Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Americana Project

Met with Joe Janes yesterday. We talked about various possibilities regarding this project. What sort of form should it take? Many short sketch pieces or perhaps a small number of longer pieces? Would the Mammals produce it? What that would mean? In the end, we both agreed that we needed more focus about the content. We are going to do more research, more reading, more hunting and searching and from that generate lists of what kind of stories we want. Then sort of compare our lists, and from there figure out more specific affinities in taste within the realm of American Mythology and Tall Tales.

Any suggestions out there? Favorite tall tales, ballads, myths, short stories that incorporate both America and Fantastical?


Tony said...

It sounds like a cool project.

Is there a certain time range you're looking for?

GreyZelda Land said...

I've always been a fan of Ichabod Crane and Sleepy Hollow, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan and Babe, that Blue Ox, any ghost story, sinking ships (Edmund Fitzgerald, ie), Hiawatha, lots of Native American folklore, Thunderbirds in West Virginia, etc ... garsh, I just like all them Americana stories, I figger. This sounds like it's going to be a very cool project.


Devilvet said...


Well, I think that when you put an "a" at the end of american...then it has to have a bit of antiquity to it. But if it were presented in a phatasmgorical way (fantastical/spectacle/etc) and was American, I could over look any prejudice I have regarding the era.

But, my personal preference would be for anything uptil and including the new deal era. Once we great into the second world war...I think that "a" drops off.

Theatregirl said...

I was wondering more if you had an idea for a start date, from plymouth rock? before? or from 1900-1940 etc, but I gotcha, I'll try to send some ideas for ya when I get a chance.

Paul said...

Trickster tales from the Native Americans fair game? Because there's a TON of those.

Devilvet said...

I like the trickster tales. They ould have to be presented in a way that I felt was both capitvating but also acknowledging that we aren't native americans telling these tales. Like a steampunk version of trickster tales maybe. Envisioning these americana options through the lense of a nontraditional genre might yeild some interesting results as well

Anonymous said...

did you get the comment i wrote yesterday? if not, i'll write it again.


Devilvet said...

Goss -

I've put everything thus far that I've got. Sorry, please resend


GreyZelda Land said...

Have you ever read American Gods by Neil Gaiman?


Devilvet said...

re: american gods

not yet

Paul said...

Like a steampunk version of trickster tales maybe...

I just shit a polar bear.

This must occur. Even if I have to write it myself and perform it with puppets in the boiler room of a parochial grade school.

Tony said...

Sorry. last comment I left, I didn't realize the computer was logged in under the wife's account. The Theatregirl comment was mine.

The stories of Loup-Garou are awesome. There's a ton of great native america folk tales. I always thought A Good Man is Hard to Find would be pretty cool onstage.

also this is a pretty cool website

Devilvet said...

Great suggestions.

Paul - once I typed trickster and steampunk I was pretty smitten myself

another book I'm thinking of is Charles Skinner's Myths and Legends of our Time. I found it on the gutenberg website

There are so many possibilities, that either this could be another sort of continuous project, a once a season sort of thing like treehouse of terror...or Joe and I are going to have to really narrow it down.

Paul said...

Depending on how ambitious you want to be, it could your open run. Especially if/when the Mammals get their own space.

RLewis said...

i'd throw a few in the hat...

The Lost Colony
Hatfields and McCoys
Till Eulenspiegel
The Oregon Trail
The 49ers
Astor Riots
Custer's Last Stand
Underground Railroad / Quakers
Brigham Young
Jack Reid
Daniel Boone
Emma Goldman
Lousianna Purchase
Donnar Party
Neismith / Doubleday

call it "Heart Land"
ha! -R

Devilvet said...

Ohhh I could do something really offensive with Brigham Young!

Paul said...


It's tragic that international labor groups come to Chicago to understand what happened here, yet WE could give a shit.