One-act play. Set in the lonely American desert badlands, home to witches garbed in coyote skins and demons who hiss like rattlesnakes, a dying man struggles to connect with his estranged son. A father, who lives a mythicized past and a son who lives in an historically isolated and therefore coldly brutal present are locked in struggle. Neither Pop's hell-raising passion nor Ice's emotional frigidity is admirable or healthy, and neither can respond to a world depicted as full of relentless, unfathomable change. "The Holy Ghostly" is a raw-boned, early Sam Shepard play, casting spells and incantations over the shadows of a ghost-lit campfire. It unfolds in a free-fall of syncopated language and haunted back-beats that propel this spellbound one-act to its apocalyptic climax. 

Performance History

La Mama European Tour, 1969. Directed by Tom O'Horgan.
New Troupe at McCarter Theater, Princeton, NJ: January 1970. Directed by Tom O'Horgan with Ben Vereen in the role of the son.
King's Head Theatre, London: July 1973



The Unseen Hand and Other Plays