Mount Misery Playwright’s Notes
Playwright's Notes by Andrew Saito
Mount Misery: A Comedy of Enhanced Interrogations required me to build new muscles as a playwright in order to create the most demanding and challenging play I have ever written. I have authored an uncountable number of drafts, and the excised pages outnumber those that remain! My full-time playwrighting residency at The Cutting Ball, made possible by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is the sole reason I was able to write so many iterations of Mount Misery. The numerous public and private readings of this play have been invaluable in my growing understanding of my own text and its possibilities. Even more critical, however, has been Rob Melrose’s consistent voice, which has by turns encouraged, challenged, and inspired. The constant washing, filtering, distilling of this play has led me to its kernel, its bone. And it is the bone that this story strikes. As it should. We need to be struck awake. We need to be struck to our feet. Things are not all well. Our country is built on grit and sacrifice and vision and love, but also on theft, murder, and the lashing and suffocation of black, brown, female, and poor bodies. We dishonor ourselves by closing our eyes to the full spectrum of our country’s history and status quo, on whose flowered and bloodied grounds we live.