Buried Child

Character: Shelly

Directed by: Robert Woodruff

Written by: Sam Shepard

Produced by: Circle Repertory Company

Cast Members: Jacqueline Brookes, William M. Carr, Christopher McCann, Tom Noonan, Edward Seamon, Bill Wiley

Venue: Circle Theatre

Production Dates: June 20, 1979 - September 29, 1979

Genre: Drama

Dodge and Halie are barely hanging on to their farmland and their sanity while looking after their two wayward grown sons Tilden and Bradley. When their grandson Vince arrives with his girlfriend Shelly, no one seems to recognize him, and confusion abounds. As Vince tries to make sense of the chaos, the rest of the family dances around a deep, dark secret.

In Mary’s Memories…

In the rehearsal process of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child in New York, right before we opened, the director turned to all of us and said I want you to go out there and try some new things, don’t be afraid to make a mistake just because it’s your opening. It was an extraordinarily freeing concept, we all responded and did some of our very best work. I’ve kept that close to me during moments of extreme pressure. It is a great reminder that the point is to come out and offer your creativity freely and surprise the audience and hopefully surprise yourself. [from Reddit Chat]


I remember vividly first seeing her in Sam Shepard’s Buried Child as Shelley, the giggly, hippie-chick girlfriend of the youngest son; the only character onstage not part of the family circle, she seemed literally to be acting at a different speed from the others, a walking 45 in a roomful of long-playing records. The performance had such a distinctive rhythm that it seemed ingrained, a quality McDonnell would be hired to demonstrate again and again.Don Shewey

Script developed by Never Enough Design