As one of America's finest dramatists and the West's most distinctive voices, Sam Shepard has won 11 Obies and one Pulitzer; acted in 56 movies; written seven screenplays, over 45 stage plays, and somewhere between 60 and 130 short stories (depending on how you define them). He has also lived 70 years. During that storied time, his relationship with our own Magic Theatre has been sprinkled with world premieres – Buried Child, Fool for Love, and True West among them – and a stretch as Playwright in Residence. "Sheparding America," a year-long festival of Shepard plays performed by Bay Area companies such as ACT and Intersection for the Arts' Campo Santo, is a fitting birthday present from Magic Theatre. Unique on the calendar is Word for Word's 36 Stories by Sam Shepard, an original work adapted from short story collections, which has been Shepard-approved. No doubt you can expect lonesome highways, wandering souls, roadside diners, and dime store philosophers who stick to you like desert sand. To get in the mood, check out postcards from various characters at 36stories.org as the show inches closer to opening night.