Written By Iris Dauterman
Directed by Sara Katzoff
All Photos: Kevin Kennefick
Workshop Production at the Massahusetts Museum of Contemporary Art
Featuring: Karen Beaumont, Emma Dweck, Hilary Somers Deely, Adam Sugarman,
Timothy Ryan Olson, Matthew Tannenbaum and Joshua Adam Ramos
Original Sound Score by Peter Wise
Lighting Design by Timothy Cryan
Costume Design by George Veale VI
ABOUT THE WAYPOINT
Written by Iris Dauterman and developed in partnership with The EarlsyStages program, The Waypoint received its first workshop production at The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art. At MASS MoCA, the ensemble, playwright and director were given access to rehearsal space, housing, a recording studio and extensive technical and production support that allowed us to focus on the exploration and development of this unique theater piece.
The Waypoint is a full-length play that takes place simultaneously in two different worlds: The first world is that of everyday life filled with humanity, humor, and struggle. It is here that we meet Shelby; a young woman who unexpectedly finds herself carrying a child when she barely has the means to care for herself. Excited and terrified, Shelby breaks the news to her brother Simon, her closest confidant who is skeptical about her abilities to care for anything, even a houseplant. Shelby also reconnects with Mark, a man whom she barely knows and who she must inform is the father of her baby. In this world we are also introduced to a very special fairytale; a story that has been passed down to Shelby and Simon from their exotic grandmother and one that they retell to one another as a means of finding comfort and solace. This story travels between the waypoint and earth and is interwoven throughout the play.
The second world is that of the waypoint, a transitional place for souls to come in order to prepare for reincarnation. The Waypoint is an amalgamation of transition— simultaneously existing above and below the earth. A hybrid between a surreal train station and a doctor’s office, the Waypoint is the holding area and passageway into and out of life. Here there are rules, there is a system and an order. It is here that we meet Tristan, a soul who has never been alive and who has no desire to enter the world. Content to observe everything from a safe and hazy distance, Tristan is shocked when he finds himself in the waypoint and learns that his time has come to descend into the messy thickness of it all and actually live.
The action of the play simultaneously revolves around Tristan’s fear of life on earth, and Shelby’s fears of bringing life into it. Tristan reasons, argues, and tries to escape the waypoint to no avail. Under the guidance of Mae, Tristan’s caretaker, and Simona— a mysterious tattooed woman who is revealed to be his great grandmother—Tristan begins to see life emerging in a new way. Despite the observations he makes and the insight he gathers, the more he learns, the more hesitant he is “to get down there and live”. On earth, Shelby struggles to balance a new relationship with Mark, with her insecurity concerning her own distant family and the secrets of her childhood. In the end, Shelby and Tristan embrace life and discover that the risk of living, while flawed, uncertain and imperfect, is great enough cause for celebration.