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True West
August 2 August 27
True West
August 2 August 27
August 2-August 27, 2023
By Sam Shepard Directed by Mei Ann Teo Leonard C. Haas Stage
A cornerstone of modern American theatre

Austin is a straitlaced screenwriter on the verge of selling his next script. His brother Lee is a blustering drifter just back from three months in the Mojave desert. When Lee charms his way into Austin’s movie deal, they begin to transform into each other in a conflict that crescendos into chaos. A finalist for the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, True West is a wry exploration of duality, masculinity, and the mythos of the American west.

The approximate run time for this production is 2 hours, including a 15-minute intermission. Recommended for ages 14+

Join us on these dates for some special events!

Scroll down to "More Info & Special Events" for details.

Sunday, August 13
Post-show Panel: The Effects of Immigration and Acculturation in our AAPI Communities

Thursday, August 17
Pre-show Conversation: Whose True West? An Artists' Forum

Saturday, August 26
Philly Typewriter at People's Light

Watch the Preview
Production Archive
Cast and Creative Team
Sam Shepard
Mei Ann Teo
You-Shin Chen
Scenic Designer
Sara Ryung Clement
Costume Designer
Wen-Ling Liao
Lighting Designer
Hao Bai
Sound Designer
Jeanette Oi-Suk Yew
Projection Designer
Adam Danoff
Fight Director
Steven Eng
Dialect Coach
Liana Irvine
Surround Programs Co-Producer
Sofía Anastasia
Assistant Director
Max Van
Projection Assistant
Matthew Luppino
Stage Manager
Jess McPhillips
Assistant Stage Manager
Discover More
A Note from Sanjit De Silva
Years ago, Sanjit had a bucket list theatre dream: TRUE WEST starring all AAPI actors. Learn more about the origins of this production.
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A Post-Show Panel Discussion
What is the role of immigration, conflicting cultural realities, and changing demographics on emotional and mental wellness in AAPI communities?
Read More
Director's Note
"I'm obsessed with where plays begin." Director Mei Ann Teo dives deeper into the vision behind our TRUE WEST.
Read More
Expansions of Realities
Surround Programs Co-Producer Liana Irvine examines popular tropes of the "Wild West," from cowboys to the American Dream.
Read More
Read the Program
Read More
More Info & Special Events
Relaxed Performance

Relaxed Performances offer a judgment-free environment that invites individuals with autism, ADHD, dementia, and other sensory sensitivities to enjoy theatre in a relaxed, “shush-free” zone—a great option for parents with young children, too. For each Relaxed Performance, we offer a pre-show Sensory Tour, during which patrons are able to enter the theatre space, view the set and props, and ask questions. This RP features audio description and ASL interpretation.

Sunday, August 20 at 2pm

Open Captioning

During every performance this week, dialogue appears on an LED screen placed near the stage to benefit patrons with hearing impairments, as well as English language learners.

August 22–27

Audio Description

Headsets provide commentary on the visual aspects of a performance. This supplemental narration interweaves with the real-time, spoken dialogue.

Sunday, August 20 at 2pm

ASL Interpretation

This performance features American Sign Language interpretation provided by Hands UP Productions. This is also a Relaxed Performance.

Sunday, August 20 at 2pm

Smart Caption Glasses

Our Smart Caption Glasses offer immersive, real-time captioning for live theatre. These revolutionary glasses display a synchronized transcript of the play directly on the lenses, and are customizable for your comfort.

Glasses are available to reserve for select performances of True West

August 15–27


Post-show Panel: The Effects of Immigration and Acculturation in our AAPI Communities

What is the role of immigration, conflicting cultural realities, and changing demographics on emotional and mental wellness in AAPI communities? We’ll bring together True West performers into discussion with Dr. Noel B. Ramirez, (Founder and Director of Mango Tree Counseling and Consulting), and Hannah Follman (Outpatient Therapist at Tranquil Solutions Counseling Center and member of the Asian Mental Health Collective). Moderated by Dr. Rujuta Mendelia of Mindful Group Practice and the Asian Mental Health Collective.

Sunday, August 13th, after the 2pm performance

Pre-show Discussion: Whose True West? An Artists' Forum

Free registration required. Tickets to the Thursday night performance after the forum are sold separately.

Join a community-led conversation before the evening performance, with some snacks, facilitated by Surround Programs Co-Producer and True West dramaturg Liana Irvine. With the perceived and enumerated boundaries of working on Samuel Beckett, Sam Shepard, or Tennessee Williams, we’ll explore entitlement, reclamation, history, and the spaces we must carve out.

Thursday, August 17th at 6:30pm


Philly Typewriter at People's Light

Philly Typewriter specializes in typewriter restoration, and their mechanics are bringing a fun treat for anyone attending the 8/26 matinee! A variety of functioning typewriters will be in the lobby for anyone to try, whether you had one growing up or you've never seen one before.

Saturday, August 26, 2pm performance (pre-show and during intermission)

Access Nights

To expand access to our work, we offer 50%-off Access Nights throughout the season. The discount is automatic for these performances, no promo code required.

Friday, August 4 at 7:30pm
Tuesday, August 22 at 7:30pm