Karen Zacarías’ adaptation of Helen Thorpe’s best selling book, Just Like Us, rounds out the Denver Center Theatre Company’s eighth annual Colorado New Play Summit.
Based on the true story of four Latina high school students, this timely and relevant look at what it means to be undocumented in America played to an enthusiastic audience of industry insiders.
The girls — two documented and two not — discover how their opportunities differ as they move through high school, college and into the world. Their close-knit friendship is jeopardized when opportunities open or close for each girl according to her immigration status.
When a political firestorm arises in the wake of the shooting of a policeman, their situations are thrown into even bolder relief. Punctuated by notable politicians, outspoken critics of undocumented aliens, and vocal proponents of immigration reform, this play grapples with some essential questions: Who is an American? Who gets to live in America? What happens when we don’t agree?
Picture this: You’re living paycheck to paycheck. Your wife tells you she’s pregnant. Your landlord is threatening eviction. Your job as an Elvis impersonator gets ripped out from under you. Your only life preserver is stepping into the role of a drag queen.
Beaten down by bad decisions and bad timing, Casey is despondent, stating “being good at something doesn’t mean you can make a living at it.” But when circumstances literally thrust opportunity upon him, he listens to Miss Tranny Mills who says, “Daddy makes money. Baby coming. Daddy puts on funny clothes. Sends baby to Harvard.” Casey soon steps into his high heels, dons his wig and steps into the spotlight.
This joyous, bawdy comedy with a ton of music and great big heart was complemented by audience outbursts, guffaws, catcalls and everything but “Hallelujah brother”…or sister, whichever blows your skirt up and makes you happy.
Day two of the Denver Center Theatre Company’s eighth annual Colorado New Play Summit heated up just as the snow began to fall. An ensemble of six actors brought to comical life Catherine Trieschmann’s The Most Deserving.
Tasked with awarding $20,000 to a deserving and needy local artist who “demonstrates an underrepresented American voice,” a small town arts council in Ellis County, Kansas erupts into chaos. The collision of egos pushes aside the valuation of art based on merit as the local art council president refuses to consider an unconventional, ethnic artist whose religious art is made out of trash.
Sage philanthropist Edie observes that she “did not match the living fund grant so that everyone could act out their personal grievances,” but grieve they do. Liz, who holds a PhD in art history, teaches at the local community council and is a self-appointed advocate for the mentally-unstable African-American artist, challenges the nay sayers by questioning, “Isn’t great art supposed to provoke?” and is soundly refuted by Arts Council President Jolene who responds, “Not in Kansas.”
This satirical, insightful look at how the arts collide with politics, self-interest, taste, relationships, egos and gossip is ripe with one-liners, memorable dialogue and a fundamental question — how do you place a value on art?
Denver Center commissioned playwright Marcus Gardley regaled and moved a standing-room-only crowd at the eighth annual Colorado New Play Summit.
The 200+ guests were drawn into his play, black odyssey, a magical retelling of Homer’s Odyssey told through the African American experience.
The great Greek archetypes blend myth and history into modern reality as the characters slip and slide through time. Great Grand Daddy Deus masterfully manipulates the players while Great Aunt Tina intervenes to protect Ulysses from his vengeful Uncle Sidin.
Ripped apart by war, Nella Pee and Ulysses seek to reunite while moving through the rough streets of Harlem, the Iran/Iraq war, the Civil Rights Movement and the rift between the North and the South. The audience is draw through time as the cast weaves together fact and fiction to create a fabric that is a vibrant retelling of Zeus, Poseidon and Ulysses.
Nella and Ulysses move separately through the play but on parallel journeys as they flee to escape persecution and run toward salvation — the salvation found in peace, family and love.
A commission of the Denver Center Theatre Company, this play focuses on a woman at a crossroads in her life. Interestingly — and setting the scene for Cate’s own indiscretion — she becomes obsessed with her neighbor, who is exposed for having maintained two families in two different cities for years.
Cate is the mother of 12-year-old Maddie and wife to David, who has been unemployed for more than a year, unable (some might say unwilling) to find a job equal to his years of experience. That creates tension in their marriage.
Despite having recently relocated from Seattle to Chicago, Cate frequently must return to the northwest for her work in the computer gaming industry. When visiting, she meets Eddie, the proprietor of a new flower store, with whom she has an instant spark.
Cate assesses how to navigate “the vast in-between” — that state between being married and single, between commitment and transgression, between selfishness and responsibility. At one point this central character asks whether anyone should marry anymore when “the thing that binds us together tears us apart.”
This timely and candid look at relationships and marriage in today’s troubled economy, asks audiences, “Where would you draw the line?”
The 2013 Colorado New Play Summit runs February 8-10, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. To view an interview with the playwright, visit:
At the end of July 2012, the creative team for Grace, or The Art of Climbing had a design conference to discuss the usual aspects of planning, designing and assembling a production—plus one more. Lauren Feldman’s exquisite metaphorical play rests on the central idea of climbing one’s way out of a deep depression. That’s climbing as in rock climbing. Our protagonist Emm has suffered two major losses in as many days. This double whammy has knocked her out. The play is about climbing out of that pit and into the light— literally and figuratively. How to put this event on a stage, let alone the stage of a theatre in the round such as The Space?
Among the artists assembled to figure this out were the playwright, Lauren Feldman (LF), director Mike Donahue (MD), scenic designer Dane Laffrey (DL), Director of Production Ed Lapine (EL) and a less predictable but in this case pivotal person: climbing consultant Kynan Waggoner (KW).
Feldman, who is a climber, contributed this to the conversation: “We’re all journeying in our way in our lives and we are supported by all of our loved ones. [The play] is a visual and physical manifestation of a solo sport with partners. Even though it’s the story of one person in this group of seven, I feel it’s part of the fabric—seeing how everyone is supporting each other and letting each other down, and failing each other and then apologizing. Seeing an actor climbing and another belaying [is] seeing that literalized.”
Below is part of the exchange at the July meeting plus some updated comments from designer Laffrey as plans for the production took more concrete shape.
MD: There is a lot of rock climbing in the show. The big question: how literal is the climbing? The language is Shakespearean, in that [Emm] tells you a lot of what you’re meant to see and where you are. We don’t always need to show that, we don’t need a fully realized climbing gym onstage. But it’s also an athletic, muscular piece of theatre about the body going through something real, and we need to create an evocative space where all of that physical work can actually happen.
Rock climbing is a solo sport with partners—the way you tackle yourself and work with others. The cast needs to understand the climbing: the kind of movements required, the way your body moves, the grace of it. It takes real work and that work wants to be somehow real in the show. It’s not about hiding the strings or creating an illusion.
Kynan will need to be an active part of the process, collaborating on the design and structures we must have; and we will have to train as a company throughout rehearsals.
KW: I see it more as about the emotions brought out via climbing than the climbing itself. The main focus needs to be about what’s happening internally.
LF: The muscularity and effort are more important than the technicality of the climbing. We’ll respond to seeing someone work hard, not to whether they’re extraordinary climbers. The other side of that would be finding physical moments of grace or beauty that are theatrical… Climbing is about the poetry or the beauty of something, the opportunities to create art out of that.
MD: The Space is perfect for us because it offers both intimacy and verticality—we can really get up high in that theatre—and she will still feel close to us. But the fundamental spatial relationship in climbing is you against a flat surface, so how do you open that up in the round so everyone can see the body through the wall? Climbing requires a structure to climb on. How do you create a structure substantial enough to allow the actors to go up high in the space, but minimal enough to not block the audience from being able to see them? That is the real challenge of the design.
There’s an idea in the play that everything is porous, that nothing is totally solid, not the walls, the ground or the climbing. It’s about the body in free-fall. This somehow feels key.
EL: What would you say drives a person to rock climb?
KW: My first experience was in a gym. Something clicked with climbing physically first, emotionally as well to some degree, but I knew I wanted to do this. For me it’s always been about getting to an emotional state facilitated by a physical response.
In climbing there is kind of an unwritten code of ethics. You want to walk up to something and say I’m going to climb this right now, not knowing the grade, what’s up there. Some climbers excel in very choreographed routines of climbing, from their breathing to their hand placements. I never identified with that, and there are people who don’t like the outside climbing that I do.
LF: There’s something that gets triggered in the human brain when you are physically ascending something. You have this incredibly literal tracking of what you’ve just accomplished. It’s very specific. There’s something lovely about the fact that the challenge is equally internal and external; it’s in your head, and also it’s between you and that hold.
The other lovely thing is that as the climber, you have a belayer who is supporting you by holding your rope and offering feedback. Once you have that support, you can feel free to explore and move and take risks. Some folks discover that their bodies really take to the movement and rhythm of climbing.
Scenic designer Laffrey, who mostly listened in silence, contributed these final words after the fact:
We never discussed the idea of a climbing wall, even a transparent one. We needed something kinetic, but also visible from all sides of the hexagonal space. We ended up with something where we can start with a completely empty stage, then a person and then stuff falling into the space: a pair of climbing shoes, small objects, all important to creating that world, as opposed to having any kind of construction in the space.
The only scenic elements on which the climbing takes place [in the theatre] are five 40-foot steel I-beams, woven together, that stack on top of each other and can move independently to the full height of the space. They exist along axes—three along one axis, two along another—because vertical climbing is really only one part of the sport. There is also horizontal climbing, bouldering as it’s called, and there is a lot of this sideways action in Grace.
The look and feel of a real gym is not particularly well matched with the piece. A gym is hot, lots of people and stuff everywhere; the sound is dull; it’s stuffy and smelly. If there is any iconography about rock climbing, it is something that transcends the environment. It’s the language of the body. The way it moves. Like dance. That visual vocabulary.
So we want to provide something simple and sparse, where the body can accomplish the many scenarios of the climbing task, where the physical can evolve and devolve and shift and create an illusion of climbing. But it’s always more interesting if the structure on which it happens does not look like something you can trust. That idea of porousness. Not only do the pieces move around Emm, but she can move on and with the pieces. Even the most basic ways in which we understand space hopefully will be shifted slightly in our interpretation of it.
We’re trying to do the climbing very faithfully, using harnesses and belays where appropriate. Audiences will see the action from different angles. They’ll see backs, they’ll see fronts. Climbing is rigorous. What surprised me is that it is not so much goal-oriented as in climbing to the top of something. It’s a much bigger thing, much more cerebral. It’s about mastery.
When the literary staff at The Denver Center commissioned playwright Michael Mitnick to write something, the deal came with a twist: the play should incorporate visual technology in a way that was integral to the storytelling. So often video is used in the theatre to augment or even replace set design: an image of a New York street or a leafy park can come and go with the flick of a switch. But what we were curious about was could today’s state-of-the-art visual technology be used narratively instead of decoratively? Could videos and projections, like those songs in musicals that carry the action forward, advance the story in exciting and unexpected ways, perhaps even forging new types of hybrid playwriting?
Intrigued by the challenge, Mitnick dreamed up Ed, Downloaded, a story set in a future world only slightly more advanced than our own. Ed, who is terminally ill, has decided to have his brain downloaded upon his death, taking ten memories with him into the great beyond. His girlfriend Selene works at a “forevertery” (a repository of digitized brains) and facilitates this cutting-edge procedure. When curiosity gets the better of her, she peeks at Ed’s memories, only to find that instead of herself, most of his memories are of Ruby, a vital young street performer Ed met shortly before his demise. And so Selene, who is not amused, decides to do something about it.
Mitnick takes pains to present the human story first. In fact, the whole notion of the forevertery doesn’t appear until the third scene.
“I wanted to establish the play firmly in terms of plot and character and drama onstage before bringing in the technological world. But once it was introduced, I wanted the two to coexist in a way that made each dependent on the other.”
That they do. In fact, the entire second act is a thrilling display of the interaction between the live actor playing Selene and the projected memories she is so unhappy about.
“If you were to look at a physical copy of the script,” Mitnick points out, “once the video is introduced, the page is rotated, it’s in landscape mode, in three columns. The character of Selene appears in all three columns talking with herself, stopping and starting, editing memories.”
Which makes Ed, Downloaded fiendishly difficult to present in standard play reading format. In fact, in the two workshop readings that this play has had, the videos were presented, whether in a rough, or “scratch,” version or more fleshed out with actual location shots. Charlie Miller, who is designing the video for the production and has been attached to the project since day one, felt the workshops with projections were invaluable: “It helped us hear how it sounds when you have layer upon layer of sound and video, especially in the second act. It also allowed us to develop a visual vocabulary for the show. Because we have the same director [as we had for the reading], we can start up our work on the production at 30 rather than at 0.”
That director is Tony-nominee Sam Buntrock, who made a splash with his 2008 New York revival of Sunday in the Park with George that was designed entirely with projections. “I was thrilled when Sam joined the project,” Miller continued. “I knew that he had a real eye for video and how video can successfully integrate with live performance.”
Mitnick appreciates Buntrock’s dramaturgical skills as well: “Sam is certainly someone who not only realizes the potential of a piece on the page, but he’s someone who can elevate the material. I’m very fortunate to have found him, and I’m glad he’ll be by my side in a piece that’s as ambitious and daunting and perhaps foolish as this.”
The production will be staged in The Ricketson Theatre, which seems ideally suited for a play with so much filmic material, given that it started out its life as a movie theatre. And the human scale of the theatre will work especially well for this three-character play.
Except for a film of the Grand Canyon that Ed shows on an old school pull-down screen in Act One (he works in a natural history museum), all of the video will be projected on state of the art screens.
“We have this really cool new screen technology,” waxes Miller, “SpyeGrey, made by SpyeGlass, is a semitransparent film that when affixed to plexi-glass becomes an amazing projection surface that glows like a TV monitor, so it will look very futuristic.”
The memories will be projected on two large screens made of this material and suspended in the air over set designer Jim Kronzer’s minimalistic forevertery with its downloaded brain boxes perched atop pedestals like so many terra cotta soldiers.
But back to Ed’s story. Mitnick didn’t invent the idea of brain downloading (or uploading as it sometimes is called). Some scientists predict that within the foreseeable future, we may actually be able to download or digitize the contents of the human brain. According to Mitnick, the main stumbling block is the vast amount of digital storage needed. But the question always arises when science fiction draws nearer to non-fiction: Just because we can, should we?
The playwright is not sure whether he would, but he is curious about what it would be like to recapture a perfect moment: “It’s fascinating to me what it would be like to live that moment again and again and again, to exist within these euphoric moments.”
Ed, Downloaded plays Denver’s Ricketson Theatre January 11-February 17, 2013. Tickets: 303.893.4100.
This article first appeared in Prologue, the Denver Center Theatre Company’s subscriber newsletter.
by Douglas Langworthy
Lauren Feldman loves taking chances. Mastering the sport of rock climbing was a way to challenge herself physically and has led to her newfound interest in acrobatics (she’s currently enrolled in classes at a circus school). In her plays she eschews traditional linear structures, preferring the freedom of fluid or fractured forms. She also has developed a passion for “devised” work, theatrical pieces created collectively in which the playwright’s voice is just one of many. When she teaches playwriting, she encourages her students to explore the territory outside the edges of dramatic convention. I recently caught up with this thoughtful writer to talk about her play, her love of the unconventional and, of course, the art of climbing.
DL: When did you decide you wanted to become a playwright?
LF: In college I knew I was excited by the theatre, particularly as an actor. I was also interested in becoming a writer of fiction or essays. And then I took a playwriting class, and I remember sort of falling in love with it. I took that class and concurrently applied for a really cool program at the Royal Court Theatre in London—a several-month online project called “Crossing the Borders.”
There were around 12 of us in the program from all over the world. We would all log onto The Royal Court’s website at a designated time and have facilitated online conversations about the many kinds of borders that exist between people—gender, race, class, etc. Then each week we would have some kind of playwriting assignment based on whichever sort of borders we’d been talking about, which you’d post on the website for everyone to read and respond to before the next week’s session. At the end of the program, the facilitator took one piece from each of the playwrights and a few segments of our recorded online conversations and created a collage performance piece. Most of us ended up going to London to see the performance. It was the first time I’d seen my work performed and I think that was pretty formative.
DL: You have collaborated on several devised pieces. Can you talk about what your role is in creating with a group?
LF: I’m sure that devised work has had a huge impact on the sort of solo playwriting I do. I love doing it. I’ve been a part of many kinds of processes, and every time it feels different depending on the group of people and the project. Some have had multiple playwrights, sometimes it’s just been me; sometimes the text that emerges is an adaptation of found source material, other times it’s all original material, and sometimes it’s based on some form of preexisting story or myth.
I find devised work feels nourishing and balancing with solo playwriting, partly because of collaboration entering the process much sooner. Also, I find myself stretched and inspired by my collaborators’ creative impulses, and challenged to find a way to weave together everyone’s different inputs into one cohesive or semi-cohesive journey. And when I come out of that and sit down to write my next solo play, I feel cross-pollinated.
DL: Could you talk about your own personal connection to climbing?
LF: The first time I saw a climbing wall I was I think 13, in summer camp, and I remember hating all the athletics they made us do. I was a very non-physical child. One day they took us out to the middle of a field and there was this very old-school climbing wall. Like a giant three-paneled science project display board, but with all these holds screwed on. And two at a time they put us in harnesses, clipped us in, and told us to climb it.
I was really not coordinated or physically agile, but there was something I guess in the inherent metaphor of ascending something, and I remember climbing one of the panels surprisingly easily. On our next turn they put us on a harder panel, and I’d watched everyone before me trying and giving up. So when it was my turn, suddenly there was this young tenacious Lauren who was unprecedentedly driven to reach the top. And she did. I remember it being a profound experience, because I’d never succeeded at something physical before.
When I got to college, there was the option of taking a rock-climbing course, and I fell in love with the act of climbing all over again. Climbing ignites my willpower in a way that no other sport or activity had. And the more I did it, the more I found I had an affinity for it. My body likes the grace of it, likes the rhythm of it, likes the “elementalness” of it—the rock in hand. Also the meditative, solo aspect of it. It doesn’t feel competitive, and it’s not a team sport where everyone is relying on you to be awesome. And it’s supportive, because there’s always someone spotting you or belaying you.
I feel like climbing has been one of the three most formative events of my life. It completely changed my sense of self. I started to live in my body differently. And I’ve noticed my plays over the past decade and a half have gotten increasingly physically aware and muscular. I feel like my plays went from being talking heads to being characters with bodies that interact.
DL: How did you get the idea to write a play about a woman who climbs?
LF: Well I’m a woman and I climb, so I’m sure that’s part of it. But more than that really, I think it sprung from a hunger to see physical quest stories with female protagonists. There’s such a large, old, rich canon of boy questers venturing forth and being strong, brave and tenacious, their physical limits tested as we get to bear witness to (and delight vicariously in) the ardor and muscularity of their trials. They’re stand-ins for the universal quester, but they’re usually male and at some point I started yearning to see myself reflected in the body, the adventures, and the physical rigor of these protagonists. It’s hard to find stories that feature the muscularity of women.
DL: At various moments in Grace, we aren’t sure whether we’re watching memory, fantasy or real life. Are we experiencing the play from the perspective of Emm, your central character?
LF: Yes. Emm is deliberately avoiding things, whether on purpose or not, and so she’s closed the door on things that are closed for us too. And then, either as she starts to open the door or other people demand entrance, that’s when we get to learn things; we are dealing with things at the same rate as she is. The idea of the revelation of information—portioning it out throughout the story—was very important to me. We don’t know everything at the beginning, but that’s OK, it’s going to be a great journey. We’ll learn another little piece here, and we’ll learn another little piece there so that we get to experience a kind of hunger, we want to know, and that is a more fulfilling ride and engaging journey.
DL: Grace, or The Art of Climbing has a very fluid use of time and memory. Are you particularly interested in non-linear dramatic forms?
LF: I am drawn to things that fall outside the mainstream in general. I’m pretty sure if being a playwright were as popular a profession as being a doctor or a lawyer I probably wouldn’t have become one. Linear structures in theatre feel like the dominant form, and certainly historically they’re the canonical form, so I feel drawn toward things that feel wildly theatrical, stories that are told in ways that are uncommon. I don’t feel drawn to creating reality that looks like our reality. I feel drawn to creating other realities that don’t have a one-to-one relationship with ours, that resonate as true but aren’t stand-ins for life as we perceive it. There’s something in that latitude of playfulness and imagination and impossibility that excites me about theatre fundamentally. I love the way that it engages audiences, it causes us to sit up a little, lean forward. It invites an imaginative participation, a leap of faith.
Angela Reed is familiar to Denver audiences from her work with the Denver Center Theatre Company. She returns to town in the national tour of War Horse, playing Denver’s Buell Theatre Jan 8-20. Angela graciously took a moment out of her hectic schedule to answer a few of our questions.
Q: Denver audiences last saw you in the Denver Center Theatre Company’s world premiere hit, The Whale, which has since been produced by Playwrights Horizons. Did you have a chance to see it in New York? What was your experience being on the other side of the curtain?
A: Unfortunately I was not able to see the show in NY because I’ve been on tour with War Horse and have not been in NY since we hit the road in May. I know that NY audiences loved it and I’m so proud to have been a part of the production in Denver. I’d love to get the opportunity to work with the playwright, Sam Hunter, again. He’s a joy to be around in and out of the rehearsal room. And all of us who worked on The Whale in Denver have remained good friends. I miss them!
Q: You have a lot of “firsts” on your resume — first national tours of War Horse and Spring Awakening plus the world premieres of The Whale and Map of Heaven and we know you’ve been a past participant in our Colorado New Play Summit. Are you particularly drawn to newer works? If so, why?
A:I’d say I probably do prefer working on new plays because I really enjoy the process of having the writer in the room and helping in some small way to develop the piece. I think it’s a luxury for an actor to be able to talk directly to the person who created the character for clarification or insight. Overall, however, I’m “drawn” to great material. And there are a lot of playwrights writing rich, complex plays today that are exciting to work on.
Q: What can you tell us about your character, Rose Narracott, in War Horse?
A:Rose is resourceful, resilient and determined to keep her family together. She loves her son, Albert, and her husband, Ted, and it devastates her to see them fighting. I think Rose has a huge heart and a good sense of humor, which probably helps her again and again in the face of adversity.
Q: Why should our typical Denver Center Theatre Company audience “cross the Galleria” to see War Horse in our Broadway house?
A:Shows like War Horse come around so rarely — if at all. It’s a theatrical experience like no other to date. The craftsmanship of the puppets, and the skill of the puppeteer, will have you believing that there are living, breathing horses on the stage before you. And the story is beautiful. Michael Morpurgo, the author of the book, has called War Horse “an anthem for peace”. What a great way to start the New Year — reinvesting in messages of hope, faith, sacrifice and love.
Q: Do you enjoy national tours? A lot of packing but a lot of sightseeing too, right?
A:I love seeing the country and getting the opportunity to explore so many cities. And because my husband, Todd Cerveris, is also in the show (playing my husband, Ted!), we get to travel together. With our dog. In a car. And this is the second time we’ve done this, having been on the road together for Spring Awakening as well. We’ve racked up thousands of miles and our dog has stayed in more hotels than the average person.
Q: It’s early in the tour, but probably not too early to be thinking about your next opportunity. Will we see you back in Denver anytime soon?
A:I still have another six months to go on the War Horse tour, so I can’t predict what will come after that. And because I really need to be in NY to audition for upcoming projects, being on the road makes getting the next job more difficult. That said, I would LOVE to come back to Denver. This marks my fourth winter in a row that I have been in Denver at some point to work. I only hope that next time I have the opportunity to be here in the spring, summer, or fall!
Reprinted from Prologue, the Denver Center Theatre Company’s subscriber newsletter
GREAT WALL STORY is a clever playwright’s riff on a daring—some might say foolhardy—event that transpired in Denver on the cusp of the 20th century. Four journalists looking for a story and finding none, conspired over drinks at The Oxford Hotel to concoct a tall tale sure to draw attention. China, they declared had decided to tear down part of its Great Wall with the help of American entrepeneurs. It drew attention all right—and a few unintended consequences.
That real incident lies at the heart of Lloyd Suh’s new play, GREAT WALL STORY, which was read at the 2011 Colorado New Play Summit. The rest of this world premiere is a playwright’s comic fantasy, with plenty of inventive twists and turns.
Below is one excerpt from the actual phony stories printed in The Colorado Republican.
BUILDS HIGHWAY OF CHINESE WALL
BUILDS HIGHWAY OF CHINESE WALL
American Capital to Construct a Road of Stones From the Wonder. Mayor Harrison of Chicago Is One of the Men Interested in the Project. It Will Extend From Nankin to the Border of China and Siberia.
… One of the passengers arriving on the Burlington at 6:20 p.m. yesterday was a slightly built man of pleasant address, who registered at the Oxford as Frank C. Lewis, Chicago. He took dinner at the hotel, and at 10 o’clock retired in the Pullman car on the Union Pacific train which left the Union depot this morning for San Francisco.Mr. Lewis is a civil engineer, and a member of the American Association of Scientists. He represents a syndicate of Chicago capitalists, one among whom is Mayor Harrison of that city… Mr. Lewis is en route to Pekin, where he will continue negotiations begun by him some months ago for the building of a road which will eventually become the highway between Nankin and the vast empire of Siberia…
Extent of the Project.
In speaking of the matter last night, Mr. Lewis said, “I spent several years in China engaged in railroad building and my relations with the government are such that when the project of building a macadamized highway from Nankin to the northern border was first broached, I saw an opportunity… This plan was suggested first by an Englishman named Wallace, who is one of the directors in the Hong Kong railway… There is a fair chance that it will be carried out.
“Wallace will put in a bid to build a portion of the big highway and the syndicate which I represent will do likewise. If we get a portion of the contract now the Chicago men will make an effort to increase their capital stock to $5,000,000 and devote years to the work…”
Mr. Lewis will sail for China immediately upon reaching San Francisco.
GREAT WALL STORY plays Denver’s Ricketson Theatre March 16-April 22. For information or tickets, call 303.893.4100.