Backstage Pass with Lia Chang

Signature Theatre’s World Premiere of Sam Shepard’s Heartless Starring Lois Smith, Gary Cole, Jenny Bacon, Betty Gilpin, and Julianne Nicholson Extends through September 30, 2012

Sam Shepard (Photo by Gregory Costanza)

Sam Shepard (Photo by Gregory Costanza)

Signature Theatre’s (James Houghton, Founding Artistic Director; Erika Mallin, Executive Director) world premiere of Heartless by Pulitzer Prize-winning 2012-13 Legacy Playwright Sam Shepard (Signature’s 1996-1997 Playwright-in-Residence), and directed by Daniel Aukin, opens tonight in The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center (480 West 42nd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues). The production began previews August 7, and has been extended through September 30, 2012.

The cast includes Jenny Bacon (In the Wake), Gary Cole (Office Space, “The West Wing”), Betty Gilpin (We Live Here), Julianne Nicholson (“Boardwalk Empire”, This) and Lois Smith (The Illusion, The Trip to Bountiful).

Sally lives with her mysterious family in a cavernous home overlooking Los Angeles. When a visitor arrives, Sally’s dark secrets – and the secrets of those around her – threaten to come into the light.

All tickets for the extension beginning September 17 are $75. To purchase tickets for all Signature productions and events, call the Signature Theatre Box Office (212-244-7529) or visit Subscriptions are currently on sale for the 2012-13 Season, which will include plays by David Henry Hwang, Bill Irwin and David Shiner, Sam Shepard, Regina Taylor, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson.

Sam Shepard’s Paris, Texas in Signature Cinema Series on August 28, 2012
On Tuesday, August 28, 2012 at 7pm., Paris, Texas, which won the Cannes Palme D’Or for Best Film in 1984, and is based on Sam Shepard’s autobiographical collection of short fiction, The Motel Chronicles, will screen in The Irene Diamond Stage as part of the Signature Cinema Series which showcases films written by playwrights and films that explore the “world of the play” that is currently in production.

A lonely figure wanders across the desert of the American Southwest with nothing but a ragged suit. With no memory of his past and no plan for his future, he presumably is wandering nowhere—until his brother finds him, and helps him remember the life he led before he walked out on his wife and son four years earlier.

Paris, Texas embodies Shepard’s love of the open road, cowboy philosophy, and the wild American frontier. “This character of Travis, this lost soul…sort of appeared out of these stories somehow,” says Shepard. Directed by Wim Wenders, the critically acclaimed Paris, Texas stars Hunter Carson, Aurore Clément, Nastassja Kinski, Harry Dean Stanton, and Dean Stockwell.

Tickets are $5 subscribers, $13 for non-subscribers. Click here for tickets.

The next film in the Signature Series is Tsotsi, written by Gavid Hood and Athol Fugard and directed by Gavid Hood, which screens on September 24, 2012 at 7:00pm. Click here to purchase tickets ($13 for general public, $5 for subscribers) Any questions, call the
Box Office at (212) 244-7529.

Other Articles by Lia Chang:
David Henry Hwang to Receive the 2012 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award at the 5th Annual Steinberg Playwright “Mimi” Awards on October 29, 2012
David Henry Hwang Set as Signature Theatre’s Residency One Playwright for the 2012-2013 Season
C.J. Wilson navigates armor and swordplay in Signature Theatre Company’s World Premiere of Kenneth Lonergan’s Medieval Play
Photos: Laila Robins, Sean Dugan, C.J. Wilson, Peter Francis James, Bill Irwin and Tricia Paoluccio at Signature Theatre Company’s revival of Edward Albee’s The Lady From Dubuque
Athol Fugard’s Blood Knot, starring Colman Domingo & Scott Shepherd in The Alice Griffith Jewel Box at The Pershing Square Signature Center through March 11, 2012
World Premiere Screening of Lil Tokyo Reporter Starring Chris Tashima at Laemmle Playhouse 7 in Pasadena, September 14-16, 2012
Tony Award Winner Tonya Pinkins Celebrates Ethel Waters at 54 Below on August 27, 2012
10 minutes with Sullivan & Son’s Jodi Long, Award Winning Actor and Filmmaker
George Takei, Lea Salonga, Telly Leung and Paolo Montalban star in the World Premiere of Allegiance – A New American Musical at The Old Globe, September 7 – October 21, 2012
Photos: All-Access Pass to Disney’s Aladdin at The Muny with Thom Sesma, Francis Jue, Robin De Jesus, John Tartaglia, Jason Graae, Curtis Holbrook, Eddie Korbich, Samantha Massell and Ken Page
Performing Arts Images from the Asian American Pacific Islander Collection on Display at the Library of Congress to Celebrate APA Heritage Month
Photos: Yellow Fever Playwright Rick Shiomi Explores New Territory with An All-Female Cast
Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang in front of the Sam Shepard history wall in front of The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York after the alumni performance of Sam Shepard's Heartless. Photo by Jane Ann Valentine

Lia Chang in front of the Sam Shepard history wall in front of The Irene Diamond Stage at The Pershing Square Signature Center in New York after the alumni performance of Sam Shepard’s Heartless. Photo by Jane Ann Valentine

Lia Chang is an actor, a performance and fine art botanical photographer, and an award-winning multi-platform journalist. She is a Signature Theatre alumni who was in the cast of Sam Shepard’s Chicago, during his Signature 1996-1997 Playwright-in-Residence Season.
All text, graphics, articles & photographs: © 2000-2012 Lia Chang Multimedia. All rights reserved. All materials contained on this site are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of Lia Chang. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. For permission, please contact Lia at


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