Theater Close-Up (Season 2) – Buried Child

Air date: 11/28/2016

Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-Winning Buried Child Debuts on Theater Close-Up Showcasing the Best of Off-Broadway & Regional Theater November 28 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN

Ed Harris & Amy Madigan head acclaimed production from The New Group

Theater Close-Up, the unique collaboration between THIRTEEN and the large community of New York City area non-profit Off-Broadway theaters, will present Sam Shepard’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Buried Child in Scott Elliott’s acclaimed production from The New Group, Monday, November 28 at 9 p.m. on THIRTEEN, with an encore presentation on Friday, December 2 at 3:30 a.m. The play will also air Sunday, December 18 at 10 p.m. on WLIW21. Actress Blythe Danner hosts the broadcast.

This production features Ed Harris as Dodge, Amy Madigan as Halie, Rich Sommer and Paul Sparks as sons Bradley and Tilden, respectively, Nat Wolff as grandson Vince, Taissa Farmiga as Vince’s girlfriend Shelly, and Larry Pine as Father Dewis.

The play — captured live on-stage during the March 30 BroadwayHD livestream– was revived 20 years after its last major New York production. Dodge (Harris) and Halie (Madigan) are barely hanging on to their farmland and their sanity while looking after their two wayward grown sons (Sommer and Sparks). When their grandson Vince (Wolff) arrives with his girlfriend (Farmiga), 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. This wildly poetic and cuttingly funny take on the American family drama gleefully pulls apart the threadbare deluded visions of our families and our homes.

Critics praised the production. Ben Brantley in The New York Times found it “Thoughtful and absorbing. Ed Harris is splendid.  Mr. Elliott’s production wants us to listen to Mr. Shepard’s characters as if they truly were members of our own family, so that (just like our own family) they can sucker-punch us when we feel most unguarded.”

Wilborn Hampton, The Huffington Post, said it was “A riveting revival that captures the symbolism and rich poetic imagery that makes Shepard so unique. This is vintage Shepard in the hands of masters.”
The production played early in 2016 at The Pershing Square Signature Center, and reunited Sam Shepard with The New Group, following the company’s 2010 production of his play A Lie of the Mind. Ed Harris and Amy Madigan had appeared at the New Group in the acclaimed 2013 production of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian. Buried Child had its New York premiere in 1978 and was revived on Broadway in 1996.

Beginning this month, the production with Harris and Madigan reprising their roles will play at London’s Trafalgar Studios.

Commencing with the time of broadcast, the play will be available online in the tri-state area (

Theater Close-Up will continue in December with Jonathan Tolins’ Buyer & Cellar.

Other recent Theater Close-Up productions on THIRTEEN have included Rasheeda Speaking from The New Group, Fashions for Men from Mint Theater, Wiesenthal filmed at the Acorn Theatre at Theatre Row, Repairing a Nation from Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Incident at Vichy from Signature Theatre, and The Woodsman recorded at New World Stages.

THIRTEEN is using its unrivaled expertise in producing national PBS arts programming – which began with such classic series as Theater in America, part of the award-winning series Great Performances and special limited series such as Stage on Screen — to provide New Yorkers with unparalleled access to one of the City’s greatest underexposed cultural assets.

Scenic Design is by Derek McLane. Costume Design is by Susan Hilferty. Lighting Design is by Peter Kaczorowski. Sound Design is by Jeremy S. Bloom.

Directed for television by David Horn, Buried Child is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET and The New Group in association with Broadway HD. Mitch Owgang is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; and David Horn is executive producer. Stewart F. Lane and Bonnie Comley are executive producers for Broadway HD.  Executive-in-charge for WNET is Neal Shapiro.

Major support for Theater Close-Up, Season Two is provided by the Howard Gilman Foundation, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, the President’s Innovation Fund and Leo Shull and Family.

#     #     #

About WNET

WNET is America’s flagship PBS station and parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21. WNET also operates NJTV, the statewide public media network in New Jersey. Through its broadcast channels, three cable services (KidsThirteen, Create and World) and online streaming sites, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to more than five million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children’s programs, and local news and cultural offerings. WNET’s groundbreaking series for children and young adults include Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase as well as Mission US, the award-winning interactive history game. WNET highlights the tri-state’s unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the daily multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. In addition, WNET produces online-only programming including the award-winning series about gender, First Person, and an intergenerational look at tech and pop culture, The Chatterbox with Kevin and Grandma Lill. In 2015, THIRTEEN launched Passport, an online streaming service which allows members to see new and archival THIRTEEN and PBS programming anytime, anywhere:


About The New Group

The New Group, led by founding Artistic Director Scott Elliott and Executive Director Adam Bernstein, is an award-winning, artist-driven company with a commitment to developing and producing powerful, contemporary theater. While constantly evolving, the company strives to maintain an ensemble approach to all work and an articulated style of emotional immediacy in its acting and productions. In this way, we seek a theater that is adventurous, stimulating and most importantly “now”, a true forum for the present culture.

Founded in 1995, The New Group was born of Artistic Director Scott Elliott’s desire to develop a place for artists to experiment, take risks, and learn from each other without the pressures of commercial theater. Notable productions include EcstasyThis is Our YouthAunt Dan and LemonHurlyburlyAbigail’s PartyRafta, Rafta…The Starry MessengerA Lie of the MindBlood From a StoneMarie and Bruce, The Jacksonian, Sticks and Bones, The Spoils, Steve and Buried Child.  The New Group’s 2016-2017 launches with the current production Sweet Charity choreographed by Joshua Bergasse, directed by Leigh Silverman and starring Sutton Foster, and continues with Wallace Shawn’s Evening at the Talk House, directed by Scott Elliott; the world premiere of All the Fine Boys, from writer and director Erica Schmidt; and the world premiere of The Whirligig, by Hamish Linklater, directed by Scott Elliott.  In summer 2016, The New Group was represented in London by the acclaimed production of Jesse Eisenberg’s The Spoils, directed by Scott Elliott, at Trafalgar Studios.  This month, The New Group will be represented in London, again at Trafalgar Studios, by the company’s hit production of Sam Shepard’s Buried Child, starring Ed Harris and Amy Madigan, directed by Scott Elliott (begins November 14).

In over twenty years, The New Group has received nearly 100 awards and nominations for excellence. The New Group’s first musical, Avenue Q, won three Tony Awards. The Kid received the Outer Critics Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical, and The New Group and Scott Elliott were honored with a 2010-2011 Drama Desk Special Award “for presenting contemporary new voices, and for uncompromisingly raw and powerful productions.”

In addition, the organization’s New Group/New Works play and musical development program champions original works by emerging and established authors. The New Group also operates a variety of theater education programs that provide opportunities for artistically inclined high school, college, and adult students.


About BroadwayHD

Since its launch in 2015, BroadwayHD aims to extend the reach of Broadway to fans old and new, anytime and anywhere. BroadwayHD is the only online streaming service of its kind, offering viewers an unprecedented Broadway experience and access to exclusive live streams. In June of 2016, BroadwayHD made history with the live stream of ‘She Loves Me,’ marking the first-ever Broadway live stream.  In addition to exclusive live streamed content, BroadwayHD offers subscribers unlimited access to an on-demand library of over 150 theater productions from the comfort and convenience of their own home – or wherever streaming is possible.  It’s the Broadway you know and love, curated from the stage to your screen.


For media only: Photos and press releases can be accessed here:

Sorry, photography is no longer in rights for the web. Please contact Thirteen's Communications Department at 212.560.3022.