Sam Shepard's A LIE OF THE MIND Closes Trinity Rep's 50th Season, Now thru 6/29

Sam Shepard's A LIE OF THE MIND Closes Trinity Rep's 50th Season, Now thru 6/29

Trinity Rep brings its 50th anniversary season to a close with Sam Shepard's A Lie of the Mind, directed by Brian Mertes in Trinity Rep's Dowling Theater from today, May 29-June 29, 2014, considered by many to be a modern masterpiece of American familial dysfunction. Brimming with enormous vitality and humor the play asks us to look deeper into the human heart and the destructive power of love. Two mid-western families are joined together by marriage and torn apart by a life-changing incident. "Sam Shepard is surely the only dramatist alive who could tell a story as sad and frightening as this one and make such a funny play of it without ever skimping on its emotional depth," The New Yorker asserts. Tickets are on sale now at, by calling (401) 351-4242, or at the theater's box office at 201 Washington St., Downtown Providence.

Hailed by The New York Times as the playwright's "richest and most penetrating play..." A Lie of the Mind showcases the craftsmanship of Sam Shepard's storytelling at his most poetic, most poignant and most striking. Husband and wife, Jake and Beth, return to their respective families after a devastatingly violent event. Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and the Drama Desk Award.

"It is only appropriate that we end our 50th celebration with Mr. Shepard, the perfect bookend to our first author of the season, John Steinbeck. As in Steinbeck's writing, one of the hallmarks of Shepard's cannon is his visceral, insightful, and brutally funny dissection of Americana," states artistic director Curt Columbus.

When describing what draws him to A Lie of the Mind, director Brian Mertes articulates, "It's a great story. It's two families that collide against each other and you see how they got to where they are. Those kinds of traumas, they scar people for life, every family has its scars and traumas." He continues, "I think the play is funny, like really funny- darkly funny- but it's really funny. I think it's scary, shocking, the language is euphoric. It'll be a roller coaster ride. "

A Lie of the Mind features a volatile combination of powerhouse Trinity Rep resident acting company members Timothy Crowe, Janice Duclos, Rebecca Gibel, Anne Scurria and Charlie Thurston, alongside up and coming Brown/Trinity Rep MFA students Britt Faulkner ('15), Billy Finn ('15) and Ben Grills ('14)

Trinity Rep audiences look forward to Mertes' bold gestures and inventive approach. Guaranteed to be evocative, the design team re-imagining this unmistakably American landscape features Tony Award-winning resident scenic designer Eugene Lee, costume designer Cait O'Connor, lighting designer Dan Scully, sound design by Broken Chord Collective and music by Phillip Roebuck.

Director Brian Mertes is head of the Brown/Trinity MFA Directing Program and directed Crime and Punishment, Clybourne Park and Steel Magnolias at Trinity Rep. In 2013 he co-directed a new production of Jedermann with Julian Crouch for the Salzburg Festival. He has taught and directed at Columbia, NYU, Juilliard, North Carolina School of the Arts, SUNY Purchase, UT Austin and Yale. Brian has developed new work at many New York and regional theaters including Massacre Sing to Your Children by Jose Rivera, The Myopia by David Greenspan, Theater for One with Christine Jones in Times Square, and with alt-country rocker Jim White on Sam Shepard's Paris, Texas. Brian has directed for ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox. Each summer he and Melissa Kievman produce and direct Lake Lucille Chekhov in Rockland County, NY.

Playwright Sam Shepard has written nearly 50 plays and his work has been produced across the nation, in venues ranging from Greenwich Village coffee shops to commercial Broadway houses. Notable works include Curse of the Starving Class, The Tooth of Crime, Fool for Love and True West. Shepard also acts, writes and directs for film. Throughout his 40-year career Shepard has amassed numerous grants, prizes, fellowships, and awards, including the Cannes Palme d'Or and the Pulitzer Prize (Buried Child). In 1985 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which awarded him the Gold Medal for Drama in 1992. In 1994 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.

Talkbacks with Trinity Rep Talkback leaders and a member of the cast will be held after every performance of A Lie of the Mind. Audiences are invited to share their response to the production and themes for approximately twenty minutes following the performance.

Continuing Trinity Rep's tradition of offering affordable tickets for all, the theater will have discounted previews of A Lie of the Mind from May 29 - May 31, 2014. Friday May 30th is a Pay What You Can (PWYC) performance with tickets on sale at 6:30pm that evening, limit one per person.

Photo by Michael Guy

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