The Way the Mountain Moved
by Idris Goodwin
Originally produced at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, OR
July 10 to October 29, 2018
About the Premiere Production:
Synopsis: In a remote desert in the 1850s, four men – a U.S. Army lieutenant, a sharpshooter, a botanist and an artist – set out to survey a route for the new Transcontinental Railroad. When a terrifying phenomenon scatters them, they’re sent on individual odysseys, crossing paths with lost pioneers, African-American Mormons, and wary Native Americans who are unsure whether to befriend, fight or flee the newcomers. Playwright Idris Goodwin’s powerful journey through an iconic chapter of American expansion, commissioned by OSF’s American Revolutions, explores a nation still taking shape, built on dreams and ideas. But whose dreams will prevail?
Artistic Statement: As its characters with differing beliefs and ways of interacting with the earth collide, The Way the Mountain Moved poses questions of what progress means and how people aid and oppress one another. The play beautifully and delicately explores the intricate and complicated depths of our county’s history, westward migration and how we interact with each other and our land. The expanded rehearsal for The Way the Mountain Moved gives the actors, director and playwright the necessary time and space to fully excavate the possibilities that allow the play to realize its full potential.
Grant Statement: The rehearsal time supported by an Edgerton Foundation New Play Award is invaluable to the script refinement, character development, staging and cultural framework of The Way the Mountain. The extra weeks assemble the full creative team for the first time and give the playwright, director, designers and full cast critical additional days to dive into the complex material together. In particular they allow a) Mr. Goodwin, Ms. Adrales and the designers to examine as a creative team the multiple cultural and political references and histories, and to address the incorporation of visual imagery that will bring the land to life; and b) the thirteen actors to begin preparing early for what promise to be moving yet challenging roles. The Way the Mountain Moved is a quiet and unusually subtle play that is at once expansive in the breadth of the history it is reflecting, and intimate in its storytelling. The smallest gestures of staging and vocal interpretation will be needed to unearth the longing that lies beneath the language.
Director: May Adrales
Set Designer: Sara Clement
Lighting Designer: Keith Parham
Costume Designer: Deb Dryden
Sound Designer: Charles Coes, Nathan Roberts
Cast: Sara Bruner, Christiana Clark, Al Espinosa, Maddy Flemming, Robert Vincent Frank, Rodney Gardiner, Michael Gabriel Goodfriend, Shyla Marlin, Julian Remulla, Christopher Salazar, Krista Unverferth, and Rex Young.
Dramaturg: Lauren Brueckner
Voice and Text: Rebecca Clack Carey
Projection Designer: Shawn Duan