Thank you to all the audience members that attended the entire 12 hour reading of All Our Tragic yesterday at Illinois State University. About 20 people stayed awake and engaged for the entire event. You are all amazing, it means so much to me that you were there.
The script as it stands now is 500 pages. Including dinner and breaks, it will fit neatly into 12 hours in performance (the reading took about 11 hours, 45 minutes).
The act containing Philoktetes, Ajax and Hecuba Troyfall still is a problematic section. I will be doing a lot of work on that, the students and the talented director, Ed Iskander had some great suggestions. Another problem, as pointed out by Geoff Button, some of the depth I added to minor characters began to intrude a little too much on the overall narrative, so I will be scaling back on some quirks.
Lastly what I noticed some problems with the ending. I had done much work of the four Orestes plays that closes the event, all four are now under the title of The Furies. And I loved the arc and drive of three of the four plays (Euripides’ Orestes, Andromache and Iphigenia in Tauris) more than I ever have before, and I am really proud of that work I did on the character of Orestes. But when we reached the section that deals with the Aeschylus play The Furies, where Orestes stands trial for matricide, I noticed it wasn’t as quite a crowd pleaser as it had been in the past readings. I have some theories as to why that is, and I look forward to working on it, so I can end All Our Tragic with the impact it deserves.
I would like to thank the two academic leaders of the ISU Theater Department, Janet Wilson and Deb Alley. Not only did they allow this workshop to happen, but they helped set up and break down, and brought so much food and coffee. What an amazing University.
The several weeks I spent with these students reading and pondering All Our Tragic has been the single most influential force on this script. So many hours spent discussing character development, story arcs, individual moments and thousands of bad ideas. I wish this could have gone for several more months.
Here are the names of the students: Omar Shammaa, Kayla Stroner, Molly Briggs, Chris Bryant, Liz Dillard, Kelly Steik, Matt Helms, Allison Sokolowski, Shelby Brand, Kelsey Bunner, Janice Kulka, Taylor Wisham, Alyssa Klein, Caitlin Boho, Angela Geiss, David Fisch, Elsa Torner and Angie Aiello. Thank you all. You are all great!
Hopefully next week, I will be able to announce future plans for the development of All Our Tragic. Be well and thanks for being interested. And as always please send me questions: firstname.lastname@example.org