It has been four weeks since the reading and I have had a lot of great conversations and am in the middle of a new draft.
One big conversation I had with some smart people, talking about the production model in which I originally sculpted the event. Basically the three-day festival idea, which artistically and culturally exciting, is not at all produceable for any theater. It comes down to simple economics, basically a theatre, which is used to selling a few thousand tickets a week spread out over five or six different audiences, would only be able to sell a few hundred tickets in a week to one audience. Then if a theater increased ticket prices for the entire weekend to make the production worth the investment of time and resources, then tickets would be so expensive that only extremely wealthy people would be able to attend, which goes antithetical to concept of the event. Yikes.
I cried for a few days thinking all of my work was useless. But after I dried my eyes, I thought about All Our Tragic a little more like a producer and decided the best way to sculpt the script is to follow the more typical model of cycle plays: have two parts, instead of three.
The First Part- Politics: About a 7 hour event, including intermissions/meal breaks; to be performed by itself two nights a week (maybe Tuesday and Thursday). This will be all of the Thebes and Athens plays that was part of the first day with the Herakles plays folded in. I like how the Herakles story connects with the other plays.
The Second Part- Ethics: About a 6 and a 1/2 hour event, including intermission/meal breaks; to be performed by itself two nights a week (maybe Wednesday and Friday). This will be all of the Trojan War plays and all of the Agamemnon/Orestes plays.
The entire All Our Tragic event will be able to be performed in one day, about a 13 hour event including lots of intermissions/meal breaks. Which can be performed separately on Saturday and Sunday. Which is very exciting to me.
In this new format, a producing theater has a chance to sell the entire event to four audiences and ticket prices do not need to escalate that far beyond the average ticket prices of the theater. Great!
Sculpting this new version of All Our Tragic is definitely challenging and demands a lot of cuts to keep within my self-appointed time limits. As of now, nothing truly compromising had to be done. But after cutting about 250 pages after the initial reading I still need to lose about 150 pages. My greatest desire is that every play still feels like its own theatrical event, rather than a gesture. I am confident I can do this and still maintain audiences attention.
Thanks for reading. Be well.