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Sam Shepard, the Silent Type

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You’re appearing in Caryl Churchill’s A Number. What attracted you to her work?
Well, it’s kind of hard to say. I encountered the play in Australia, and I thought it was really fascinating, and I had no idea it would have a world premiere in New York.

Do you feel a kinship between your work and hers?
Not really. Only in the sense that I feel she’s also inspired by Beckett.

Can you talk about your character, Salter?
No, I can’t. Well, obviously he’s a complicated . . . I can’t do pocket reviews of this thing. This isn’t going to work.

Um, do you think the play has something to say about cloning?
I can’t describe the play. It’s too complex. To me, the cloning aspect is uninteresting. That’s not what it’s about. It has to do with identity.

Can you elaborate on that, what it says about identity?
I have a feeling this really isn’t going to work. I can’t capsulize it. I’d really rather not. I can’t capsulize this. Thanks anyway. [Click.]

A Number, New York Theatre Workshop; previews November 16, opens December 7.


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