Reno, NV (KRNV & MyNews4.com) - Reno Little Theater's presentation of "Buried Child" revolves around a dysfunctional, yet laughable, Illinois family, grappling with alcoholism, mental illness, and a deep dark secret. It's a Pulitzer-Prize winning play by American author, Sam Shepard.
"He gives you these small everyday experiences. He's trying to say something about our humanity [and] our values. Some believe he's taking a cheap shot at middle America," says director, Doug Mishler.
Anthony Blair, who plays the patriarch, Dodge, adds, "There [are] no weak characters. Everyone is a different type, and you can see how everyone's related, and you can see how they don't always get along."
This dramatic comedy reflects the intricacies of life: the characters: complex. The plot: rich. The secrets: disturbing.
"It is a dark secret,” says Mishler. “But it’s filled with life and joy. And in a way, life and joy in a family that doesn't have tremendous overt life and joy. "
Mishler says the audience will pull back layers to unearth the truth that the family tries to keep buried.
"It’s disturbing,” he says. “We've had quite a few reactions and I’m not going to tell you those moments because it comes as such a surprise."
But even then, what it all means is uncertain.
"I’m not sure I have all the answers yet,” says Terri Gray, who plays the matriarch, Hallie.
The cast says it's best to let the viewer decide.