by Jeffrey Hatcher
January 8-30, 1999
Directed by Rhonda Clark
It's the 1990's - a woman is
rescued from the North Atlantic wearing 1900's clothing and she will only say one word:
Titanic. No one can believe her story but by the play's end, everyone's identity will be
in question. Mystery continues on the high seas in this chilling drama by the author of
last season's hit Three Viewings.
Prepare to listen in as
playwright Hatcher probes the reasons for the long-running contemporary obsession with the
disaster, and seems to play with notions of reincarnation and karmic debt. What, something
else about the Titanic? In Jeffrey Hatcher's words: "It's not about the
Titanic...it's about the ice."
FROM THE PLAYWRIGHT
The idea for the play came about
during an automobile trip from Colorado to Minnesota in August of 1991. Stopping one
evening in South Dakota, I started to read to read a biography of William Godwin. Godwin
was one of the most influential writers of the early 19th century. In 1826, a news item
out of Switzerland caught his eye. The frozen body of a man had been recovered in the
Alps. When defrosted, he revived and explained that he was an Englishman who had been
caught in an avalanche in 1660. Godwin made frantic attempts to reach Switzerland, in
hopes of being able to arrange a personal interview with the 200-year-old iceman. Of
course, it was a hoax, but Godwin -- rational, Age of Enlightenment, non-believer William
Godwin -- believed in it.
The next day, as we drove through the
Badlands of South Dakota, I stopped at a 7-11 to fill our gas tank. As I was paying at the
counter, I looked down at a rack of tabloids and saw a headline on the cover of The Weekly
World News, which read "Titanic Survivor Found on Iceberg." The paper told the
story of a woman who had been found floating on an iceberg in the North Atlantic.
There are times when you go searching
for a play idea. But on rare occasions, an idea will come galloping towards you unbidden,
leaping at you like a wet yellow Lab, knocking you to the ground and licking your face
until you begin to type. SCOTLAND ROAD came to me that way. Within a few days, I had my
own interior "pitch": A mysterious woman with a secret. A rational man desperate
to believe. A locked room. Some twists, some turns. An iceberg. The Titanic. [Since its
first production at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, SCOTLAND ROAD has] become my most
produced play, with stagings as far away as Santiago and Berlin.
Whatever the film, book, or play
(about the Titanic), the story has always been about the sinking. It's never about how we think
about the sinking; why the Titanic has become an obsession. What draws a person
into an obsessive web? What's so missing in a person's life that it can only be found in
nostalgia for a disaster they never knew? As far as obsession goes, I'm just in the crowd
watching from the dock; true believers are on board.
-- Excerpted from an
article by Jeffrey Hatcher in In Theatre Magazine, January 30, 1998.
SPECIAL THANKS TO:
NCS Medical Equipment - Mathis Brothers Furniture - Cort Furniture Rental - Jon Womastek -
Doobie Potter - Marcellus Hankins - Terry Veal - Vikki Simer - Robert Erwin - Randy Gouge
Produced by special arrangement with
Dramatists Play Service, Inc.