The Making of TERMINALIA

From Collin McConnell:

Terminalia came about thanks to Lisa Anderson and the great team at Stable Cable Lab Co. A year ago, I reached out to Lisa — I had been accepted to the New School for Playwriting, but took a year deferment for a scholarship, and I was terrified of feeling like I was just going to spend the year waiting.

“Yeah, we can make something happen. Hey, actually, we have a fundraiser set for March in a fancy East Village apartment. Could you write a site-specific piece for that?”

…Eventually the piece had to be postponed and it didn’t happen in that amazing apartment, but that’s how it started. We attached Jonathon Musser as the director almost right away (he’d directed my ten minute piece for LiveWire the year before, and he’s a brilliant human), and started meeting in coffee shops (thanks Qathra) to chat ideas about what the play would be and how we would move forward. Lisa knows my love of both site-specific and immersive theater, and was happy to let me wander down that path (and she and Jonathon did a solid job of reining me in when necessary).

The Greek mythological element was almost arbitrary. I wanted something to cling to, to base the play off of, and had been interested in digging into Greek mythology anyway (and I would remember later that I had always wondered how they vanished, what “killed” them). I spent most of those first month’s reading Edith Hamilton and Robert Graves (…and everything by Neil Gaiman…), and getting really excited about the things I was never taught in my Classics classes. Somewhere in there I asked Lisa how big a cast I could have…

The other part of the plan was to develop the play through devising workshops with the Stable Cable ensemble. These started out really free-form, and were incredibly informative, but unfortunately (due to schedules) at some point I just had to disappear for a few months and write the thing. And now we have this weird magical play about gods trying to come back, or seeking vengeance, or being lost and trying to assimilate, or having no idea that they are tied to something bigger than they could imagine.

The actors had a read-thru of the almost-final draft about a month ago, and then they went away and learned their lines. They came back off-book, rehearsed for a little under twenty hours, and now this play is up on it’s feet. I’m blown away by — and incredibly grateful for — the team working on this piece. I’m really looking forward to sharing this piece with an audience, eager for feedback to keep shaping this strange little monster of a play.

a workshop production

IRT Theater
August 9th @ 8pm (doors & wine at 7:30pm)
August 16th @ 9pm (doors & wine at 8:30pm)
$5 suggested donation.