Sam Shepard, the noted contemporary playwright and movie star, creates his own version of the American myth in a super-realistic, avant-garde world of cowboys, gangsters, artists and rock stars. Thirteen of Shepard's plays have appeared in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. To understand Shepard's reception, Carol Benet probes many neglected areas concerning the German language productions. She examines the roles of the translator, talent scout, agent, publisher, theater staff, critic, local government and even the program book in the reception of a foreign playwright. The answers elucidate a more fundamental question: How is the canon of dramatic literature established?