Oct 24 2014
The following post was written by Artistic Literary Intern Eric Werner.
Summerland, by Arlitia Jones, is set in the very real world of Charles H. Mumler, a famous spirit photographer in 1869. While the world of the play is fascinating in its own right, Arlitia’s careful rendering of it on the page is a feat of theatrical magic.
As the Artistic Intern assigned to Summerland, I’ve seen firsthand the slow development of the script—at times broad rewrites to help the audience track a particular plot line, other times precise changes to keep our modern ears immersed in the parlance of 1869. These small changes go a long way toward keeping us in the world of the play—audiences are used to theatre using props and costumes to suggest a time era, but they are less attuned to the subliminal effects of language. After all, it is the smallest brush strokes that provide the sharpest detail.