All Our Tragic Update, 1/7/2014

Hello Nice People That Read This,

Happy New Year. I hope you are all staying warm.

It’s coming time that I would love to start organizing productions, if anyone wants to continue this conversation please feel free to reach out, The Hypocrites are interested in a co-production if anyone out there wants to join forces.

Now to the update, I have been away from the workshops at Radcliffe for a month now, during this time away I made a lot of writing changes and I am eager to see how they work for the actors.

In the last four weeks I have cut about 20% of the characters, in order to make stronger and clearer the remaining characters. Some characters are very missed by me, and maybe some of them may return, but I think these cuts are for the best.

I made huge strides with Medea and Phaedra, they are become much clearer, much more real. In order to shake my associate with my old versions of these characters, I changed their names to Phèdre and Médée, which seems pretentious as I write it now, but it really helped me understand these women as outsiders. They also became much younger than they had been, so they were both more vulnerable and more susceptible to manipulation. I am happy with where they are going.

The next big thing I did was try to sort through my writing disaster focussed on Thebes. It was so embarrassing at the reading in December, but I think it is much better now, it still needs work. This whole section is mostly focussed on Creon, who using the tool I used for Phèdre and Médée, I now call Kreon. With this change I was somehow able to re-invest with him and understand once again. The Thebes section now tells the story of Kreon’s relationship to ruling Thebes, he isn’t quite as resistant to rule as he was in previous drafts, which makes him have a little more depth. A big surprise that emerged was a failed romantic relationship in the past between Kreon and Tiresias, it really connected a lot of loose ends for me.

The final big change in Troy, I cut out a lot of the characters and focussed a lot more on Cassandra and Polyxena. The strangest cut I decided to make was the character Hecuba, with whom I always connected strongly, I thought her essential. But stewing about problems in the Troy section, I noticed the audience has so little time to get to know Hecuba before they are asked to invest in her terrible tragedy. So cutting her, and giving the tragedy to Cassandra, whom we have spent more time with and have seen how the war has ruined her life, made so much more sense. So the final bit of the Troy section is a climax to a struggle we have been watching for an hour or so, rather than a brand new journey and audience has to invest in. So we’ll see, I think it definite makes Cassandra and Polyxena more interesting and sympathetic. The down side as of right now, is it takes away slightly for Neoptolemus’ struggle, so I have to figure that out.

Finally, I wanted to thank Jeff Sachs, Education/Teaching Artist Intern and most of the apprentices at Actors Theatre of Louisville for reading of a chunk of the play yesterday, they did a great job and it was very informative to hear it.

All right guys, thanks so much for reading, as always please let me know if you have any questions.

Sincerely, Sean



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