A Long Time Coming
Directed by Holly L. Derr
Lead Sponsors: Jane and Bill Bardin, Carol Fellows and Tim Bewley
Producing Sponsors: David Katz and Lee Katman, Jane and Steven Ballback
Partners: Elise Manders
A forest is growing in Norway, planted to provide paper for a set of texts that will be printed in the year 2114. Each year between 2014-2114, an author is selected to write a text for this Future Library which will be preserved, unread, until the printing. The play tells two intertwining stories of one family: a novelist in 2024 who puts his mother’s life story into words, his great-granddaughter and her son in 2114 who journey from a California farm to a Norwegian forest for the opening of the Library, and a secret that has waited a century to come to light. Examining the voices we choose to preserve and those that are lost forever, A Long Time Coming looks toward a future that holds both disaster and hope. Inspired by The Future Library Project, a real art piece conceived by artist Katie Paterson in 2014 and commissioned by the City of Oslo’s Slow Space public art program.
The play takes place in two time/place settings. The action of 2024 takes place in a family home in the San Francisco Bay Area. The action of 2114 takes place in a post-climate-disaster world, beginning on a California farm and following the protagonists via an undersea train to a forest in Norway.
Weston Gaylord is a playwright and librettist based in Los Angeles. He has been a member of the Geffen Writers’ Room and The Vagrancy Playwrights Group, a winner of Humanitas PLAY LA, and a finalist for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and the O’Neill National Musical Theatre Conference. He has developed original work at the TheatreWorks Silicon Valley New Works Festival, The Vagrancy’s Blossoming Festival, and San Jose Repertory’s Emerging Artists Lab. Weston has created immersive and mixed-reality theatrical experiences with Disney Imagineering, Meta, MWM Interactive, FX, and Spy Brunch. His work has also been featured at the Cannes XR Showcase, Games For Change, The Latest Draft podcast, A Little New Music and the Future of Storytelling Festival.
Holly L. Derr is a director, writer, and professor of theater, and the Head of Graduate Directing and Artistic Director at the University of Memphis. Her most recent production, Red Bike, by Caridad Svich, ran at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati.
She directs new plays and gender-flipped classics, such as Romeo and Juliet at Opera House Arts at the Stonington Opera House; Harry and the Thief, by Sigrid Gilmer, at The Know Theatre in Cincinnati; and my own play, American Medea. Favorite past projects include As Long As Fear Can Turn to Wrath at Son of Semele Theater, What We Were, by Blake Hackler, and new plays by Gregory S. Moss, Lauren Yee, and C. Denby Swanson.
Originally from Dallas, TX, she holds an MFA in Directing from Columbia University, where she studied with Anne Bogart and Robert Woodruff, and a BA in Dramatic Arts from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was the founding Artistic Director of SKT, Inc., a New York-based non-profit theater, and has directed new plays for the Know Theatre, Ashland New Plays Festival, and the PlayPenn New Play Development Festival. She has served on the faculties of Marlboro College, Smith College, and Skidmore College, and has taught and directed at the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, The Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium, CalArts, the University of California at Riverside, and Chapman University. She was the 2017 Producing Fellow at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
She is also a feminist media critic who writes about theater, film, television, and pop culture, using the theoretical and analytical tools of the theater to reflect upon broader issues of gender and race. Follow her @hld6oddblend or on Facebook.
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