CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS, THE
Genre: Light Drama
Cast 7 male 2 female
Licence World Ex - US/Canada
A farmhouse somewhere in the American West is the setting for Shepard’s exploration of a family trying to survive on the raw edge of society. Weston the father is a drunk, the mother Ella slovenly, the daughter Emma precocious beyond her years, and the son Wesley is a deranged idealist who wants something better but has no idea how to attain it. The action is filled with changes and counter-changes as the family decides to sell the house to raise money; Ella talks of running off to Europe or Mexico but ends up asleep on the kitchen table; Weston sobers up and tries to take control; Emma is blown up in the family car; and Wesley is brutalised and bloodied by the evil forces tormenting them. In the end, the play and its characters become a metaphor for the underside of American life - the benighted innocents forever pursuing a diminished dream, and the illusion of fulfilment which remains ever beyond their reach.