You'll Not Feel the Drowning
"You'll Not Feel the Drowning" is a play about coming to terms with the dangerous natural forces that surround us. Inspired by an award-winning New Yorker article about the likelihood of a cataclysmic tsunami striking the Pacific Northwest coast, it tells an intimate story of three people who make their lives in a tsunami zone. Greg (Jason Wong), a post-doctoral researcher in seismology, comes to a small town on the Oregon coast to do scientific research, but encounters unexpected resistance from its citizenry. Susan (Terry Bamberger), the mayor, is a formidable woman who is aware of the tsunami risk but has done nothing to mitigate it. Laura (Maria Giere), Susan's daughter, is caught in the middle between Greg and Susan, between bravery and fear. In determining how to respond to the tsunami threat, all three learn that some of their beliefs are well founded, and some are built on shaky ground.
I had already wanted to write about the part of the world where Im from, says playwright Marissa Skudlarek, Well, technically I grew up in the Portland suburbs, but I wanted to write about Oregons wilder parts, its beauty, the somewhat masochistic love I feel for wet, grey places. Oregon can make you a romantic. I thought about Schulzs article, and the twisted sea chanteys of Portland-based band The Decemberists, and the bleak cold grandeur of the Pacific. It was the idea of the tsunami that stuck with me, more than the earthquake itself. Ive always found drowning a particularly scary way to go; yet at the same time, mightnt there be something oddly poetic about it?
Given its first reading in May, with subsequent developmental readings in September and December, the 2017 workshop of Youll Not Feel The Drowning will have six performances by fully memorized actors who have been rehearsing with the director for two weeks. Basic costumes, sound, and lighting will help envision what a full production would look and feel like. A key part of the development process in this works progression to a full production, the workshop is like creating the blueprints for the building to come and gives the author an exciting new way to see the best aspects of her work, and what still might need tweaking.
Two performances will include a chance to give verbal feedback (mediated by dramaturgy Allie Moss and program director Stuart Bousel) to the writer, who will then use this feedback to continue evolving the play on its journey to a full production. Each performance will also give the audience a chance to provide written feedback. Please stick around and help a new work continue to grow!
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