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Footnote: Bringing #IWasMostAlive to Life

How was #IWasMostAlive brought to life? In this in-depth conversation between playwright Craig Lucas and Associate Artistic Director Adam Greenfield, discover the big ideas needed to craft intimate theater and see new clips from Craig’s sublime play.

 

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Here are some fun facts we shared with our live viewing audience on Facebook as Craig and Adam discussed specific people and topics. We've compiled that information here as a biliography for you to explore:

 

Craig Lucas graduated from Boston University's College of Fine Arts in ’73 with a Bachelors in both Theater and Creative Writing. Go Terriers!

Anne Sexton was an American poet, known for her highly personal, confessional verse. She won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1967 for her book Live or Die.

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Craig Lucas has received the Tony Award nomination for the books of: An American in Paris, Light in the Piazza, and Prelude to a Kiss and he was nominated for the 1991 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Prelude to a Kiss.

Robert Lowell was an American poet who taught at Boston University, among other institutiuons, where his students included the poets Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton.

A selection from “Consorting With Angels” by Anne Sexton:

Last night I had a dream
and I said to it …
“You are the answer.
You will outlive my husband and my father.”
In that dream there was a city made of chains
where Joan was put to death in man’s clothes
and the nature of the angels went unexplained,
no two made in the same species,
one with a nose, one with an ear in its hand,
one chewing a star and recording its orbit,
each one like a poem obeying itself,
performing God’s functions,
a people apart."

W.H. Auden won both a Pulitzer Prize and a National Book Award, Elizabeth Bishop won a Pulitzer, a National Book Award, and was a Poet Laureate. Louis Simpson also won a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.

Craig and Adam are talking about Robert Lowell's poem, “For the Union Dead.” In 1960, Robert Lowell was asked to participate in the Boston Arts Festival and delivered this poem. Lowell himself was a long-time resident of Boston, and his family had ties to the city going generations back. He's even distantly related to Colonel Shaw — a central character in this poem and a fascinating historical figure; Colonel Shaw was a white Massachusetts Union soldier who led the first all-black infantry (the Massachusetts 54th infantry).

Say what happened” seems to resonate with many who know Lowell. Robert Lowell's own stepdaughter, Ivana Lowell, titled her 2010 memoir  “Why Not Say What Happened?”

Craig Lucas has a long association with South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA since their first Lucas play, Reckless (1984–85), and all the ones that followed — Blue Window (1985–86), Three Postcards (1986–87), Prelude to a Kiss (1987–88) and Marry Me A Little (1987–88).

Jerry Patch previously held many positions at South Coast Repertory — where he continues to serve as a Literary Consultant — including Dramaturg, founding project director of SCR’s Pacific Playwrights Festival, and Artistic Director of SCR's Sundance Theatre Program.

John Glore is the Associate Artistic Director at South Coast Repertory and an award-winning playwright.

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Lanford Wilson was a pioneer of the Off-Off-Broadway and regional theatre movements. His plays are known for experimental staging, simultaneous dialogue, and deferred character exposition. He won a 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Talley’s Folly (1979).

Maria Irene Fornes is a Cuban-American playwright, a nine-time Obie award winner, finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and beloved teacher to some of contemporary theater’s most exciting voices, including Migdalia Cruz, Paula Vogel and Nilo Cruz.

Watch the famous operating room scene from Robert Altman’s film M*A*S*H (1970) here

Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne were an American husband-and-wife acting team who performed together in more than two dozen theatrical productions from the early 1920's through the 50's. There is a Broadway theater named after them, The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre on W 46th Street, currently the home of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, starring Playwrights Horizons alum LaChanze!

Blue Window by Craig Lucas: “Before, during and after a Manhattan dinner party, the guests are revealed with touching comic irony as a cross-section of modern day humanity. The colorful cast includes a narcissistic actor, a parachute instructor, an aspiring songwriter, a secretary and a lesbian couple.”

Wallace Shawn is an accomplished American playwright. The play Adam references here, Aunt Dan and Lemon, premiered at the Royal Court theater in London and opened Off-Broadway at The Public in 1985. It received a New York revival at The Acorn Theater in 2004 and returned to the Royal Court in 2009. All that said, you may also know Wallace Shawn for his famous delivery of the line “Inconceivable!” in the film The Princess Bride.

Craig Lucas was in the company of the original Broadway production of Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd!

Reckless was also turned into a film, and the plot is definitely not people sitting around talking: “Rachel’s seemingly perfect life is upended one Christmas Eve when her husband Tom announces he has taken a contract out on her life but is having second thoughts about his decision to do so.”

apotheosis
apo·the·o·sis | \ ə-ˌpä-thē-ˈō-səs
1a : the perfect form or example of something : QUINTESSENCE
b : the highest or best part of something : PEAK
2 : elevation to divine status : DEIFICATION

“I’d call it ‘ambitious,’ but that word often feels like code to me — critic-speak for ‘had a lot of ideas and didn’t succeed.’ It should be no snub to say that I Was Most Alive With You does indeed juggle many ideas and aspirations...” –Sarah Holdren, New York Magazine

Benjamin Jonson was an English playwright, poet, actor, literary critic, and contemporary of William Shakespeare.

Jackie Sibblies Drury demolishes the fourth wall in her play, Fairview, which was at SoHo Rep this past summer and Adam Rapp's The Sound Inside challenged audiences during its premiere at the Williamstown Theater Festival, also during the summer of 2018.

Russell Harvard played Adult H.W. in There Will Be Blood and Billy in Nina Raine's Tribes at The Barrow Street Theater in New York City in 2012. (You can also see him play Mr. Wrench in the first and third seasons of the TV show “Fargo.”)

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Craig's play The Dying Gaul was also turned into a film in 2005.

Since the first AIDS cases were reported in the United States in June 1981, the number of cases and deaths among persons with AIDS increased rapidly during the 1980s followed by substantial declines in new cases and deaths in the late 1990s. AmFAR's 1995 year-end statistics state that there were over half a million AIDS cases reported to date and over AIDS-related 300,000 deaths.

The Cloud of Unknowing is an anonymous work of Christian mysticism written in the latter half of the 14th century.