THE STORY: This sweeping epic of three families in eastern Kentucky spans 200 years of American history from 1775 to 1975. Fast-paced and finely drawn, Schenkkan’s stunning six-hour, nine-play cycle examines the myths of the American past which have created, for better or for worse, the country we are today. The cycle is epic in style when the plays are performed together, yet each individual play tells a powerful story on its own. (The character breakdowns shown here reflect the individual plays, but, together, a minimum of 20 actors can play the many parts.) Part I: MASTERS OF THE TRADE (9 men.) THE COURTSHIP OF MORNING STAR (1 man, 2 women.) THE HOMECOMING (3 men, 3 women.) TIES THAT BIND (8 men, 2 women.) GOD’S GREAT SUPPER (12 men, 3 women, flexible). Part II: TALL TALES (3 men, 3 women.) FIRE IN THE HOLE (14 men, 6 women.) WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? (12 men, 2 women, flexible). THE WAR ON POVERTY (5 men.)
Winner of the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. “There are nine plays in all—each written with the kind of impassioned economy that immediately evokes memories of Sophocles and Euripides, short, taut, bloody actions that sparingly recreate the evil, mayhem, and retribution which permeates each of these two turbulent evenings.” —TheaterWeek. “…as vast and bold as the emerging nation itself.” —Variety.