The Tragic Account of Joseph Much

Fairytales are the primal root of literature. They unify humanity over time, place, and age. We tell the old stories to examine new realities, and they are deeply part of us, like bone, like language. This fairytale is among the most difficult and natural things I’ve written. It’s not a kind creature, but it is a nice one. Among its themes, you’ll notice the importance of Names. I wanted to examine the use of words and names as powerful tools. We base our identities on what people call us. We understand the world by labeling it. In some myths, speaking something’s name gives you power over it. Some names are too holy, or too evil, to utter. This story examines the effect of finding your name, or giving it up. It’s a play about having and losing, wanting and taking. It leaves, I hope, an enduring question: what would it take to fully know yourself, and how far would you go to learn?

The Doctor
Long Nails
Marcy Desoutter
Dubois Parmlee
Mrs. James Potts
Sir James Syme
Mysterious Voices

Act 1
Scene 1 – The Woods
Prologue, Accidents Happen, Who Knows?, and A Student.
Scene 2 – The Workshop.
What is it?
Scene 3 – Prosthetic Shop
Repairs, Fatal or Otherwise, A Thing of Beauty, and The Argument
Scene 4 – The Woods
Scene 5 – Another part of The Woods
Scene 6 – Prosthetic Shop
Scene 7 – The Doctor’s Study
Scene 8 – Prosthetic Shop
The purpose of an axe and How is it done?

Act 2
Scene 1 – The Prosthetic Shop
A Thing of Beauty Reprise, Ladies and Gentlemen
Scene 2 – The Woods
Scene 3 – Outside the Shop
Scene 4 – Outside the Shop
A Thing of Beauty Reprise
Scene 5 – The Woods
Sprinkling of Flower Petals, Who do you think you are?
Scene 6 – The Prosthetic Shop
I’ve Never Understood
Scene 7 – The Woods
Scene 8 – The Village and The Woods
The Interrogation, If They Find Him, The Purpose of an Axe Reprise
Scene 9 – The Village

Performance Selections