THE WHITMAN PIECE

A Touchstone Theatre Production

Written by
Bill George

Directed by
Christopher Shorr

Movement by
Cathleen O'Malley

Stage Manager
Emma Chong

In collaboration with
Moravian College Theatre

The Chronicle is bits and pieces--photos, back story documents, video and confessions--documenting the emergence of The Whitman Piece from little more than a notion of the mind, through it's various incarnations, workshops, readings, and finally to its first public staging April, 2011.

30th September 2010

Post

The evolution of the text…

Below is a primitive example of how my writing evolves.  I’m a great believer in letting lines be worked over a long period of time, eroded by the forces of ever varying consciousness, nervousness, and a kind of soaking or tasting.  Eventually, one stops tweeking (a lot), and things are sort of done.  Zak, an apprentice in the Concord Theatre Company has a closing line at the end of Act I, Scene 1. In the first draft, he had no line at all.  At the end of the scene in:  

July 2010, Draft 2, the line appears for the first time:

ZAK

Hocus Pocus

It is only we shadows, blinded by the illusion of our own existence, that, without leaving a trace, come and go. 

Early September 2010 –two months later:

ZAK

Halloweeny

It is but we shadows that, blinded by the illusion of our own existence, entangled in the conflicts of our convoluted egocentricities, having come with marshal and festive noise, blood and clench-ed oath, now trailing but ghostly echoes of laughter and tears, forever in silence, go.

October 2010—two months later:

ZAK

Be not afraid!  It is but we shadows, enchanted by the illusion of our own existence, entangled in the conflicts of our convoluted and blinding egocentricities, having come with marshal and festive noise, blood and clench-ed oath, trailing but echoes of laughter and tears, that now forever in silence, go.

December 2010—two months later, the character, Zak, now called Tony:  

Tony

Halloweeny 

OOOoooo… The eternal stage!

Mo

Stop it, Tony!

Tony

Be not afraid!  It is but we shadows, enchanted by the illusion of our own existence, entangled in our convoluted and blinding egocentricities, having come with marshal and festive noise, bloody and prayerful oath, trailing but echoes of laughter and tears, that now forever in silence, go.

All exit carrying various stuff. 

MO

Word up.

February 9, 2011  Two months later, after the January public reading, when everything is getting hammered down.  It is now Act I, Scene 2.

TONY

Halloweeny, inspired by the magic of a 4 by 8 platform and trying to impress Catherine. 

OOOoooo… The eternal stage! Be not afraid!  It is but we shadows, enchanted by the illusion of our own existence, having come with marshal and festive noise, trailing but echoes of laughter and tears, that now forever in silence…go.

All exit carrying various stuff. 

MO

Word up!