Thursday, September 23, 2010

Duel - a new play by Richard Tillotson

All the World’s a Stage Theatre Company will present a Readers’ Theater production of Richard Tillotson’s new play, DUEL, directed by Paul Mitri of the UH Drama Department, at Church of the Crossroads, Weaver Hall, on Friday and Saturday evenings, September 24 and 25, at 7:30 pm.

Admission is free, donation suggested. Attached is a press release and poster. Below is a full synopsis.

Duel tells the story of an attempt to create a television mini-series about the life-long rivalry between Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, a rivalry which began when the two first met as officers in the American revolutionary army. It ended with the famous duel when Burr took Hamilton's life. In the intervening decades, the men engaged in a progressively more venomous competition as lawyers and businessmen, in politics, and as patrons of an enigmatic courtesan known as Mrs. Reynolds. Hamilton's liaison became a notorious scandal that destroyed his chances for the presidency. This episode in American history is a tragic story. But the play's other story, the contemporary attempt to create a TV show about Hamilton and Burr, is comic. The producer is a woman who admires Burr for his feminism and thinks Hamilton was a corrupt womanizer. Her adversary is an historian she hires to vet thesc-ript for historical authenticity, who admires Hamilton for his brilliance but regards Burr as villainous. As the Hollywood producer and the English historian struggle to make their own views prevail, they must contend with other interpretations by a power-hungry film director and the actors who strive to upstage one another. The play cuts back and forth in time, presenting competing visions of "what actually happened” in the eighteenth century while the producer and the historian discover themselves involved in a messy love affair. Unable to agree on their own personal history, they still manage to collaboratively imagine the tragic conclusion of Hamilton and Burr’s life-long life-long rivalry.

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