EVERYDAY HEROES WAS COMMISSIONED BY THE KENNEDY CENTER IMAGINATION CELEBRATION OF SALT LAKE CITY AND THE UNIVERSITY OF UTAH'S DEPARTMENT OF THEATRE IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE 2002 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES, WORLD PREMIER DIRECTED BY MARGO ANDREWS
Kurt and Win Lawrence have spend their young lives caring for their alcoholic mother. When a devastating fire decimates their home, the younger brother, Win, becomes a reluctant media hero, but the brothers barbour a terrible secret. As the media moves closer and closer to the truth, Win, with the help of firefighter, Jo Judson, must make a choice between loyalty to his brother or revealing the truth. Ultimately, the insistent voice of Win's conscience leads him to his decision, raising questions about heroic actions that save lives and those based simply on personal ethics. The story of Everyday Heroes raises three questions: What happens in the aftermath of a heroic event that is predicated on lies? How does the distorted truth of the media become more powerful than the actual facts? What are the consequences of the silencing of the emotional lives of young men? Live cameras project the news scenes as they occur, creating a simultaneous broadcast so that audiences experience the play in two ways: as the actors bring the story to life and through projections of the live broadcasts.
CAST: 3 men, 3 women. Cast can be expanded
Photo by John Billings, curtesy of The Coterie Theatre
The most compelling theatre raises questions rather than determine answers. Good theatre raises a dialogue that lingers long after the lights have dimmed in the theatre space. If the questions are compelling enough, the debates that grow out of them can have a lasting effect, changing viewpoints and altering attitudes. No one knew better than the Greeks, who developed a theatre that would instruct its people on how to conduct their lives through demonstrating the consequences of ill-chosen actions.
This play grew out of my desire to explore three questions: What happens in the aftermath of go heroism, if it is predicated on a lie. How does the frequestling distorted truth of the media become more important than the truth? What are the consequences of the silencing the emotional lives of young men? From these ideas, the character of Win Lawrence emerged, a young man man who finds himself lauded as a hero but knows his heroism is predicated on lies. Even as he becomes a media darling, he is torn between two equal forces: loyalty to his family and the insistent voice of his own conscience.
As Win explores his choices and makes his decisions, I hope his journey will raise questions for you, questions about the creation of truth and lies, loyalty and survival, obligations to others and to ourselves. May they begin a dialogue between friends, parents and young adults, teachers and students that will extend the life of the play long after the last words of the performance. Ironically, this play was begun during the summer prior to 911. I was in New York at the time so this play owes a great deal to the heroes of that terrible event, including my firefighter friend, Glenn Judson. That day redefined our perceptions of heroism, and made us aware that everyday heroes are always among us.
Everyday Heroes was commissioned by The Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration of Salt Lake City and The University of Utah's Department of Theatre in conjunction with the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, World Premiere Directed by Margo Andrews
Everyday Heroes received it's Equity Premiere at The Coterie Theatre in Kansas City, MO, 2004, Directed by Jeff Church
"Written after 911, it's an incredibly apt comment on that event... the most important new play staged in Kansas City this season."
The Pitch, Kansas City, MO.