I came across Fortune’s Favored a little over a month ago, back when VTG opened submissions for its summer production. Like any other play we’ve selected, it initially needed some work. It took a bit of convincing to get the play chosen but, with such passion, such an educated voice, and highly inspired elements, it simply could not be ignored.
When it comes to selecting plays for There Will Be Words, I like to think of more than just choosing a “good play.” The playwright should benefit just as much as VTG from both the reading and the talkback. The question I’ve always asked is, “is this play developed as much as it can be without being heard in front of an audience?”
Such was the case with Fortune’s Favored.
In acting school, we’re taught to make our characters lead from one of three places: the head (character’s choices made from intellect), the heart (character’s choices made from the soul), and the stomach (character’s choices made from impulse). This is also the case with a play, and Fortune’s Favored is one which leads from the heart.
I was amazed with exactly how much heart and soul was ingrained into the script. So much so that it overflowed from the pages into playwright Lesley Anne Moreau’s process which led to three new, honed drafts before TWBW.
A small but mighty assembly of new theatre enthusiasts gathered together at Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Thursday, May 15th to hear the words of Fortune’s Favored. We gave them words as promised and, in return, we got words. Lesley heard the words spoken by our audience and, without hesitation, worked around the clock on a new draft before going into rehearsals. In fact, first thing I’m going to do after publishing this blog post is look over the revisions Lesley just sent after a successful first week of rehearsals.
I’ve been describing the play as an inspired mash-up uniting the characters of Tennessee Williams, the tone/setting of Sam Shepard, and the themes/motifs of Anton Chekov. It takes place in a run-down arcade in Big Ugly, West Virginia where Eudora Redden (Annie Hochheiser), daughter of the arcade’s negligent owner, runs day-to-day operations. When Davis Milford (Conor Walsh), a mysterious stranger from Beverly Hills, offers a very large sum for a rare fortune-telling machine, she finds a way out. However, when her beauty-pageant-washout cousin Luann (Lauren Robinson) interferes, sparks fly and the gloves come off in a riveting family drama.
Fortune’s Favored opens at The Factory Theatre (791 Tremont street, Boston MA) on July 11th, and runs through the 26th. Tickets can be purchased at on Brown Paper Tickets. We will also be hosting pay-what-you-can night ($5 min.) on July 16. Hope to see you there!