll Jesus with a cowboy mouth.” Slim accuses Cavale of ruining his life by continually tempting him with dreams of stardom. When Cowboy Mouth opened at the American Place Theater, Shepard and Smith starred in the play. But the merry-go-round of life was becoming too much for Shepard, and he left the show after a few performances to join the Holy Modal Rounders in Vermont. Not long afterward, Shepard took his wife and son with him to London, where he gave up drugs and distanced himself from the chaotic life in New York.

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London Career
 
  Shepard and his wife and son moved to London, where he lived until 1974. During this time he wrote several medium-length plays, that were successes on both sides of the Atlantic, for example, The Tooth of Crime (1972) and Geography of a Horse Dreamer (1974). The Tooth of Crime tells the story of two rock musicians, Hoss and Crow, whose battle for prominence in the music industry resembles the actions of gunfighters in the Old West. Language also plays a crucial part in the play, as Shepard employs urban slang, rock lyrics and other pop idioms in place of the conventional weapons of gunfighters.

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Major Works
 
  Shepard's residency at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco began a new stage in his career. The plays from this period typically focus on an artist's pursuit and struggles of identity and creative freedom. Suicide in B-Flat (1976) suggests the stifling of creativity in the life of a jazz musician, while Angel City (1976) satirizes the film industry and the corruption of young writers. Shepard's major plays of the late 1970s and 1980s are domestic dramas in which working-class families become victims of violence and guilt. Shepard uses the dissolution of a southern California family in Curse of the Starving Class (1976) to symbolize the demise of the Western frontier and American society in general. The Pulizer Prize-winning Buried Child (1979) unfolds a man named Vince returns to his midwestern home and confronts with a dangerously unbalanced cast of relatives who harbor secrets of incest and murder. True West (1980) highlights the struggle between the dual natures of two brothers, Austin and Lee. A Lie of the Mind (1986) continues Shepard's exploration of American families in emotional distress.

Shepard's plays dating from 1990 to 2000 continue his examination of the American family, the nature of father-son relationships, and the search for love and personal identity. In States of Shock (1991), a nameless American colonel and an amputee soldier arrive at a restaurant to celebrate the anniversary of the death of the colonel's son. Simpatico (1994) follows the tensions between two ex-partners, Vinnie and Carter, who once made a fortune by cheating in a horse race. After a pause of twenty years, Shepard directed his new play, The Late Henry Moss (2000) in San Francisco at the Magic Theatre, starring Nick Nolte, Sean Penn and James Gammon. In this play, two brothers return home to confront each other and their violent past after the unexpected death of their father. Shepard has published several collections of prose and poetry in addition to his plays.

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References


“Sam Shepard,” in Contemporary Authors Online. (A profile of the author's life and works)

“Sam Shepard,” in Contemporary Literary Criticism-Select. (A brief review of the author's life, works, and critical reception)

“Sam Shepard,” in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 7: Twentieth-Century American Dramatists. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by John MacNicholas, University of South Carolina. The Gale Group, 1981, pp. 231-238.

“Sam Shepard,” in Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 212: Twentieth-Century American Western Writers, Second Series. A Bruccoli Clark Layman Book. Edited by Richard H. Cracroft, Brigham Young University. The Gale Group, 1999, pp. 259-268.


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