True West follows the relationship of Austin, a screenwriter, and his older brother, Lee. Set 40 miles east of Los Angeles, Austin is house sitting while his mother is away in Alaska when Lee arrives, essentially bullying Austin and taking complete control of the situation. Even Austin’s screenplay is affected by his conman antics, and the two brothers must ultimately work together to overcome their differences. The situation becomes heated, coming to a point where their personalities seemingly reverse. True West is a character study, written by playwright Sam Shephard. "I wanted to write a play about double nature, one that wouldn't be symbolic or metaphorical or any of that stuff,” Shephard said. “I just wanted to give a taste of what it feels like to be two-sided. It's a real thing, double nature. I think we're split in a much more devastating way than psychology can ever reveal. It's not so cute. Not some little thing we can get over. It's something we've got to live with."