bekah brunstetter
Bekah Brunstetter I care deeply. About a lot of things. Like really, really deep. Ow
playwright in brooklyn, NY

‘when you hit a wall, just kick it in’

August 1st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter

Yesterday we lost a brilliant playwright / thinker / actor / human, Sam Shepard, to Lou Gehrig’s disease. Just as every theater person ever has now expressed on the internet: I, too, was obsessed with his plays in college and grad school: Buried Child, True West, Fool for Love, Curse of the Starving class. They taught me how a play could be a poem that was alive,  but that also contained active human beings who want things. His characters are brutally honest and his imagery is effortless. In his honor, I’m spending my lunch break hanging out with his memory via some of his quotes.  A few favorites:

“Look it – you start out as an artist, I started out when I was nineteen, and you’re full of defenses. You have all of this stuff to prove. You have all of these shields in front of you. All your weapons are out. It’s like you’re going into battle. You can accomplish a certain amount that way. But then you get to a point where you say, “But there’s this whole other territory I’m leaving out.” And that territory becomes more important as you grow older. You begin to see that you leave out so much when you go to battle with the shield and all the rest of it. You have to start including that other side or die a horrible death as an artist with your shield stuck on the front of your face forever. You can’t grow that way. And I don’t think you can grow as a person that way, either. There just comes a point when you have to relinquish some of that and risk becoming more open to the vulnerable side, which I think is the female side. It’s much more courageous than the male side.”

“I hate endings. Just detest them. Beginnings are definitely the most exciting, middles are perplexing and endings are a disaster. … The temptation towards resolution, towards wrapping up the package, seems to me a terrible trap. Why not be more honest with the moment? The most authentic endings are the ones which are already revolving towards another beginning. That’s genius.”

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